Earlier this summer, I talked about how to successfully negotiate salary. And while my post focused on negotiating during the hiring process, the thought has come up again because it’s Annual Review time at my job. I have worked very hard over the past year, adding value to the company and even implementing new ways to generate revenue. Now there is no guarantee that I will even be awarded a raise during my review, but the chances are high. So I want to set myself up for success.
Chatting with an attorney friend last week, she told me a story of how her boss, the partner of her firm, always gets more money than he bargains for when negotiating his percentage of a successful case. She says he walks in to the room with a number in his head. He will not leave that room without getting at least that figure. But instead of coming out swinging and demanding that amount, he lets the other side go first by asking a simple, yet powerful question:
“What do you think I am worth?”
The partner says that nine times out of ten, the number offered is higher than the one in his head. It puts pressure on the other party to put a value on your late hours, hard work, critical thinking and successes. And, in my opinion, by phrasing the question this way, it tells you where you stand with the company. Do they value you as an important member of the team, or are you just another employee that they can replace? Depending upon their answer, you can make decisions about your career and your future that may or may not involve said company.
I’m going to try this question at my upcoming raise. There’s no guarantee that it will work, but it’s worth a shot! It’s competitive out there, and I work hard. I know that companies are still coming back from some hard financial times, but I also know that finding great employees can be tough. If they truly think you are worth it, they will find the money to keep you happy. And if not, maybe it’s time to think about finding a company that will.