You probably have little difficulty negotiating for things other than money. Your teenager wants a later curfew? Your babysitter wants to borrow the car? You want your town to institute a system of policing the parks at night? You have absolutely no difficulty in presenting a coherent argument, in making your case, in being sure that you are heard, and in laying down the law.
But when the subject is money and the beneficiary is you, somehow it all falls apart. There are four emotionally charged reasons that this happens:
- You don't believe you deserve it.
- You don't believe other people think you deserve it.
- You know you deserve more, but not how much more.
- You know precisely how much more you deserve, but you don't know how to get it.
You need to acknowledge that negotiating does not mean being pushy. Getting what you're worth, as long as you have the conversation appropriately, is the polite thing to do. Harboring resentment because you're not being paid what you're worth is far more dangerous. It's then that the whistle on your teakettle is going to blow.
Negotiating is also not personal. What do you think the person across the table is thinking as you throw numbers back and forth? Do you think he or she is sizing you up, thinking: "Hmmmm, Suzie or Charlotte or Lily or Gail, she isn't really worth another $175 a week. I don't like the outfit she's wearing today. Besides, she can't even roast a decent chicken. She can't do the crossword puzzle in ink." Not even close. That person is thinking about himself or herself. His needs. Her budget. What will make his or her life easier? And how can that be accomplished for as little money as possible so that there will be enough in the till to give a raise to the next person who asks? It's not about being your friend. It's about getting the job done. If you keep that in mind throughout the process, you'll have an easier time getting through it. And remember: Negotiating is productive.
If you do not negotiate—if you do not ask—the answer will always be no.
How to Negotiate for More Money continues...