4 Tips for Negotiating a Raise

Jeff Cochran


Many business employees are great negotiators. However, even the best negotiators often hesitate to use their skills to get a raise. They fear asking for a raise will make them look like money-grubbers. If you fit into this category, your feelings are natural but you needn’t let fear cheat you out of an opportunity. If you have done your job well and haven’t had a salary increase in awhile, you are within your rights to ask for one and there are good ways to do so.

Research First:

Business experts recommend you understand benchmarking before negotiating a salary increase. In other words, you need to know if a company is willing to pay what you are worth. Research starting salaries at competing companies, as well as how long it usually takes for their employees to get raises. Compare and contrast this with average pay for people in your field with your experience or particular skill set. Additionally, compare and contrast local companies’ salaries with those of other companies in your area. If you can show that wages and increases are similar across the board, you’re more likely to get the raise.

Don’t Bring Up Money First Thing:

An old adage says the first person to bring up money loses, and that’s especially true in the business world. If you walk into a supervisor’s office and immediately ask to talk about money, he or she will be surprised, shocked, and worst-case scenario, irritated. Instead, make an appointment first. Begin with appropriate small talk, or mention something you’ve enjoyed doing this week. Then casually bring up your research or ask if your supervisor has time to negotiate now.

Remember the Entire Package:

Salary negotiations are not only about your paycheck. They may involve negotiations for sick leave, maternity leave, vacation time, or other compensations. Again, if comparable compensation does not match what you get at your workplace, bring it up as cordially as possible. If there is a particular perk or type of compensation you want, such as vacation time, ask about that first. Finally, if there is a pressing reason to ask about non-cash perks – for instance, you just found out you’re pregnant – don’t wait too long to mention it. Otherwise, negotiations might be harder to complete.

Discuss, Don’t Demand:

Since the economy is still sluggish, many people feel strongly about raises and paychecks. This is understandable, but don’t let your concerns or emotions turn negotiation into confrontation. Remember that most employers want their workers to succeed. Go in with a positive attitude – it will make a better impression.

Rules of Negotiation: Getting Your Outcome With Tact

Jeff Cochran


During a negotiation, each side has deep interest in seeing their desires come to pass. Sometimes compromises that leave all parties completely satisfied can be made, but there are cases where issues leave one side at a deficit. This can create resentment or increase conflict.

It is important for negotiators to reach their end goal while still maintaining amicable and fruitful relationships with those in opposition. Learn how to effectively communicate your point while utilizing tact and diplomacy to preserve your professional connections.


Demonstrate Emotional Control 

Emotional control is our ability to recognize our own emotional response to situations. People who have a higher level of emotional intelligence can identify and control their emotions. Additionally, emotional intelligence allows us to recognize the way other people respond to situations. An effective negotiator easily recognizes personal emotions before they come to the surface, and he or she knows how to elicit and manage a response from the other side. This allows them to negotiate with tact. Because they understand emotion, they know how to manipulate the situation without offending anyone.

Listen Attentively 

Everyone wants to be heard. Experienced negotiators know how to talk, but they also know how to listen. When you truly listen to someone, you establish a bond while learning about his or her needs. In turn, you can understand each side with clarity and how to bridge any remaining gaps. Attentive listening not only garners respect from the opposition; it prepares you to offer solutions.

Show Assertiveness 

Assertiveness and tact go hand in hand. When negotiating, you don’t want to be seen as passive, but you also don’t want to be perceived as overly aggressive. The essence of negotiating with tact is to make your point without making the other person angry or intimidated. Learning to be assertive entails finding the balance between passiveness and aggressiveness. A firm handshake, confident eye contact, and a demonstration of your intelligence should accomplish this nicely.

Keep the End Goal in Mind 

Before going into a negotiation, clearly define your goals. This may mean writing them down and thinking about how to achieve them. Negotiators step outside themselves and see the big picture. Because of this, they are also able to forecast possible objections to their arguments and come up with solutions. Prepare your responses to possible objections, so you can demonstrate to others that you respect their opinions and considered their needs, as well.


How to Keep the Client After You Made the Sale

Jeff Cochran


Oftentimes, people labor under the impression that once a sale is made, the sales and negotiation process ends. This, however, could not be further from the truth. The initial acquisition is the first in an extended series of talks, negotiations, compromises, and pitches that will continue throughout the newly established working relationship.

Seek Feedback

Feedback is just as useful to you as it is to maintaining relationships with your clients. They want to be heard, and you can use the information to improve the product or service, or even your own sales tactics. Engaging your customers will show them you genuinely care and haven’t forgotten about them. When consumers don’t like a product or service, they are likely to not return rather than voicing their opinion. Well, they will voice their opinion; it just won’t be with you. However, if you take the time to ask them for feedback, they’ll be more inclined to seek your service in the future because they know you care about their needs.

Stay Organized

If you’re maintaining ongoing relationships with clients, you probably have a variety of client types with an assortment of needs. Keeping your clients organized by what their wants and needs enables you to make more meaningful connections with them. It also helps you make better sales in the future.

Knowing exactly what customers bought and how they feel about it makes them feel respected and “special,” and keeping their information systematically organized is the most efficient way to do this. Additionally, keeping things organized internally gives you insight into your product or service. Are you consistent in your delivery? Do you have a set schedule for following up with clients? Do all your employees abide by the same sales policies? Answering these questions can improve your business and your ongoing relationship with clients.

Look For More Opportunities

Don’t build relationships with just one person within a company. Get to know other people within the office and identify his or her needs. Make an effort to understand the company culture, goals, and mission. You never know; someone else in the company could come to you for a product, or someone could move on to another company and tell them about your exceptional service. Keeping your options open and eyes peeled allows you to identify opportunities in the future. Plus, it’s easier to maintain a relationship with your client if his or her coworkers like you, too.



Ways to Ensure Employee Retention

Jeff Cochran


For most employers, recruiting new hires is easy. The problem comes when the same employees want to quit once they’ve worked for you only a few months or even weeks. If you struggle with employee retention, you aren’t alone. It’s a tough market for employers as well as employees, but there are things you can do to improve retention. Today, we’ll discuss why employees quit and how you can keep them from doing it.

Why Employees Quit

For every hundred employees, there are a hundred reasons to quit. According to the experts, though, the top reasons most people quit include:

  • Lack of trust. Your employees will quit if they don’t feel you treat them as adults. Stringent penalties for being five minutes late, managers constantly looking over their shoulders, or surprise meetings where they’re quizzed on performance all make employees anxious and frustrated. Most people work hard to get their jobs, and they deserve to be trusted to do what you hired them for.
  • Lack of vision. Walt Disney got the idea for Disneyland while watching his kids ride a carousel – he wanted to create a place where children and adults could have fun together. Disney had a gift for sharing his vision and getting others to believe in it. If your employees don’t know why they’re with you, they’ll leave.
  • Lack of people skills. Employees want to know you’re listening. If you ask for suggestions in a meeting, take them to heart. Don’t interrupt when a worker talks to you. Remember names and faces, and ask friendly questions.

How to Retain Employees

Now that you know why people leave jobs, you might wonder how to keep them. Most business owners agree on a few key strategies, including:

  • Know your numbers. How high is your turnover rate? What time of year do most employees leave? What departments have the highest and lowest turnover? These numbers will show you where you need to improve.
  • Look for stressors. The workplace itself is stressful, but some jobs are more demanding than others. For example, doctors, police officers, teachers, and pastors are all particularly vulnerable to burnout. Find your company’s specific stressors. Are they confined to certain departments? Pinpoint the stress and invite employees to help you address it.
  • Evaluate the hiring process. Who are you hiring and why? Many potential employees get discouraged because interviews focus on personality and “soft skills,” not the skills they need to do the job. Strike a balance between professional and personal.