Negotiation can be a tricky business, but not getting paid what you're worth could mean the difference between an average life and a rich one.
As self-made millionaire Grant Sabatier says, "The number one thing that will dictate your future earning potential and get you to $1 million the fastest is how much money you are being paid today. Unfortunately, you probably aren't being paid what you are worth."
To help you score a raise, consider these negotiation strategies from career, leadership and personal finance experts.
"It's easy to tell your boss you've done great work and that you deserve a raise," says personal finance expert Ramit Sethi. "But when you actually prove it – and explain how your work translates into more profit or savings for the company – you'll instantly grab your boss' attention."
He recommends the briefcase technique, a strategy in which "you literally open your briefcase and give a document to your boss with a clear and compelling rationale for why you deserve a raise."
In fact, simply paying attention to the pronouns you're using during a salary negotiation can increase your odds of scoring a raise, says Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg: "As silly as it sounds, pronouns matter."
For example, saying "We had a great year" is more effective than saying "I had a great year," because you'll come across as more collaborative.
"When you know what you want, not only can you communicate that crisply to the other person, you can demonstrate why — and this forces you to prepare for the negotiation," says Sethi. "This single distinction can be worth thousands to you."
Sabatier recommends looking at the salary range for someone with your level of experience in your industry, which will help you understand what you're worth.
In some cases, waiting a bit to ask for a raise can pay off in the long run, says management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch. It "positions you perfectly for asking and getting a significant raise after you've done great work."
This strategy is most effective if you've just landed a new job with a new company. Instead of negotiating for higher pay right away, Welch says you should set up a meeting with your boss six months into the new role, which gives you time to build your case for deserving a raise.
"Go in with good will, do a great job," she says, "and in the long run, and usually in the short run too, you'll see the real reward."
If you're boss can't go any higher on your salary, there are other ways to boost your compensation. Before accepting the offer, ask about perks and benefits such as a signing bonus, relocation package, stock options, a more flexible schedule or an education stipend.
"There's still more on the table," says Megan Shepherd of Payscale. "You just have to ask for it."
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