At some stage in everyone’s career, the time comes to get to the next level. After all, you’ve worked hard, focused on measurable results — and now you deserve a raise in salary.
However, working within your employer’s existing budget and around an archaic annual performance review can prove difficult. So how to prove to an employer that raise you deserve? How do you negotiate for the salary you want? To answer that question, we asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) this question?
What is your best advice for someone looking to renegotiate their current salary?
Read their actionable tips below, then put their advice to work!
1. Approach With Curiosity and Humility
Salary negotiations don’t have to be stressful. Approach them with curiosity and humility, rather than entering into the discussion with a set of demands. These conversations are also a great opportunity to receive feedback about how to improve one’s performance.
2. Do Your Research
Do the research. Use a website like Salary or PayScale to find out what other similar professionals are making in terms of salary. This will help in that you won’t ask for too low of an increase, nor will you ask for so much that you simply get a “no” in response.
3. Know Your Worth
What is it about your contribution to the company that would make you hard to replace? How much would it cost to hire someone with your experience? Make a pitch based on those questions. Rational managers do the math and pay what their employees are worth.
4. Have a Range in Mind and Start High
Know what compensation is realistic in the current job market and what you are willing to accept. Once you’ve learned the low to high range, start on the high end so you have some negotiation room. When your employer goes for a lower price, they will feel like they got a good deal.
5. Present Well-Thought-Out Information in Person
Having your own bottom line and knowing your value based on past work criteria, in addition to how much your experience is desired by others, are key. Communicating your criteria clearly is essential to the success of any salary negotiation as well, and always do so in person over a letter or email.
6. Don’t Rush to Say a Number
Before showing your hand, wait to hear what your employer or manager is willing to offer. This gives you an idea of their perception of your worth. Make sure you’ve gained insights first and have data to support your ask. Then go 10 to 15% higher, knowing you’ll settle in the middle.
7. Maintain Proper Eye Contact
You’re going to hear strategies related to data and knowing your value; these are essential. However, the one thing that really nails any salary negotiation is eye contact. I’ve seen a number of people with the best data in the world, but they fail when their faux confidence is exposed.
8. Be Ready to Walk Away
Give them a number that you will be happy with getting out of bed every morning. Just as important, be ready to walk away if they’re too far from that number. This works best if you have other offers or are currently employed, of course; don’t let your current employer call a bad bluff.
9. Understand the Mechanics of Your Compensation
The closer you tie compensation to a specific performance metric within the business, the more leverage you have in a negotiation. For sales roles, this is easy and common. For other roles, think about how your role might tie to other KPIs, such as customer retention or leads generated.
10. Get Other Offers
You can talk about your value to the business forever. But if you only have one offer, you have zero room for negotiating. If you can go back to the employer and say “here’s an offer for 20% more,” you can have a meaningful discussion about getting the salary you are clearly worth.
11. Deliver Results
Make sure you’re worth the salary requested. That means the best way to negotiate a higher salary is to demonstrate the increased value you bring to the company. Do this, and it’s difficult for an employer to refuse your request unless they are greedy. In that case, do you want to work there?
12. Know Negotiations Are Important for Both Employees and Employers
Salary negotiations are important for both employees and business owners. As a CEO, I am taken by surprise when a person unhappy with their salary hands me a resignation letter instead of asking for a raise. Of course, when asking for a raise, have an explanation for that includes new responsibilities, recent project success, etc.
Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.