Want to increase your salary? Unfortunately, you can’t simply storm into your boss’ office, plant your hands on their desk, and demand a raise. Instead, requesting one requires research, preparation, timing, negotiation, and practice.
Here are eight tips to use when asking for a raise so that you’re more likely to get it.
1. Be Prepared for a “No”
This doesn’t mean assuming you’ll be turned down. It means understanding that it’s a possibility. A negative response could simply be a reflection of the company’s present financial situation or other things that are beyond your control. Or, yes, it could be related to your performance. A sincere boss will explain why they denied your request and what can be done to make it more of a possibility in the future.
2. Don’t Ask via Email
It can be intimidating to ask for a raise and tempting to avoid face-to-face interaction by requesting one via an email. Although it’s okay to schedule the meeting through email (always schedule the meeting — never simply walk in), the meeting itself must be done in person. This is the professional way to handle it, and when you’re both in the same room, you can gauge each other’s speech and body language.
3. Give Hard Evidence
Don’t merely say you’ve had “a great deal of influence” on your department’s increased productivity. Instead, present concrete numbers: “In the past 12 months, I’ve increased my team’s productivity with sales that have escalated 10 percent.”
4. Have a Figure in Mind
Avoid telling your boss you want more money. They know that. Instead, name a figure. There are online research tools that can help you determine this. Three percent is an average or above-average increase.
5. Don’t Make It Personal or Emotional
Maybe you need a raise because you lost money in Vegas, your son needs braces, or you need a new roof. Maybe you don’t like John Smith, but he got a raise, so you deserve one too. Your boss doesn’t care about your personal troubles or settling scores. They’ll give you a raise based on your contributions to the company and your impact upon its growth and success.
6. Time Your Request
Timing can make or break a salary increase request. It’s unwise to ask for a raise when your boss is stressed, fatigued, or irritable. Don’t ask for one when the company is having a revenue slump. On the other hand, go for it if you’ve had a major accomplishment, the company is thriving, or when you’ve assumed additional responsibilities.
7. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
You don’t want to fall prey to memory lapses, misstated numbers, or stumbling over words. Write out and practice your proposal. By preparing thoroughly, you present yourself as self-assured, convincing, and professional. Make sure you know inside and out why you deserve a raise. Don’t just practice laying out your case in the mirror. Record it. Then present it to a friend you trust to give a truthful critique.
8. Don’t Give an Ultimatum
Ultimatums are equivalent to threats, and threats are no way to get a raise — or keep your job. When you wield an ultimatum as a bargaining chip, you’re assuming that your boss will comply because they fear losing you. This is a poor negotiating tactic. Your boss may call your bluff and send you packing.
When you ask for a salary increase, you’re not just requesting more money. You’re implementing a strategy. These eight guidelines can help you formulate an effective strategy that will magnify your chances of a “yes.”