Negotiation expert Simon Horton, has coached everyone from hostage negotiators to CEOs and now he’s sharing his knowledge to help you get a pay raise.
These are his tips for asking:
- Prepare, prepare, prepare - A hostage negotiator wouldn’t wing it and neither should you. Do your research and find evidence supporting what the going rate for your job is in your area. Simon says when you’re armed with these facts, you’re in a much stronger negotiating position and you don’t have to undersell yourself.
- Don’t negotiate yourself down beforehand - We tend to talk ourselves down before we even ask for the raise, thinking if we ask for a 10% increase, they won’t give it to us, so we’ll ask for 8% to play it safe. “Big mistake,” Simon says. “If your research says you’re worth 10% more, ask for 10% more.”
- View a “no” as a problem-solving exercise - When the hostage negotiator asks for the hostages to be released and the hostage taker says no, it’s just the beginning of the process. Same goes for your boss and your raise. So don’t give up if they turn you down to start, it’s just the beginning of the negotiation.
- Listen to your boss’ demands - A hostage negotiator has to listen to find out how to resolve the specifics of the situation and that’s what you have to do when you want a raise and your boss doesn’t want to give it to you. It’s all about problem-solving, which requires asking questions and listening closely to the answers.
- Help them help you - Frame your request in a way that makes it easier for your boss to say yes, like showing how your raise could help them get their own raise. “For example, they might give you the raise in return for taking on some of their responsibilities, which, in turn, frees them up to do more high value tasks themselves,” Simon explains. And that could help them show why they need a raise as well.
- Get a good SWAT team - A hostage negotiator would have a SWAT team on hand for back-up and having your own back-up could help. It could be having another job offer in hand or just lining up a couple of interviews to help show your boss you’re in demand and deserve what you’re asking for.