The art of negotiation: Tips and tricks to get a yes
For many, negotiating isn’t fun or easy – there’s a reason they call it the “art of negotiation”. It takes time, it takes preparation and the only way to get better at it, is to just do it (channel your inner Nike athlete!).
So if you’re facing a review and want a raise, promotion or a change to your working arrangement, and aren’t sure how to go about it, Creative Natives’ Managing Director Callum Senior has shared a few tips to help you increase your chances of getting that yes when negotiating.
Be mindful and realistic
Everyone wants a raise or a promotion, but it’s important to be realistic about what you’re asking for. Make sure you’re aware of what’s going on at your work and if they’re financially able to give you what you’re requesting. If you don’t know that info, ask some questions beforehand to get an idea of where the business is at. Is business booming or are they losing clients left, right and centre?
There’s no point asking for a raise if business is struggling and they can barely afford to pay everyone’s current salary. However at the same time, if things are going amazingly well, don’t take the piss and ask for an exorbitant raise – they’re not going to take you seriously and you may end up with nothing at all.
If you’re looking to change your work arrangements – maybe you want to go four days a week – know that in order to make it feasible, you may have to make some changes to the way you work. Perhaps you might have to work longer hours or occasionally join client meetings on your day off. Try to brainstorm what these changes or challenges would be for your role and for what you’re asking, and decide what you’re okay with and what are deal breakers for you. That way, if they come up in the negotiation, you can respond to them without breaking your stride.
Do your research
Always come into a negotiation armed with facts and figures. They’ll help you put together a convincing argument for what you want.
If you want a pay bump, download at least three salary guides (you can check ours out here!) to get an idea of what’s the average in your area of expertise and how much to ask for. Of course, you also need to be putting in the work to receive a raise, so if you’re not, all of the salary guides in the world won’t help you get a raise.
Want a promotion? Show your value to the company by compiling a list of achievements or instances where you’ve gone above and beyond. If they can be tied to a dollar figure and you can demonstrate how your work has brought in new clients and improved profits, even better.
Want to go four days a week? 4 Day Week Global have done a number of trials and pilots in the UK and have tons of data showing the benefits of working four days a week. There’s been increased productivity and revenue, plus workers are generally happier and healthier – but make sure you head to their website for some specific stats.
Want to go completely remote? Australian workplace mental health organisation SuperFriend conducts the largest workplace mental health survey in Australia, The Indicators of a Thriving Workplace. In their 2021 report, they discovered that workers are most productive in their preferred working environments – whether that’s remote, in the office or a combination of both. Plus, they’re happier and show less signs of burnout, absenteeism and presenteeism too!
Share your point of view
You’re going to need to explain your rationale for asking what you want. Don’t be afraid to talk about your personal circumstances – whether that’s the cost of living impacting your rent or mortgage or perhaps something has happened with your family, so you need to work one day less. If you’re asking for a promotion, talk about your desire for career progression and growth at your current company.
Your manager may not know what’s going on in your life (and they certainly can’t read your mind), so by explaining why you want a change, it can help them rationalise what you’re asking for and why.
Turn a no into another chance to negotiate
While you’re always hoping for a yes, there’s a chance that after all of your preparation, explaining, negotiating and finger crossing, the response might be a no.
It’s very easy to be frustrated by rejection, but it’s important to not take it personally. Take a breath and if they haven’t said why it’s a no, respectfully ask them. More often than not, it’s not to do with you, but there are other things in the business out of their control that impact the feasibility of your request.
Listen carefully to what they say – there may be the opportunity to renegotiate at a later date. Perhaps they’re in the middle of their own negotiations with a big potential client and are waiting for a big influx of cash or need to reorganise things structurally first before they can consider your request. So make sure to ask if you can approach the topic with them again in the future, and if you get a yes, lock in a date and be ready to do it all over again.
Good news! If you get a new job through us, we’ll do all the negotiating for you – you’ll just have to practise your negotiation skills elsewhere! If you are keen on a new role, shoot us an email at email@example.com.