Negotiating is a vital skill. For a job, a raise, to get to watch the game instead of The Real Housewives. Dan Green will teach us what we need to know.
Not many of us are taught how to negotiate. We might parrot what we hear other people say but how successful were they? We need to learn from an expert how to really get what we want.
The most common reasons people give when asking for a raise are: I’ve produced X since my last raise. I’ve been here X number of years. I have a family, student loans, etc.” These reasons focus too much on yourself and too much on the past. Neither of those things are things your boss cares about.
What the boss does care about it himself, the company and the future. Be very direct with your boss about what you want to be making. Don’t just ask for more money, say how much more. Then ask what you need to be doing going forward to make that happen. Dan does not advise giving an ultimatum. You want to come across as someone who is excited to do more for the company because that kind of person is deserving of more money.
Don’t hedge everything on one conversation, the end of the year or the yearly review. This makes a single conversation too fraught. A general conversation when hired, when getting a raise, when earnings reports come out, are better times to find out what you have to do to grow. Because you aren’t asking for anything, only asking what you can be doing in the future. In fact, during your review is a terrible time to ask for a raise. You don’t want to find out how you’re doing and then ask for a raise. Have the review, find out how you can improve, make those changes and then ask. Because now they have no reason not to offer you more money.
A good question to ask is, “What would make you happy to pay me $150,000 (or whatever number you’re seeking) a year?” And remember, whomever puts down the first number, has more control over the final number. You found out what making $150,000 required when you asked that months ago. Now you can slap that number down on the table.
There is a difference between haggling and negotiating. Haggling is more contentious and there are more extreme demands. Like when you’re trying to buy a car. Negotiating is better. It builds more trust and both parties come out at the end feeling as though they’ve both made a good deal rather than both feeling like they got screwed.
Or just ask. So many people are afraid to ask for something but it doesn’t hurt. It’s like talking to the cute boy at the bar. Sure, you get shot down sometimes but not always. Be bold, be brave!
So try it tomorrow. You don’t have to go all in and ask your boss for a 20% raise. But find one thing that you think may be negotiable and ask for a discount. Report back here with your findings.
Oerbier: A strong, dark Belgian ale.
The Negotiation Blog: Dan’s blog to teach you the art of negotiating.
Bridge Consulting International: Dan’s consulting company