A client came to me with this important question: “I want to ask for a raise but I’m not sure how”.

Great question, I replied. I know exactly what you need to do. And I know how to make it feel comfortable and right.

Basically, you need to be able to show your value and worth, then ask for the money.

So that’s what we worked on and he went off feeling confident and enthusiastic about his upcoming compensation discussion.

Easy to say, not always easy to do. But it can be.

I’ll admit, when I was working in supply chain, I never actually did it. I didn’t know how, and I didn’t even think I should. Yes, when it came to rewards and recognition, I lived in that fairy tale land of “if you do your job really well, they will read you”. Oh, how naive.
And, I did get salary increases that I didn’t even need to ask for, so…..

When I started my own business 8 years ago, I knew that I’d have to get really comfortable with asking for the work, and at asking for the money. If I didn’t, this business wouldn’t work.

And in my business I’ve come to have a really lovely relationship with these activities: putting myself out there and asking for the work, owning my worth, and asking for the money.

Why it matters to you: It’s always a good time to ask for a raise.
Certainly at annual appraisal time, but you might want to give them a bit of time to create the budget for it. And yes you can get learning benefits from a performance review or quarterly progress reviews, but basically, we do them because we want something:
To get a promotion
To get a raise
To keep our job

So how can we make it easy to show our value and ask for the money?

How To Ask For A Raise

First, mindset. We need to switch off our “Judgey Judgerson” and move into assessment mode. I can help you with this, I’ve got you.

Second, prepare.
This is the kind of prep you need

  1. Evidence: What did I do? (that was so great)
  2. Impact: What impact did it have? (this great thing I did)
  3. Connect to the business: How did this contribute to the business (how did it support a key strategic objective, how did it help the numbers/KPIs)?

Third, choose the number.
What’s the pay increase that you want? Say it out loud and get used to saying it without laughing or stuttering. Then when it comes to the numbers, you’re ready.

Fourth: put it all together.

Here are some examples.

Example 1 (what I wish I had done)
I’m managing a product portfolio of about $100m, and because of my management of inventory I’ve helped increase the margin from 60% to 70%.
You’ve seen those results. What did the MT think of this result? (pause to let them say good things).
So I’m asking for a $5k pay increase, which is incredibly reasonable. Right?
OR I want to discuss my compensation. It should reflect the value I bring.

(wish I had thought of it this back in 2006).

Example 2 (summary of a conversation I’ve actually had)
If you could get that promotion that comes with a $10k salary increase,
if you could work fewer hours – no more late nights of evenings,
if you could stop the overthinking and second-guessing that’s exhausting and instead be focused and decisive,
if you could actually enjoy the people management that comes with this dream job you love,
what would that be worth to you?
You want that? Great. Let’s work together. My programs start at $4k. Let’s find the right one for you.

The key, is to stay genuine, and make the connections between what you do and the positive impact it has. These are the things you get excited about. And never underestimate the value of enthusiasm.

Again, sounds easy. And it can be.