Only your mother is going to hand you everything you need without being asked! Find out the right way to ask people for something to get more money and anything else you need.
Do you make what you’re worth at work? Do people generally give you the deal you want when you’re buying something?
If the answer is no then I’ve got another question for you…
Do you actually ask and know how to ask for the things you want?
Too many people go their entire lives without feeling like they are valued or get what they want in their lives. They know that people aren’t mind readers but just can’t get up the courage to ask for what they want or even know how to ask if they had the opportunity. In fact, one study recently found that by not negotiating a first salary an individual stands to make $500,000 less by the age of 60 years old.
Get more money by asking for it!
The first rule to remember is that any rejection to a request is to the request, not to you personally. Get over your fear of personal rejection. Unless you’re asking another person for a date, they are not rejecting you as a person, they are rejecting your request for them to give you something.
People are generally so timid about asking for anything that people actually don’t have much of a defense for rational requests. At most you might have to back up your request with a few logical statements. Follow the ideas below and you’ll be surprised by how often you get what you want.
There are two steps to asking for what you want, and ultimately to get more money when you ask for it at work. The first step to asking for something is how you ask.
Watch your posture and self-control. Be assertive but try not to demand something or be aggressive. You need to go into the conversation prepared and confident but not like a bull looking to lock horns. Backing someone into a corner will only put them on the defensive. If they’ve got the real power in the conversation, then they’re going to assert it out of spite.
Practice what you are going to say a few times in the mirror until it is natural. You don’t have to practice every word but go over your selling points and any responses to negative feedback you might get. Understanding your worth or your power in the conversation will go a long way to building your confidence for the real thing.
As you’re preparing, remember the person you’ll be talking to and their side of the story. Are they under a budget crunch? Do they need to sell a product for as much as possible? What are their motivations and needs and how do they conflict with yours? Thinking through their side of the story will help you prepare for any negative feedback you might receive and potential responses.
The first step to asking for something is what you say when you ask. Have a rational argument for why you deserve more money or to get what you want and you’ll generally get it, or at least a better deal than you were offered. Having a rational argument doesn’t mean putting together a ten-page lawyer’s brief on your case, just knowing the top three or four reasons why you deserve more.
- Getting more money at work is a matter of knowing what others are making and how your performance stacks up
- Have measurable arguments for why you should get more money, i.e. I decreased the time it takes us to do something by # hours or I increased the number of X that we can produce
- When negotiating for something, know the prices of substitute products and competitor products. Competitor products do the same thing while substitute products may not be the same but satisfy the same need
- Know your worth to the person on the other side of the table. Can you bring more business their way? Can you buy in bulk or promise to be a recurring customer?
Don’t hint at what you want or your reasons you deserve more. Being passive-aggressive about something will only give them an excuse to ignore your hints, or worse tick them off that you can’t be direct about what you want.
Get more money at work by knowing your worth
Start thinking about asking for what you want and you’ll be surprised at how many opportunities come up to ask for a better deal. Of course, the most obvious is still going to be asking for a raise at work so I thought I would cover a little more detail here.
Be specific when you ask for a raise or more money at work. Simply asking for a raise is going to get you into a back and forth on why there’s no more money in the budget. Again, knowing what other people in your position are making is your first step. Even if you already make more money than most, it isn’t a dead-end but you need to support why you deserve even more. Ask for a specific dollar amount or a percent above what you’re currently earning.
Be strategic about when you ask for a raise. If you’ve got a busy time of year or a particularly important project coming up, really rock the project and then plan on asking afterwards. Don’t hold the project up as a hostage to your request. Your employer isn’t going to appreciate the ultimatum and any negotiating power you have will be weak. Waiting until after the project means your success will still be fresh in your supervisor’s mind and you’ll have a better argument for why you deserve more money.
Beyond being able to show measurable proof of your success and your worth, put together a few ideas on how you can be even more valuable. You may be tapped out on the salary for your current position but what if you added a few responsibilities. Don’t step on your coworkers by suggesting you could take over their work but try to think of pet projects your boss has wanted to put together.
Benefits are another negotiating point you shouldn’t neglect. Some benefits must legally be consistent across all employees but you might be able to negotiate on others. Find out if there is a different benefits package offered to different levels of employees or management.
Go to your immediate supervisor when asking for a raise. Don’t skip over your boss even if there’s bad blood between you. Have a strong case for why you deserve a raise. If your argument is ignored then you can either talk to HR or go to the next higher up.
Accept the fact you are not always going to get what you want, no matter how well you ask. You might be able to get more money once a year or after a successful project but you shouldn’t press your luck too much. By asking in a straight-forward and confident way, you’ll get more than you thought possible. Understand your worth and the value of the things you want to negotiate. With that information, you can go into every conversation ready to get everything you need and maybe even a lot of what you want! Frugal Grandma