A guest post for Handshake 2.0 from Stuart Diamond:
Below are some of the strategies from my book, Getting More: How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World, which defy conventional wisdom, but are proven strategies for getting a raise.
Don't ask for a raise; ask about their perceptions. Most advice starts by suggesting that you ask for a raise. Wrong! If you ask for a raise, they will usually reject it, invoking the bad economy and tight budgets. Instead, find out their exact perceptions of you, and exactly how you can meet or exceed them.
Add value by meeting their needs and fixing their fears. Getting a raise is all about value. You provide them with more value, and they provide you with a raise. Find out their needs and fears; fix both. Ask around, or ask them.
Find their criteria. What exact criteria does the company use to decide on raises? Is anything numerical? If they won’t tell you, tell them that you want to meet their criteria: the more explicit they are, the more you can meet the criteria. Check back during the evaluation period about how you are doing.
Find cost savings. The more money you bring in for the company, the stronger your case for a raise or bonus. Some of my students have doubled their salaries in this way. Is your department overpaying for supplies, travel, postage, utilities or anything else?
Key on the future, not the past. Most employees try to get a raise based on past performance. Unless you can show you meet or exceed specific criteria, this is often a lost cause, especially in a down market. Instead, ask for a raise based on future, better performance. Almost no one does this. Employers are grateful for employees who aim to get a raise based on additional value they add in the future.
Stuart Diamond, a professor at The Wharton School of business at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Getting More: How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World, has taught negotiation to 30,000 people in 45 countries, including to managers and executives at Google, Microsoft, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and more than 200 of the Fortune 500 companies. He has also served as an executive and manager at companies in technology, energy, medical services, agriculture, finance, aviation and consulting.