Last updated on August 9, 2023
When it comes to earning more money, one of the most important things you can do is learn how to negotiate a raise at your current job. After all, why look for a new job and start all over when you can increase your salary right where you are, right?
Negotiating a raise can be a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be. With the right mindset and approach, you can — effectively — communicate your value to your employer. And secure a higher salary.
In this article, I’ll:
- Cover the art of salary negotiation
- Provide you with the tools you need to effectively communicate your value to your employer
- Go over popular books, top questions and answers, actionable strategies and tips
- And everything else you need to know to increase your income
But before we get started, here are some quotes on negotiation to get inspired from.
What you'll learn:
⓵ Top 5 negotiation quotes
To help you get into the right mindset and stay motivated throughout the process, here are some powerful quotes on negotiation, self-advocacy, and the power of communication:
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”— Abraham Lincoln
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”— Wayne Gretzky
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”— Amelia Earhart
“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”— Confucius
“Don’t wait for opportunities, create them.”— Charles F. Kettering
Remember: the power of negotiation is in your hands. Believe in yourself and your abilities, and don’t be afraid to ask for what you deserve.
⓶ How to negotiate like a pro: 5 easy steps
When it comes to salary negotiation, preparation and effective communication are key. Whatever the reason you want to secure a higher salary (be able to save more, invest in real estate or stocks, or just pay off your mortgage early), there are strategies and tips to help you do that:
❖ Step 1: Research the market value of your role
Knowing the market value of your role will give you the knowledge (and confidence) you need to negotiate a higher salary. This can be done by researching industry standards, salary surveys and talking to people in the same or similar role.
For example, if you are a software developer, you can use resources such as Payscale, Glassdoor, or even through LinkedIn. So you can find out the average salary of a software developer in your city and industry.
Having this information will give you a better idea of what you should be earning. And will give you the confidence to ask for a raise that is in line with industry standards.
❖ Step 2: Communicate your accomplishments and contributions to the company
Clearly and effectively communicate your accomplishments and contributions to the company. Use data and specific examples. For example, if you have developed a new software that has increased the company’s productivity, you can mention that. And provide specific data on how much time and money it has saved the company.
It’s important to have concrete examples of your value to the company. And to be able to present them in a clear and concise manner. This will make it easier for your employer to understand the impact you have had on the company. And will increase your chances of getting a raise.
❖ Step 3: Understand and address common objections to a raise
Be prepared with counterpoints and be willing to compromise. Common objections to a raise can include the company’s financial situation and the current state of the economy. Or even your personal performance.
It’s important to be aware of these objections. And to have counterpoints ready to address them. For example, if your employer cites the company’s financial situation as a reason for not giving you a raise, you can offer to take on additional responsibilities. Or to work on projects that will increase the company’s revenue.
❖ Step 4: Build a positive relationship with your employer
Building a positive relationship with your employer will increase your chances of getting a raise. It’s important to communicate regularly. To be open and honest. And to demonstrate your value to the company in your daily work. By building a positive relationship, you will make it more likely that your employer will be willing to negotiate a raise with you.
❖ Step 5: Know when to walk away
If your employer is unwilling to compromise. Or if the offer is not in line with your expectations. Know when to walk away (yes, sometimes we need to do that). It’s important to have a clear idea of what you are looking for in terms of salary.
And to be willing to walk away from a negotiation if the offer is not in line with your expectations. It’s important to remember that there are other opportunities out there. And that it’s better to walk away from a negotiation that does not meet your needs than to accept an offer that is not satisfactory.
It’s also important to keep in mind that walking away from a negotiation doesn’t mean the end of the relationship with your employer. It could be just a step back and a point to come back and renegotiate in the future.
⓷ Salary negotiation tools and tips
In addition to the strategies and tips provided in this article, there are a number of additional resources that can help you effectively negotiate a raise. Here are a few that I recommend:
❖ Salary calculators
Websites such as payscale.com, glassdoor.com, and LinkedIn salary provide salary data for a wide range of jobs and locations. This can be a valuable tool for researching the market value of your role.
❖ Negotiation script
Negotiating a raise can be a nerve-wracking experience, but having a script prepared can help. A negotiation script is a pre-written set of talking points that can guide you through the conversation and help you stay focused.
❖ Salary negotiation templates
Templates are available online that you can use to create a professional-looking proposal outlining your qualifications and what you’re asking for.
❖ Other negotiation tools
Some websites (like salary.com or indeed.com) provide additional tools like salary negotiation guide, and salary negotiation worksheet. Or even salary negotiation checklist that can help you prepare for your negotiation.
By utilizing these resources, you’ll be closer to your goal. Since you’ll be better equipped to effectively negotiate a higher salary. And thus communicate your value to your employ
⓸ Top 5 books on salary negotiation
When it comes to learning the art of salary negotiation, there’s no better way to do it than by reading books written by experts in the field. Here are some of the best books on the topic that will help you communicate your value to your employer and secure a higher salary:
“Never Split the Difference” by Chris Voss
Written by a former FBI hostage negotiator, this book offers practical strategies for negotiating in any situation, including salary negotiations.
“Getting to Yes” by Roger Fisher and William Ury
This classic book on negotiation is a must-read for anyone looking to improve their negotiation skills. It offers a step-by-step approach to negotiation that will help you get the best deal possible.
“The Power of Communication” by Helio Fred Garcia
Written by a communication expert, this book will teach you how to effectively communicate your value to your employer and negotiate a higher salary.
“Women Don’t Ask” by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever
This book focuses on the unique challenges that women face when it comes to salary negotiation and offers strategies for overcoming them.
“Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1000 a Minute” by Jack Chapman
This book provides a step-by-step guide to negotiating a higher salary and includes templates and scripts to help you prepare.
These books will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to communicate your value to your employer and negotiate a higher salary. So, grab a copy. Read and apply the strategies. And start earning what you deserve.
⓹ Emotions and salary negotiation
Being emotionless can be an effective strategy when negotiating a salary. Being calm, composed, and logical during a salary negotiation can help you present your case in a clear and convincing manner.
❖ Stay focused
It can also help you stay focused on the facts and data that support your case, rather than getting caught up in your emotions.
However, it’s important to note that it’s not always possible (or desirable) to be completely emotionless during a salary negotiation. Employers are looking to hire and retain people who are passionate and invested in their work.
❖ Show enthusiasm
So showing enthusiasm and excitement about your role and your contributions to the company can be beneficial.
It’s also important to be aware of the other party’s emotions and to be able to respond appropriately.
❖ Be in control of your emotions
Always be aware and in control of your own emotions. And try to respond appropriately to the other person’s emotions.
Here are a few hypothetical examples where being emotionless can be important during a salary negotiation:
◇ The company is going through a difficult financial period
Your employer may be hesitant to give you a raise due to the company’s financial situation. In this case, it’s important to keep your cool, show understanding, and present your case in a logical and data-driven manner.
By remaining emotionless, you can avoid getting defensive or argumentative. Which can be detrimental to your negotiation. Instead, you can focus on presenting the facts and data that support your case. Such as your contributions to the company, your performance, and the market value of your role.
◇ The employer is not willing to negotiate
If your employer is not willing to negotiate (or is offering a salary that is significantly lower than what you were hoping for), then it’s beneficial to remain calm.
Getting angry or frustrated won’t help your case. And may even damage your relationship with your employer. Instead, by remaining calm, you can evaluate the offer objectively. And make an informed decision based on facts (and not emotions).
◇ Your employer is using personal attacks
In some cases, employers may resort to personal attacks (or insults) during a salary negotiation. In this case, it’s important you remain emotionless. And not to take personal attacks to heart.
By remaining calm and composed, you can stay focused on the facts and data that support your case. And avoid getting caught up in the emotional aspects of the negotiation.
These are just a few examples where being emotionless can be beneficial.
But remember: being emotionless doesn’t mean being robotic (or lacking empathy). It’s all about being in control of your emotions. So that you present your case in a clear and logical manner.
⓺ Best 5 salary negotiation FAQ
When it comes to salary negotiation, there are many questions that may arise. To help you navigate the process, here are some of the most common questions and answers:
❖ How do I know if I am ready to negotiate a raise?
You are ready to negotiate a raise if you have a clear understanding of your job responsibilities. Your accomplishments and contributions to the company. And the market value of your role.
❖ How do I prepare for a salary negotiation?
To prepare for a salary negotiation, research the market value of your role and gather data on your accomplishments and contributions to the company. And practice your negotiation script.
❖ How do I communicate my value to my employer?
To communicate your value to your employer, first present data on your accomplishments and contributions to the company. Then demonstrate your understanding of the market value of your role. And finally, express your commitment to the company.
❖ How do I handle objections during a salary negotiation?
To handle objections during a salary negotiation, be prepared with counterpoints and be willing to compromise.
❖ How do I know when to walk away from a negotiation?
You should walk away from a negotiation if your employer is unwilling to compromise (or if the offer is not in line with your expectations).
Answering the above will help you navigate the salary negotiation process well.
But remember to:
- Prepare well
- Communicate your value effectively
- Handle objections confidently
- And walk away when necessary
By doing so, you’ll increase your chances of getting a raise.
⓻ Top 10 common objections (and answers) in salary negotiation
❖ “We have a strict salary band for this position.”
“I understand that you have a salary range in mind, but I believe that my qualifications and experience warrant a higher starting salary. Can we discuss the possibility of offering a higher salary or alternative compensation packages?”
❖ “The company is going through a tough financial time right now.”
“I understand the financial constraints the company is facing. Can we discuss ways to compensate me that don’t have an immediate impact on the budget, such as a sign-on bonus, flexible working arrangements, or opportunities for professional development?”
❖ “We are not able to offer more than our initial offer at this time.”
“I appreciate your offer and understand your constraints. Can you provide more information on how future salary increases will be determined and what opportunities there are for career advancement within the company?”
❖ “We are not able to offer what you are looking for, but we can offer additional benefits.”
“I appreciate the offer of additional benefits, but I was hoping to have a more competitive salary. Can we discuss a compromise, perhaps by offering a higher starting salary with smaller increases in future years?”
❖ “Our company has a policy against negotiating salaries.”
“I understand your company’s policy, but I believe that my qualifications and experience warrant a higher salary. Are there any alternative forms of compensation that can be negotiated?”
❖ “We have limited budget for salaries.”
“I understand your budget constraints. Can we discuss ways to make up for the lower salary in other areas, such as flexible work arrangements, telecommuting, or professional development opportunities?”
❖ “Your current salary is too high for this position.”
“I understand your concerns. My current salary was based on the responsibilities and qualifications required for my previous position. Can you provide more details on what you believe the market rate is for this role, so we can find a fair and competitive compensation package?”
❖ “We are not able to match your current salary.”
“I appreciate your offer, but my current salary is important to me. Can we discuss other forms of compensation that can help bridge the gap, such as a sign-on bonus, additional vacation time, or telecommuting options?”
❖ “We only have a set amount allocated for this position.”
“I understand that you have a set budget for this position. Can we discuss how I can earn performance-based bonuses or other forms of compensation that can help increase my overall earnings?”
❖ “We are not able to offer more than our competitors.”
“I understand your concerns about being competitive. Can we discuss how this company’s unique culture, opportunities for growth and development, and other benefits make it a desirable place to work, even if the starting salary may not be as high as other companies?”
Salary negotiation is an important process. It can impact your income and financial well-being (significantly).
And this is why you need to:
- Be prepared
- Communicate your value effectively
- And to know when to walk away from a negotiation
Keep in mind that the negotiation process is not a one-time event. It’s an ongoing process that requires continuous learning and improvement. So don’t get frustrated (I know, easier said than done, right?).
And remember: salary negotiation isn’t just about getting a higher salary. Oh no, it’s also about creating a win-win situation — for both you and your employer.
By understanding your employer’s needs and concerns (and by being willing to compromise and find mutually beneficial solutions) you can find a solution so that you are both happy.
And never be afraid to ask for what you deserve. You have worked hard. And have earned the right to negotiate a fair salary. So always believe in yourself and your abilities. Because if you don’t, who will?