Negotiating a salary raise can be tough, even for the most experienced negotiators. In this article, we’ll break down how to do this in the context of sales, but the principles of negotiation can be applied to any role or industry.
Let’s face it, we all want more money in our job, but very few people (if anyone) enjoy the negotiating process.
Just thinking about it makes even the most seasoned pro break out in sweat. However, it need not be this way. By preparing ahead of time, you have a much better chance of achieving your negotiating goals.
A key point to consider: research says salespeople who negotiate earn 7k more on average each year than their counterparts who do not. Over a career, this can add up to nearly a quarter of a million dollars.
The trick to any successful negotiation is to be prepared, so roll up your sleeves and get ready to negotiate.
6 Things To Do BEFORE The Salary Negotiation
- Research is key. Know more than your boss about every aspect of your career. How much would it cost to replace you? What do others make in similar industries?
- Visualize the encounter- what are the objections? Write them down and have a researched answer for each one.
- Reach out to recruiters in your field and find out what your contemporaries are paid. Ask them for advice in the negotiating process. These are people who negotiate every day.
- First, by yourself in front of a mirror. Watch to make sure your body and face look calm. Remember to breathe and smile, even when you receive bad news. Make good eye contact, but do break away, and look out the window for seconds at a time. This will allow your boss to relax and really hear you.
- Practice closer to the real date with a close friend. Get feedback on your body language and your verbal pitch.
- Prepare visual content that speaks to your point. We are visual creatures, and you want to speak quickly and effectively to your points.
20 Steps To Follow DURING The Salary Negotiation
- Try owning the space you negotiate in, i.e., taking your boss to a new restaurant, one that you know well. This is a time to impress. You might even order for the both of you. You are showing your “take charge” nature, something that is a winner in sales.
- Listen more than you talk in the meeting. Show the skills that make you an amazing salesperson. Repeat your boss’s points back to him to let you know you hear him.
- Know the whole picture, base salary, commission, vacation days, upward mobility track, 401K etc. Be able to discuss with research where your current job fits within the industry standard.
- Be able to prove how valuable you are: numbers, culture, training, etc. These need to be in either spreadsheet or graph form, big enough that your boss can see it at a glance. Paint the entire picture — if you bring donuts on Tuesday, remind them.
- Show the problems the company is facing in the coming years, and how you will help.
- Resist the urge to badmouth your fellow workers. Take the high road and be above the petty office gossip.
- Come with urgency, you don’t want a raise down the road, or “one day” You want it now!
- Imply that recruiters have reached out to you, but that you are loyal. “I know that loyalty is important to you.” You don’t need to lie but be able to prove with evidence how recruiters are looking for people with your skill level.
- Use silence, if your boss says no, nod your head, you hear it, but then be silent. He who speaks first loses.
- Be prepared to talk about your successes and try to use that as leverage. For example, if you have a strong personal brand, explain how you might leverage that in your sales process.
- Try being creative, “What if you paid me more for 3 months, and if I didn’t make my numbers, I would go back to my old salary? “Remember this is a negotiation, where ideas are passed back and forth. Don’t accept any answer, but keep the information flowing.
- Try laughing, keeping the meeting light, remind the boss of good times. A lighthearted worker is valuable for the energy they bring to an office.
- Agree as much as possible, when you disagree, say things like, “I see what you are saying there, but…” You are showing your ability to listen and have your own ideas.
- Ask where you fall in the scale of salespeople? Or know it, what would be the effect of you leaving?
- Know the industry: Where are the struggles? Where is the growth? Who are the big players? Who is the competition?
- Be prepared to give as well as take. If they can’t meet your salary, can they give you higher stock options? Could you telecommute 1 or 2 days a week?
- Could you train new salespeople for an additional bonus?
- Don’t be afraid to bring some personal information into the meeting, talk about your plans for building a house, or moving your mom to live with you. These make you look like more than just a worker.
- Show how you could grow into management, how you could help the boss retire early. Or work less.
- If you have made mistakes, missed quota, or had other office problems, be the one to bring them up. Show how you have grown as a result.
4 Things To Do AFTER The Salary Negotiation
- Pick up the check, this can go miles in proving how generous you are. When your boss objects, say “You can always grab the next one.”
- Be prepared to be watched like a hawk the next few days as your boss thinks about what was discussed. Let your work reflect your words.
- Write a thank you letter to your boss for meeting with you. Cover the main points that were discussed, and what, if any, agreements that you came to.
- Be prepared for the idea that it may take more than one meeting to get your raise. Be in for the long game.
By learning to negotiate we can get more of what we really want in life. Most people give in too easy here, and we let others dictate what we get.
However, the master negotiator doesn’t, and as a result they make more money and are more satisfied in their sales careers.
Learn to negotiate and win.