The Reason You Can’t Get A Raise

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“I need a raise,” my coaching client is telling me.

“So, I let my boss know that I needed to make more money. The bills are piling up, and…” What’s the best approach to getting a raise?

“Know your audience” is the key to any communication negotiation. When it comes to your salary, it’s crucial to understand your audience – and the value of personal branding.

[box type=”download”] Bullet Proof Branding by Chis Westfall Find out how to create a powerful and engaging personal brand in the upcoming Bullet Proof Branding Webinar later this month. Click here to learn more about how to drive the conversation and create the influence you need for your story – your company – your career. [/box]

Want a raise? You have to understand how to talk to a robot.

I Need a Raise - Can Chris Westfall Help?
When you are asking for a salary raise, you will find that your boss turns into The Career Restricting Robot.
Let me explain:

When you ask for a raise, that request is always phrased in terms of what you need – more money. It’s a simple equation, but your emotions can complicate things. Especially when you are talking to a Robot.

You open the dialogue with your needs, and the response will be a robotic variation on this theme:

  • “We have a policy against raises, due to the current economy/company performance/the color of the sky/the amount of nitrogen in the atmosphere/you name it, you won’t get it.”
  • “I’d like a raise, too! But that’s just not in the cards right now”
  • “Let me quote you chapter and verse from the employee handbook, or quarterly report, or last week’s sales numbers, to show you that a raise is out of the question.”

One of the key themes of The NEW Elevator Pitch is to create a solution that’s phrased in terms of your listener. If your “I need a raise” conversation is focused only on your needs, the Robot can not respond.

The organization needs lower costs (not increased salaries). The Robot’s prime directive is profitability. Therefore, the organization needs to minimize your salary, if possible, while still keeping you productive and engaged.

Raise Up to the Level of Your Contribution

You have to focus on what the Robot needs (in other words, what the organization needs – which is greater performance from you, more results, more productivity, and increased efficiency. These are terms that every Robot understands). If you want to get a raise, here are the four things you must convincingly convey to the Robot:

    1. I’ve accomplished a lot in the past, and I believe I can accomplish even more in the future. Credibility is important – if your last performance review was sub-par, you’re in for a difficult conversation because the Robot knows the numbers. Make sure you have some performance results that justify the request you are about to make.
    2. Here’s what I am going to do for you, and for the company. Build your business case in simple terms that a Robot can understand. In the Robot’s mind, more money for the same performance goes against its programming. Fortunately, the Robot understands that greater results can involve greater investment. Unemotional and detached, the Robot doesn’t care about your car payment, wife’s surgery, or kids’ tuition. Your personal stuff is your business, but your contribution to the company is of interest to the Robot.
    3. Let’s work together to create these results. Does the Robot agree that the results are important to the organization? Does the Robot believe you can deliver? If the answers so far are “Yes”, you have arrived at the “Tell me more…” result that you are looking for. Now it’s time to ask for the raise.

    4. Bullet Proof Branding by Chris Westfall on Kindle
      Getting what you deserve begins with your story, and your personal value proposition. Find out what personal branding really means, and how you can create an irresistible and compelling brand message, in the upcoming webinar series, BulletProof Branding.

      Learn the secrets you need to know, to advance the story of a person, product or idea in the new economy. And qualify for an advance copy of my new book! Exercises and strategies that you can use, today, to change the conversation. Won’t you join?

      Featured image courtesy of Aitor Agirregabiria used under creative commons. Some rights reserved.

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