Asking for more money requires you to get clear on your value and be unapologetic in your request.
Do you often find that you leave conversations wishing you had asked for more? In so many situations we find ourselves kind of getting what we want but not really. It’s frustrating because you know better but sometimes you lose your voice listening to the self-talk in your own head.
Maybe you don’t want to seem greedy, hard to work with, difficult, unappreciative of the opportunities you have been given, angry (The Angry Black Woman) or maybe you have been telling yourself that someone will see all your hard work and decide to just give you what you are worth. I have some truth for you, this almost never happens.
No matter what you tell yourself about why you don’t ask at all or don’t ask for enough, you should start. No one will ever give you more than what you ask for … even if they know they owe you more. And I have a few tips on how to fix this problem.
Get crystal clear on your end goal and why. Before you step into the negotiation or an “ask” situation know what you want. In a salary negotiation, make sure you have done some research on the market rate for your role. Ignoring your previous pay (#levelupsis), decide what your work is worth right now. What value do you bring? Make a list. This list is for you, it will give you the nerve you need to shoot high and walk away with what know you are worth vs the “good enough”. If you get nervous, you are most likely on the right track...keep going.
Do not pile on the “explainers” – Make the request and shut up. Have you ever been hit up by a person asking for money and they keep talking in circles and in your head you just want them to get to the catch? Yes? Well, now you see my point. Make your request plainly, state your well-researched facts and stop talking. Allow the silence to linger. Keep follow up answers brief. Sometimes when you think you are proving a point, you are just clouding the conversation and giving cues that maybe you are not sure of what you want after all.
All they can say is “No”, so relax. You’ve done the search, you’ve made your points clear, you’ve done your part. We know what “Yes” means but what is your action plan if the answer is “no”. Prepare yourself for both. I don’t know about you but a game plan for the worst always makes me bolder. The worst part is to never ask at all, then you’re sitting in a position you’re not happy with and wondering “what if’. Asking for more means rocking the boat but the outcome is a better boat. You’ll have all the information needed to make a choice.
Practice some full-bodied listening to the response. After you have stated your request and answered questions etc. really listen to the other person is saying. This seems obvious but often, instead of really hearing the other person we are preparing our next response. This is important. Depending on the ask, maybe the “yes” comes with some strings attached that change the game. In a salary negotiation, maybe the “yes” comes with some other caveat, like forfeiting a future raise or more duties. If it’s a no, listen to the reasons why? Can you get what you want later or is this a dead issue? Both matter.
Getting to a place where you can always ask for what you want takes time. This is certainly not the master teaching the student, I still struggle to find the nerve sometimes.