You’ve figured out specifically what you want – more money, a new title, a flexible schedule. You know what your company truly cares about (hint – it’s money). You’ve done your research and even crafted a convincing argument that demonstrates your value to the company and how you have contributed to the bottom line.  

Are you ready to walk into your salary negotiation? 

Not yet.

The next step in landing a raise is to look for allies in your company, and line them up. Your goal is to have allies on the inside championing your cause with the financial decision makers. This is a critical, yet often over looked step when negotiating your next salary increase. We all understand the need to reach out to our network and nurture relationships when we are looking for a new job or developing a new business or product. The same skill is used when you are getting ready to negotiate for more money.

Many of our clients say, “But I don’t want to play office politics.” or  “I feel funny asking people to do this for me” or “I should just be getting a raise based on my hard work and accomplishments, not on who I’m aligned with” . 

And we say to that, “You cannot get a raise for your hard work if the decision makers are not AWARE of your contribution and if you do not advocate for what you deserve.”  

Look  for ways that your allies in the organization are connected to  the financial decision makers. Your allies can communicate your value to the company and strengthen your argument for more money.   This is simply called advocacy or sales, and you are product. 

Kathy is a senior VP at a mid-sized institutional investment banking firm.  Even though she worked a four-day work week, her accounts were some of the highest performing in the firm which she had quantified and put in a spreadsheet.  She felt that she couldn’t ask for more money because other colleagues at the same level were working five days.  Kathy was worried that the firm would make her give up her flexible work schedule if she asked for more money.  

We asked Kathy about her network in the firm. Who was her mentor or on her team? Did she have lunch with people, work on committees, buy girl scout cookies, or support their charities? Think about these folks and whether they are connected to decision makers. We suggested to Kathy that she reach out to any of these people in the firm and ask them to advocate on her behalf to the compensation committee members. Together we crafted a script that did not feel too aggressive.  Kathy was able to take the script and run with it. 

One last bit of advice on aligning your allies that may seem obvious, but worth mentioning.  Understand that all healthy working relationships are reciprocal.  If you want your allies to continue  go to bat for you, its important to think of ways that you can also help them. 

Look for our next blog where we tackle the face -to-face negotiation and help you anticipate their arguments and prepare your responses.

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