If you’re not renegotiating every year (at least), you’re doing it wrong. Salary negotiations are a deciding factor in an individual’s development, and for executives, they’re an accepted ritual. It’s not just about money, but also the feeling that one’s work is appreciated. How can you best sell your success as a senior manager, and convince your superiors that you’re worthy of a pay raise? Read on to discover how to negotiate your salary – successfully.
Preparation: Arm Yourself with Arguments
A good preparation is everything in a salary negotiation. Therefore, you should start by documenting your success. Collect feedback, facts, and statistics that support your performance. The marketing campaigns that you led, which generated a hefty increase in sales? Your new employee development program, which helped your organization to find two new skilled department leaders? Create a small portfolio of figures and dates that demonstrate your positive contributions to the organization, and which show the comparison before and after your projects. By having this kind of presentation in hand, you’ll succeed at negotiating your desired salary, no question.
Before you ask your superior for a meeting, you should be informed about how much you can ask for. Don’t run off and ask your colleagues about their salary – there’s a much more discreet method to find out your market value. The Experteer Salary Calculator can help you to determine what a candidate in your industry, location, function, and career level is normally paid.
Timing: The Right Place at the Right Time
Choose the right time for your negotiation. As a manager, you have a distinct advantage, as you’re privy to information concerning your company’s financial standing. Which large challenges are you facing? Which departments will grow, and which departments will see cuts in staff and budget? Take advantage of your insider resources. When your company is currently facing large budget cuts, it’s practical to postpone your salary negotiation for another time.
By the same token, your supervisors could also catch you in the wrong moment. Monday mornings are never a good time for salary discussions – and neither are Friday evenings, when you and your colleagues are finally moving on after a particularly stressful week. Shortly before lunchtime? A terrible idea – no one should have to compete with a growling stomach for their boss’s full attention. Set up your appointment so that you have enough time, especially if the conversation runs longer than planned. A pro tip: pay attention to your supervisor’s mood. If he’s currently dealing with a difficult decision, give him a little patience and wait it out. When he’s in a better state of mind, he’ll most likely be more easily convinced. And if not, a strong sense of self confidence can only help.
Self-Confidence: An Assured Approach
A salary negotiation is not the right time for bragging. Naturally, you should also avoid this trap, but a negotiation is also a bad time to act insecure. Hold yourself in a confident manner – squared shoulders, a steady voice, eye contact – and give your supervisor no reason to doubt the legitimacy of your leadership. Women are often too hesitant in these discussions. “In comparison to men, women are normally more reserved, and downplay their strengths,” says Barbara Lutz, the head of recruitment agency Hunting/Her, which specializes in placing women.
You can find more tips for being confident in the workplace here.
Argumentation: Lay the Facts on The Table
Explain exactly why you deserve a raise, and support your argument with ironclad facts – disarm your opponent immediately. But don’t immediately list all of your best achievements. Rather, save a few of your winning arguments for the final arguments. Your supervisor will most likely try to negotiate down. In this case, you should keep an ace up your sleeve. It’s a good idea to consider a few potential alternatives. What would you do if your supervisor doesn’t accept your suggestions? Would you be satisfied with a new company car, opportunities for further education, or another alternative? Consider one or two alternatives that you could receive as compensation, as opposed to just a higher salary.
Visualize the professional developments that you’re working towards in your current company. In two years, perhaps, you could see yourself working as a vice president? Show your supervisor that you support the company’s future, and you’ll secure your career in the process.