“Negotiating A Salary Increase — How To Do It Properly And Persuasively” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“To negotiate salary increases successfully, you must know the perception of value and how to use it.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)

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“Negotiating A Salary Increase

How To Do It Properly And Persuasively”

People don’t realize they’re always negotiating.

Whether you are a fresh graduate or a seasoned professional, you have probably given some thought to the tricky salary negotiation process. That is because negotiating a salary increase can be fraught with opportunities and disappointments. Thus, like in any negotiation, the better prepared you are for the coming interactions, enhanced will become the probability of getting what you seek.

What follows are insider thoughts and ideas about how you can become more successful in your salary negotiations and enhance your negotiating salary increases.

Negotiating Salary Increase Pre-Thoughts

Although salary is not necessarily the most crucial aspect of compensation, it can make a difference in the overall satisfaction and engagement you experience with a company. And as I have indicated in the books and articles I have written, a lack of knowledge and know-how often undermines the ability of employees to negotiate their salaries, which can cause pay disparity.

Moreover, employers are more or less likely to give employees a raise based on circumstances influencing the company’s operations. The trick to successful salary negotiation is arming yourself with knowledge about your position, the organization’s culture, and any current events affecting the business. With enough insight and preparation, you can align the organization’s needs to match the value you have contributed to those efforts.


A good salary negotiation plan begins with the current information you have about the company and its circumstances and testing the information’s validity. When considering how your existing insights will become aligned with your salary negotiation, consider the sources from which you gathered your data. In particular, note to what degree it may be out of date, biased due to your source’s perspective, or beyond the realm of believability. Always make sure you have good information upon which to base your plans. Good data and how you use it will impact your salary negotiation more than any other factor.  

In doing your research, consider the geographic location in which you work, the cost of living in your area, and how specifics of your role affect your current and proposed salary. You can use that insight for comparison purposes, but do not allow that to be the final arbiter per the value you bring to the current organization that employs you. Value is perceptive – meaning you have the power to shape someone’s perspective of your value based on how impressive you are to them. Thus, as you complete your research, consider what information you will need to impress that person the most.

Two sites you can gather salary information are Glassdoor.com and Salary.com.

Highlight Your Value-Add To Your Position

When was the last time you contributed something significant to your team? Have you recently pitched an idea that won your organization or department thousands or tens of thousands of dollars? If so, you’ve created value for your company. And that value is something you can leverage.

And, do not just focus on the monetary aspect of your contributions. During your salary negotiation efforts, there may be mitigating circumstances that beckon your recall – such as going above and beyond what your employer requested of you. Think of them and how you might use them when negotiating your salary requests. And, to better support your salary negotiation efforts, keep a record of your accomplishments. That will serve as empirical proof to buttress your value.

By communicating what you bring to the table, you can demonstrate your worth to the company. Track your accomplishments in an itemized spreadsheet, or list, then summarize your “wins” in two or three resume-style bullet points.

Manage Emotions

Think of salary negotiations as a business conversation whose purpose is to build a strong case for why you are an asset to the organization. The better you create that reality in your mind, the better you will position yourself for the salary negotiation that will lie ahead.

And that is why managing your emotions will be an attribute once you begin the talks. Casting the wrong perspective of yourself could cast a false impression about your attitude.

It is crucial to stay calm and collected when negotiating salary increases. Accordingly, do not start the conversation with complaints or an emotional appeal about your circumstances. More than likely, your superior is most concerned about the businesses’ bottom line. If that is so, sell your value to that perspective. And be mindful of keeping your emotions in check.

If your manager says no to your request for a salary increase, do not take it personally. Remember, no only means no for the moment. Instead of sulking, delve deep into why your superior is denying your request. Ask open-ended questions that probe to uncover what might lie unseen.

There may be external factors at work. Thus, the more you uncover, the more information you will have to address them. That will allow you to find creative ways to work with those factors.

Also, consider other perks you can request instead of money (e.g., stock options, bonuses, executive benefits, flexible time, or increased vacation days). You may be able to use them as red herrings to improve your negotiation position.

Always be prepared with alternatives that you can request if management denies your salary increase. Being able to offer options will offer you leverage and possibly gain more than you saught.


Salary negotiations can become daunting. And successfully negotiating salary increases requires you to stay professional, organized, and authentic – the same qualities your employer sought when hiring you. Tap into these qualities by unlocking the right strategies and tactics as mentioned, and you will enhance the chances of getting that raise you seek. And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Coauthor Reese Jones

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After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

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