One of the most important components of achieving long-term financial well-being is increasing your income. In most instances, this will come in the form of raises to your salary. As you gain more experience and rise up the ranks, you’ll receive compensation adjustments.
But, do you know exactly how to get a raise?
In this article, we’ll discuss how to craft a compelling ASK which you can use to maximize your salary increase. This past year I used these techniques to increase my base salary by 10%!
Look at your work situation objectively
To start the process, you’ll first need to sit down and objectively look at your work situation. Have you been over-delivering on your project requirements? Have you been showcasing your leadership ability?
Sit down and write a list of 5-10 things that you’ve done to add significant value to your organization. If you can’t come up with at least a few things that you’ve done to add value, you may not be ready to ask for a raise.
If this is the case, don’t be discouraged. Use the situation as a motivator to improve yourself. Reach out to your boss and ask for feedback on what you can do to improve. Once you determine your areas for improvement, begin working towards your action items. Once you come up with 5 -10 talking points, it’s time to begin crafting your compelling ASK.
Crafting your ASK
You’ve done all the hard work of delivering results, now it’s time to talk about them. When developing your ASK, it’s important to determine how much of a raise you’d like.
Do you want a 5% raise? A 10% raise?
Be sure to research what an average raise for your position looks like and determine how much you deserve based on your performance. You’ll need to be prepared to justify this amount to your employer when you’re at the negotiation table.
Next, you’ll want to begin structuring your ASK appropriately. Start by thanking your boss for his/her time and express your appreciation for the opportunity to be a part of a great organization. This will help diffuse the situation and give you an extra positive boost when you begin your negotiation.
Next, you’ll want to highlight the 5-10 items on your list that have added value to the organization. It’s extremely important that you express the VALUE you’ve provided because, in the end, that’s what your employer cares about. Use metrics and other supporting data to solidify your case.
Once you’ve explained your positive results, close out by asking your employer for your determined percentage raise. Below, I’ve given an example of what a good ASK would look like:
“Over the past 6 months, my team and I have successfully delivered on project x & y, increasing revenue by $100,000 as well as reducing customer service average wait time by 3 minutes. I plan to continue to set the bar high for myself and my team so that we can continue delivering more results like these to the organization. As a result, I feel that my compensation should be adjusted by x% to reflect my performance”.
Practice your ASK in front of people to get comfortable delivering your request. This will most likely feel awkward at first, but practice can help you gain the confidence you’ll need to deliver. Now that you’ve crafted and practiced your compelling ASK, it’s time to set up a review meeting with your employer.
Now that you’ve crafted a compelling ASK and practiced delivering it, it’s time to begin your negotiation. Reach out to your employer and request a time to speak with him/her. If you already have a pre-set evaluation meeting, mark it in your calendar.
On the day of the negotiation, show up dressed to impress and ready to kick some butt. When your meeting time finally arrives, thank your employer for meeting with you and sit down to begin your discussion. During the discussion, remember to highlight the VALUE that you’ve created for the organization and focus on the key metrics that you’ve delivered. Once you’ve given your pitch, ASK your employer for your desired raise.
From there, your boss will either accept or reject your proposal. If he/she accepts your proposal, congratulations! You worked hard and deserve every penny of your raise. If your boss rejects your proposal, ask if you could substitute some of your proposed extra yearly compensation with other forms of compensation, such as year-end bonuses, stock options or more vacation time.
Many employers are more lenient with this form of compensation and it may be a great option for you. If your boss still rejects the proposal, ask them if there is anything else you need to do to be considered for a raise in the future. When your boss provides you with feedback, take that feedback and implement it into your plan of attack right away. Once you’ve completed the desired items outlined in your discussion, re-engage the raise conversation.
Bringing it all together
As a high performer and excellent contributor to your organization, you deserve to be compensated fairly for your contributions. Preparing for this important interaction with your employer will not only help you achieve better results in the present, but it can also have a massive impact on your long-term financial well-being.
Pro-tip: Book Recommendation
A good book to read in this scenario is “The Greatest Salesmen in the World” by Og Mandino. Mr. Mandino delivers key selling success strategies through a parable set in ancient Babylon.
I found the timeless lessons he discussed in this book extremely compelling and I enjoyed the story he illustrated to frame these lessons. Learning the soft skills taught in this classic book will surely be of benefit to you in many life and work situations.
Do you have any stories or experiences of asking for a raise? Do you have any beneficial tips or strategies that you’ve utilized in a wage negotiation? I’d love to hear from you.
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Author: Raphael Collazo
Raphael Collazo is a millennial author and editor of "The Strong Professional" blog. An engineer by trade, Raphael has applied his analytical thinking to researching and condensing the most useful and effective strategies for Millennials into actionable content. He regularly speaks at local and regional events spreading his message of balanced living to other millennials.