Five minutes of awkward contract negotiations will have a huge impact on the quality of your life. Learn how to manage these anxiety-inducing conversations, and reap the benefits of it all year long.
If you think about it, those 5 minutes can bring you several thousand dollars, based on the increase in your yearly salary. Just a tiny bit of effort can make a world of difference. Unless you’re Bill Gates or someone like that, did you ever think you’ll get a chance to earn $5,000 for 5 minutes of work? I don’t think so.
Tips that guarantee success when negotiating salary increase
Besides rewarding your family with a nice holiday from this salary increase, there are also other benefits you should take into consideration. The most important one that people somehow always forget about is a retirement fund. As your pay raises, the contributions you make towards your retirement fund will increase simultaneously, which is a great security blanket for the future.
Put yourself in the right mindset
I’m talking about a classic glass half full versus half empty principle. In order to make the most out of the situation you’re in, it’s necessary to first make changes to your approach. The same thing can be said for most things in life, including business negotiations.
People are never afraid to haggle on the price of their new home or a car, but when it comes to asking for a promotion, they tend to accept the first deal that comes their way. Sadly, this is precisely the thing that separates the middle class from the upper echelon.
Wealthy people know all too well that you should always ask for more out of everything in life, and that settling too quickly is a cardinal sin. However, prior to even stepping inside the office, it’s absolutely vital to come in fully prepared, and aware of your worth. Asking for more money without validating your demands is a one-way ticket to doom, but more on that later on.
Look at the bigger picture
While you might think that $3,000 increase in your yearly paycheck is a massive improvement, you have to wait a moment and take everything into consideration. Depending on who you need to talk to, and where you work, this conversation can go in 2 different ways:
1) If you work in a large corporation – Chances are that you’ll be talking to an HR representative. They usually have a specific budget to work with, and it’s not their choice of whether or not they can step over it.
With that in mind, you see that there’s no reason why you should be afraid to ask for what you deserve. Furthermore, large corporations have huge payrolls. With $100,000+ of expenses a month, they won’t even feel the difference one salary raise makes.
This is especially true in this case, as the HR managers don’t give money out of their pockets, and are generally more inclined to accept your requests if you fall under the company plans.
2) If you are a part of a smaller business – Here’s where the situation can get a bit tricky, but you can still turn it to your advantage. In smaller businesses, you’ll probably be directly talking to the owner, and they tend to bit a be more strapped for cash, as it’s coming out of their pockets.
Still, it’s not easy to find a proven team member in a short time, and that can play right into your hands, as the job simply won’t wait. I’m not saying that you should blackmail your employer, but you should be well aware of your worth to the company.
Approach the situation in a friendly manner, and explain why getting a pay raise would be appropriate. If you make a good presentation, and your boss is reasonable, there shouldn’t be any major issues.
Do not wait and hope that employers will give you a raise on their own, ask for it
In most cases, life won’t reward you if you are simply a good person or a hard worker. You have to be willing to clearly define your goals, fight hard to accomplish them, and reap the benefits. The same thing can be said for business as well.
Just because you are working long hours, your boss won’t be necessarily aware that you are going above and beyond what your tasks are. Perhaps, they will just think that you need more time to perform mundane tasks. If this is the case, you will never get a raise.
How to point out your hard work? Let your bosses know that you are willing to put in the time and effort, and ask them about their expectations from you. Work your hardest to achieve, and even exceed them, and only then talk about getting a raise.
Who doesn’t love to have goal orientated people around them who actually do the work instead of doing the talking?
Let your resume speak for you
If you come across some difficulties regarding your salary negotiations, just point to your previous results. For example, a 2% increase in revenue does not really do too much to prove your worth. However, take a moment to spin things around in your favor.
If your employer does not want to give you that $5,000 raise, present your work in terms which matter to them. All of a sudden, that 2% increase in revenue that you briefly mentioned turns into your biggest advantage.
By boosting your company’s revenue by 2%, you will bring them millions of dollars in profit. Compared to that, does an increase in salary of $5,000 stand out as much?
Do not tell a number immediately
Think of it in terms of a boxing match, where both opponents need to keep their best strike hidden until it’s precisely the time to use it. Most HR managers will insist to know your figure immediately, but try to delay that talk for a few moments, at least.
Defend your stance by saying you want to see whether or not you are a mutual fit first. If that turns out to be the case, mention that negotiations shouldn’t be much of an issue at all. By employing this tactic, you focus on your worth, instead of a number on a piece of paper.
If you run into some murky waters, and your HR manager won’t budge, try to present your case by using something along the lines of:
I understand it’s a bit more than what you originally planned for, but considering that we appear to be the perfect fit, would you really want to go through the process of candidate selection for additional couple of months, delaying your business even further?
At the end of the day, always have in mind that getting a few thousand dollars extra on your paycheck isn’t the whole story.
If they aren’t willing to negotiate when it comes to salary, look for other options, such as increasing the number of vacation days, increase flexible working hours, and introduce travel and personal growth opportunities into play as well.
Do whatever you can to get an inch of advantage.
Networking still rules them all
In this era of huge corporations, where every little detail is well documented and recorded, do you really still need to bog down with networking?
Even gigantic companies will always ditch their highly tuned processes of selection when they have a chance to snatch the right candidate for the job.
Try to form good relations with your peers, it’s guaranteed to come in handy sooner or later. Some of my most important business connections, which stay relevant to this day were formed during my college years.
You can have the best resume in the world, but at the end of the day, those are just words on a piece of paper. Having a person of trust who can vouch for you is still irreplaceable, and always will be.
If possible, become friends with a human resources manager, and get inside tips on how things really work in your company. Nothing beats having them on your side.
Practice using the correct words
You may think that buzzwords are only for paparazzi articles and celebrity blogs. Guess what, you are wrong. Using the correct terminology can be crucial to success when it comes to negotiations. Here, let me give you a quick example.
- The offer of $75,000 sounds interesting. It’s not exactly what I had in mind…
- I am content with your offer of $75,000, but…
In the first sentence, you are clearly saying that the offer interests you and that it’s reasonable, but it leaves some room for negotiation, without sounding confrontational.
It sounds like you are prepared to make a deal, but that there needs to be a wiggle room left for improvement.
On the contrary, the other sentence is the polar opposite. You immediately revealed that you are happy with the proposed salary, but it makes it sound like you want to dig out some additional benefits, it makes you sound greedy.
Still, know that there are times when none of this works. If that’s the case, you should not be too afraid to look elsewhere. Ultimately, there are times when you get all you can from a company, and it still isn’t enough to reach your goals. Always have your ear to the ground, and do not be afraid to pounce on the first opportunity that comes your way.