So what?


I was mentoring a girl last year, and she wanted a pay rise. I think she probably had a good case, so I asked her to pull her thoughts together and we’d approach the 'big boss' together.

A few days later we sat down, and she said something along the lines of... 

“Well, I’ve been here for ages, Sheila* got one and we started on the same day, my friends in other agencies are on more than me and if I don’t get one than I might need to look elsewhere.”

Awesome. Nailed it. Bosses love being threatened.

"Well" I thought, "If Sheila got one, dagnamit, well then, someone promote this girl already for gods sake!?!"

Said no boss. Ever.

Let's face it - right or wrongly, if your leadership team had really recognised and valued your work, you’d already have a pay rise.

And using your criteria as 'what other people are doing' or 'what you'll do if you don't get it' VERY rarely work.

I agree there should be benchmarks and I've sat in meetings and argued cases with less evidence than this before, but...or maybe that should be, so...

Think about what you want, and think about the reasons why the decision maker would give it to you.

Make it personal. What have you done and what are you going to do to make their lives easier, better, bigger, richer?

“What’s In It For Me” is human instinct and applies to any negotiation. It’s much easier to get what you want if the other person thinks they’re getting what they want out of it too.

I used to do this when we were doing client presentations or pitches. Who’s in the room and what do they care about? (There’s no excuse for not having any idea with social media being what it is, even if you’ve never met the people in the room.)

Do they want to know about the numbers, the pictures, the process or the awards-potential?

You can deliver the same message, but there are different ways in:

  1. This concept is going to cost $X and generate X engagements
  2. This concept has never been done before and I reckon it’s a Cannes shoe-in (industry fame)
  3. How about we launch the concept in head office and outside the CEO’s house (internal fame)
  4. Ok….picture the scene…

Treat your Review (although by now you should be referring to it as a CDP) with as much preparation and thought as your biggest pitch.

But this time you should know exactly who you're dealing with and have some idea of their modus operandi at work.

What will make them want to give you what you're asking for?

You're selling your skills, showing why they should jump on board, and letting them know what will happen next.

Don't compare yourself to others unless it's a legitimate benchmark and you have the numbers.

The only thing that matters is you and the person you're trying to persuade.

Be positive, future focussed and have a plan.

Don’t make them work out what’s in it for them – tell them.

It'll make the conversation a hell of a lot easier, I promise.

*Not her real name. Couldn't resist.