You are employed and you deem that it is time for you to negotiate your wage. Firstly, avoid Mondays, because there are too many emergencies, or Fridays, due to weariness of working week. By the same token, plan your meeting face-to-face, in the morning, for a maximum energy. Secondly, prepare yourself! It is a matter of not improvising. List your demands, such as salary increase, holidays, social benefits, schedule flexibility, etc.
How to negotiate your wage?
To do so, prepare yourself with the following tactics:
- Tactic #01: Pooling of Criteria – Start by highlighting the position’s success criteria that your boss is searching for. Of course, you have anticipated them and you are ready to present your successes in that sense.
- Tactic #06: Facts in Support – The best way to avoid opinion debates is to bring out evidences that support your statements. Prepare, on a page, everything you have accomplished with graphs and tables, if possible.
- Tactic #07: Synchronization – You are not negotiating with the local storeowner; this is your boss! You must take the time to establish the climate, to improve the atmosphere. It is probably just as stressful for them. But what is even more important is to demonstrate that you are not opponents on each side of the table. Get them out of the office, go have a coffee, remind them on route of some funny anecdotes that happened this year or some successes, to revive the relation.
- Tactic #14: Reasonable Anchoring – This is the most important! It is up to you to talk first and to bring your demands forward to take the initiative and place your boss in the uncomfortable position of having to reduce your demands. Of course, the trick is to stay reasonable and able to justify your claims (see for this purpose the following two tactics). Remember that an anchoring is not a firm and final position, but your negotiations’ starting point. It is therefore about asking a little bit more than what you truly want, and it is this room for maneuver that will allow you to find an agreement with your boss.
- Tactic #28: Comparison – A good anchoring must go hand in hand with an argument to support values. For instance, you justify your demands by presenting similar advertised positions. Look at recruitment websites, talk to recruiters, compare yourself to similar internal positions that have better conditions. Here are many ways to support what you are asking for. Be mindful not to present your comparable options as a threat to leave if they do not give you what you want. Raise their awareness by specifying that this is where the market is at.
- Tactic #29: Almost Comparable – You cannot find identical comparable options? Do not worry! Find positions that have similar responsibilities as yours and use them as a comparison. This is what we call an almost comparable option. The important is to find justifications to your demands. Do not forget that you must not justify your claims with your personal needs for money.
- Tactic #25: Monetizing Added Value – If possible, bring out what more you intend to do next year. What are the additional things you could deliver that have value for your boss? Not what you are already paid for, but a plus that you can bring them.
- Tactic #46: One Hundred and Eighty Degrees – Also, it is important to show that you understand their position and that you took into consideration the reality they are faced with, such as their lack of budget or that they have many resources to satisfy. If they talk to you about budget, tell them that this is the market. If they talk to you about all their resources they need to satisfy, remind them of your accomplishments and that you are different. If they find you too demanding, tell them that you are flexible.
- Tactic #79: Knowing When to Step Down – Finally, if your demands are reasonable, your comparable options are realistic and you have reached all your objectives, and that despite all of that, you are not being paid to your fair value, maybe then you should think of leaving. In negotiation, we often say that no agreement is always better than a bad agreement. It is up to you to evaluate your position!
In any case, stay calm, smiling and cordial; you are negotiating with your boss! If you negotiate well, you will certainly have more than what you would have gotten from the outset.
Trainer ǀ Coach ǀ Author
Tactics’ numbers refer to the publication (in French)
95 tactiques de négociation
Authors: Stéphan Lavigne and Lucie Turcotte
Béliveau Éditeur, 2018
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