Answer: Here is the first in several questions that were raised in the seminar about Negotiating where it was clear that cultural factors were preventing highly educated and very smart women from speaking up and asking for what they felt they deserved.
The specific question was “I know what I want and am asking for it, but I get talked out of it because their position seems so reasonable. How can I make a better case?”
Making a case for an increase in salary and/or benefits should be based on several factors that fit the policy of the company:
- Are you performing at a higher level than your job description? Can you bring in a copy of your job description and a rewritten version to make the case?
- Has your performance review indicated you are performing in an outstanding manner which means you should be higher in your range?
- Are industry statistics telling you that you are underpaid for what you are doing?
- Are there any other factors that come into play? Are you doubling up on work due to a lack of staffing?
The point is you need to make a factual and strong case for asking for an increase. Your request is more than reasonable; you deserve what you are asking for. All of these points should be in writing.
If the company is suffering unexpected losses or is cutting back on staff, then they simply might not have the funds to respond to your request. Otherwise, I would insist that your points have merit and they give serious consideration to your request. I would also ask for a follow-up meeting to discuss what might be possible to offer such as a special bonus, a guarantee of an increase within a period of months (and the range) and any special benefits that matter to you.
Be firm and know that your case is just as reasonable, if not more so, than what they are saying.