“Champions keep playing until they get it right.” —Billie Jean King
With this 5-step plan you’ll be prepared for anything that might come up. Don’t forget: Just the fact that you’re stepping up to the plate and making the ask is a huge accomplishment. Women who consistently negotiate their salaries earn more than $1 million over the course of their careers than women who don’t.
1. Make your argument about why this raise request is appropriate. State the facts (your accomplishments, comparisons of compensation with others in the same industry, etc.), but make sure the request is appropriate. Use your past achievements as examples of your sincere commitment and contribution to the company.
2. Give them a number. Once you’ve established your growing role, if your boss asks for a number, say the number you have in mind. Usually the first person to make an offer gets closer to what they want, says Northwestern University management professor Adam Galinsky.
If they say yes, great!
3. Counter it. If your boss proposes a number that you feel is low, listen first to what they’re really saying. Say that you appreciate the offer, then name your figure and explain why you think this better reflects what you bring to the table.
If they’re not willing to budge on the money, think of other things you can negotiate for. What about a more flexible work schedule? More vacation time? A better title? More project opportunities?
4. If the boss really says “no,” look at it as “not now.” Ask your boss about what you need to do in order to get the raise next time. Use this as an opportunity to move to the next level in your job. Plan on having this talk again in another six months.
5. Congratulate yourself no matter what. You asked for more. You didn’t sit back, and you didn’t take a backseat to your career. You took initiative, you learned, and you’re going to get that raise!
For a great example of counter offering watch this clip from 30 Rock as both Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy counter each other.