How to Ask for a Raise - Part 2

Friday, November 30, 2012

In the first article How to Ask for a Raise - Part 1 you learned how to say no, how to negotiate, and exactly how your skills and salary measure up against the rest of the world doing your same job. You should have also learned what it takes to move up the ladder a couple of rungs. At this point you should have 1-2 pending job offers and a job that you are currently working in. Now that you have everything you need you are ready to ask for a raise.
Find your VALUE not your VOLUME
When asking for a raise too many people walk in with a laundry list of tasks. As an executive my answer is "So what! That is your job!" If you don't want that kind of reaction you have to think in terms of value and not the volume of tasks that you complete. You can do this in three simple steps by using the following table.
Step 1: In the first column write down your expertise. This is generally your title. In our example, there are three different titles for demonstration purposes only. When completing yours you would only enter YOUR TITLE.
Step 2: In the second column enter a description of your expertise. Note: we are not talking about tasks. This is a high level summary description of your work. You can leverage the summary information from the information gathered in the first article How to Ask for a Raise - Part 1. If you did not do that homework you could always get a summary from a job description on LinkedIN jobs.
Step 3: In the last column you will enter the quantifiable results of your work. Each result should start with an action word like increased, better, improved, reduced, etc. If you can go as far as quantifying the amount that would be even better. For example: 70% reduction in errors; 30% increase in profit; etc. Take note of the last column as these are your talking points. You will NEVER talk about column 1 or column 2 as they are irrelevant to the value that you bring to the table.
Now that you know what you bring to the table, how much is it worth and how much can your company bear. If your company can not afford to pay you what you really need then you might want to go back to those two offers in the first article. If they can, then now is the time to use the financial information from the first article to determine how much you should be paid.
There are two ways to get a raise: You can ask for a percentage increase of your current salary or you can ask to be paid within the current market rates. Either will work.
How much to ask for:
To get a raise you must walk in with your numbers already in hand. This step will help you find those numbers.
  1. Start with your current salary or the market salary that you want. For our example both numbers will be $100K
  2. If you are using your current salary and not the market rate then, determine the percentage increase that you want. For example: if you make $100K and want to make $110K then that is a 10% increase.
  3. Double the percentage increase as your starting point for negotiations. Using our example you would ask for a 20% more than the base from Step 1 or $120K.
How to ask for your raise:
A couple of rules of the game:
  • You will never make ultimatums. This conversation is not about threats, bullying, or feelings.
  • You will never talk about the tasks that you do. This is a value conversation; volume in irrelevant.
  • You will stick to the script and keep the conversation short. Too many times people go into circles. You will have 5 statements that you will use over and over and over again. This is the same HR trick that is used for tough conversations. You must stick to the script.
The Script:
The script has a formula and that quite easy to master. Using the Past, Present, and Future elements you will lay out your conversation and consistently come back to these three areas as needed.
Here is an example:

Opening: I would like to discuss that value that I bring to the table and the consideration for that value.
Past: As proud member of this organization, I really enjoy working with you and look forward to doing so for years to come
Present: I feel strongly that the value that I bring to the table is:
Increased decision-making confidence
Improved efficiencies
Higher level of communications
Reduced fiscal waste
Future: I would like to bring my value in alignment with today's market rates which are based on my contribution and not just my title. Based on my value and the current market, the consideration that I am requesting is $120K.
Closing: What next steps do we need to take to ensure that we can find a mutually beneficial outcome?
These conversations can be tough; but with the right homework and due diligence they don't have to be. Remember, you want to walk in with value not threats, so there is never a need to discuss any other interviews or job offers. Your current employer will hate being put in a corner and may let you go at some point because of it. Your goal is simply to have a conversation about your value and consideration. Having a safety net of additional offers in your back pocket (see Part 1) significantly increases your confidence.
Dawnna St Louis is a Top Woman Motivational Speaker. Dawnna works with organizations around the globe to stay ahead of trends and corner the market. Innovative organizations revolutionize the way the world thinks, acts, and evolves.
Dawnna has the Motivational Style of Tony Robbins; Business Savvy of Steve Jobs; A Splash of Humor and A Whole Audience Experience that sends your team into action.


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