Whether starting off in a new company or in need of a salary raise in your current organization, there are a number of “rules” you will need to follow to ensure that you nail the negotiations, pocket the salary bump, and and at the same time, leave your employer happy and smiling like a satisfied customer.

Here four tips that will help you present your A-Game during the salary negotiations:

Know Your Worth

It is imperative that before entering the negotiations room you already know your worth.  You can do this by documenting your cost-benefit analysis. Figure out what makes you valuable and how these benefits are worth the employer’s money.

To gain a clearer perspective of what amounts your counterparts in the industry are getting paid, use social professional platforms such as LinkedIn to connect with fellow experts and get a brief of how they measure their worth in their respective companies and the salary levels and raises that one can consider asking for. Also, check out data on Glassdoor for more salary information. After all, it won’t make much sense when you ask your employer for a pay that is equal to or better than your VP’s who performs better than you if you don’t know what rate you should be negotiating.

Create Your Flex List

Create a measurable scale of your performance/professional highs, mids, and lows. Cluster them together so that you have groupings of several smaller issues that you can dispatch with relative ease as a group. This will help your employer see how much of a positive impact you have brought to the company by focusing on your best moments. They could be things such as the huge sale you closed last week, an important client that you brought in that has been slippery with the company for some time, a buy-out/merger of a fast-growing start-up/bluechip company that you facilitated, or the fact that you negotiated professionally and evaded a looming company disaster. The “trick” here is to clearly show how much of a great asset you are to the company.

Avoid Salary Negotiation Hardball

Now that you have armed yourself with solid facts and figures backing up your end of the negotiations, it is time to present your case.  It is a common misconception that salary negotiations, or any other type of negotiation whatsoever, has to be intense and overcomplicated. This is not the case. Be the 3Cs of an expert negotiator (cool, calm and collected) all through the discussions to ensure that you will remain in good terms with your employer after the end of the negotiations.

Have a Plan B

Whether the salary negotiation talk ended with the way you anticipated or not, you will need a contingency plan. Let me extrapolate:

a)  You got the raise and probably a promotion too. This new job will come with higher performance expectations from your boss. If you work in the marketing department, for example, you will be expected to close more sales than before, so as to measure up with your new salary.

More responsibilities will fall on your shoulder as more people will be looking up to you for guidance and as a reference point… not that it’s a bad thing…. But are you ready to stop being just a marketer and embrace becoming a leader in your area of expertise?

b)   You lost the negotiation. Will you stand being in the same job with the same company, and strive to better your performance that will prove that you deserve a raise? Or will you consider other options elsewhere where you feel your expertise and services would be valued more in terms of salary? Or will you consider venturing into entrepreneurship and seek independence and financial freedom? #qtna

Either way, you will need a Plan B before stepping into your boss’ office to ask for a salary raise. Better avoid nasty surprises huh?

If you have negotiation experience or some tips that you would like to share with us, shoot us an email at hello@themogulmillennial.com.