Employer advice: Negotiating your salary

Asking for a raise – or a higher starting salary – isn't easy. Employer Mat Norbury has some suggestions for how to approach the meeting.

3 mins

Asking your boss for a raise – or your new employer for a higher starting salary – isn’t the easiest conversation. How do you prove you’re the right person for a promotion or to take on new responsibilities?

We asked Mat Norbury of Jump Marketing for an employer’s perspective on this tricky situation, to help you prepare.

 

‘Approaching your employer to ask for something isn’t totally dissimilar to how we work as a marketing agency pitching for jobs.

'You’re trying to build a relationship with someone, justify what you’re asking for and back up what you’re saying.’

Promoting yourself

‘First, you need to be able to argue for yourself and what you have to offer. If you’re coming in to a company, it comes back to your CV, and what you’ve done in the past. 

‘How relevant is your experience and your qualifications? How will you fit in with our company? What makes you worth the price you’re asking for?

‘It’s the same if you’re in a job – be prepared with examples. When have you gone above and beyond? Where are you picking up – or able to pick up – extra responsibilities?’

Getting a reference

‘For my business, word of mouth and personal recommendations are crucial in getting new clients. 

‘It’s the same for people. Having someone who can back up your claims, or say why you’re a great colleague, really makes a difference.

'Having someone who can back up your claims, or say why you’re a great colleague, really makes a difference.'

‘If it’s someone internal asking for a raise or for more responsibility, I’ll look for feedback from their colleagues or team leaders.

'This is how you get the most accurate picture of whether they are who they say they are, and can do what they say they can do.

‘For someone coming in to the company, this is the kind of information I’ll be looking for from a reference.

‘That might be a personal recommendation, but I’ll also take a look at their LinkedIn profile. Things like recommendations and endorsements can tell you more about the skills someone has.’

Good negotiations

‘For us with clients, the best relationships are a collaborative process – where you both understand what the other’s needs are and what you each have to offer.

‘If either side is agreeing reluctantly, that’s not how you want to start building a relationship.

‘Try and think of negotiation discussions the same way. It’s not just about what you can get, but thinking of the longer term too.

‘You don’t want to be working with someone who’s resentful of the situation. If it doesn’t work for everyone then it’s not going to last long.

'But if you leave the discussion feeling happy, then you both have something positive to build on.’