Expert Advice

12 Tips to Negotiate a Raise or Promotion

Chandler Rollins | October 10, 2014 | 10:00 AM
Photo By retrorocket

The following “12 Tips to Transform Your Negotiating Skills” by Denver-based career guru Aimee Cohen, author of the book, Woman UP! Overcome the 7 Deadly Sins that Sabotage Your Success: will take the mystery out of negotiating:

"The reality is that women don’t like to ask, and would rather have root canal surgery without anesthesia than negotiate a higher starting salary, a bigger raise or a more advanced promotion," Aimee Cohen says. "Not negotiating is not an option, and it will ultimately end up killing your career. It’s time to pull on those 'big-girl panties' and learn how to negotiate with power and confidence."

  1. Be Yourself — don’t be an angel in the office, and then all of the sudden show up as a devil in the negotiating room. Nothing is more off-putting or confusing to a boss or hiring manager than having your alter-ego do the negotiating for you.
  2. Get a Goal — know what you’re trying to achieve before the negotiation even begins.
  3. Know Your Bottom Line — figure out ahead of time how low you’ll go and when you’ll walk away from that new job or opportunity.
  4. Be Realistic — do your homework and set realistic expectations. If you know the position only pays $100K, then asking for $250K is probably not going to happen.
  5. Script It Out — everyone gets flustered and nervous in stressful situations, so scripting out what you want to say beforehand, and practicing saying those words can mean a huge difference.
  6. Anticipate Objections — proactively think about any and all reasons why the other person would say “no”, and plan out your responses accordingly.
  7. Bring Alternatives — come prepared with your first choice, your ideal outcome, but also bring alternatives to keep the conversation going until you reach a successful compromise.
  8. Avoid Emotion — Tom Hanks said, “There’s no crying in baseball," and there is also no crying in negotiations. Keep your emotions in check and save the tears or squeals of joy for the bathroom afterwards. This is when you need a poker face.
  9. Practice Makes Perfect — don’t expect to be a negotiating guru if you only do it once every few years. It takes practice. Go to a garage sale and practice negotiating for junk before you try to negotiate for something more meaningful.
  10. Seek Support — it takes a village to raise a child, and it can also take a village of support and encouragement to raise an assertive woman. Rallying support of your efforts is an effective way to create accountability. There’s no backing out and no retreat.
  11. Think of a Third Person — women can find negotiating for themselves painful and difficult, but thinking of who else would benefit from a successful outcome is often the motivation they need to get the job done.
  12. Celebrate Success — instead of thinking of negotiating as an all or nothing proposition, find a way to celebrate what you did gain.
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