11 Leaders Share Bold Advice on How to Ask for a Raise

The spring is often a time for people to try starting fresh. While many employees may have thought about asking for a raise for several months, many actually ask towards the start of the year, as it is a very common resolution.
"I'm going to make more money!"
As a CEObusiness owner and advisor on several boards, I've had this conversation many times with many people. I strongly believe that you must be prepared before asking for a raise. My best advice is to have data that shows why what you've already done deserves greater compensation. And of course, have a clear vision and plan for the future of your role, team or department.
I know this can be a very awkward conversation, so I asked leaders from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs, what’s the best, most creative, and/or most effective way anyone’s ever asked you for a raise?
Here is what they shared:
1. Demonstrate Value
When a team member was targeting a promotion and raise ahead of schedule, that person was prepared to make their case. He put together a performance summary that clearly demonstrated how strongly he outpaced his annual goals, his current trajectory, and the value he was driving for the business, all while ensuring his focus was on what was best for the company, team and culture.
2. Be Straightforward
The best approach to this is to be straightforward. Don't play games. If you think you are worth a raise, come to me and explain why. If you are right, then you will get it. And if you don't, that should tell you something.
3. Take Charge of a Project From the Ground Up
I had an employee make a project happen out of thin air by pushing it through every point of approval and then leading it until it paid off. When they needed data, they found it, and also gathered volunteers who were willing to work on it. This was followed by a request for a raise, and by that time, it was already really clear how valuable they were.
- Matt Doyle, Vice President, Co-Founder, Excel Builders
4. Gain a New Client
What absolutely cannot be argued is bringing new business to a company and increasing the revenue. As an employee, if you’re responsible for this, then now is the most critical time to ask for a pay raise. It shows that you’re invested in the company’s success and employers are willing to reward that type of showmanship.
5. Envision Your Own Upgraded Position
In one of my businesses, an employee decided he wanted a better position and of course more money. So he handed me a detailed proposal for tasks he'd perform, well beyond the scope of his original position. We ended up negotiating back and forth, but he did end up getting a raise and he turned out to be a big help to my business so it worked out for the best.
6. Use the Napkin Trick
A young woman walks into my office. She's a top performer. She sits across from me, slides a napkin onto the desktop as she says, "It seems anything truly important has been written on the back of a napkin at one point." She slides it over. "Here are the three things I would like to take us to next level next year."
Wouldn't you know, she got all three. - Codie Sanchez, CEO, www.CodieSanchez.com
7. Put Together a Poster Board
I once had an employee print up offers that other companies had given him while trying to poach him. He creatively displayed them on a piece of poster board and did a presentation for me. He did not want to leave my company, but presented the question to me: "If you were in my shoes, what would you do?" I swiftly gave him a deserved raise.
8. Use a PowerPoint Presentation
I received a PowerPoint presentation with special effects, music, and numerous statistics that showed why they deserved a raise. It was entertaining and made a good case for a raise. They also included what they would do to justify the raise in the coming year.
9. Make a Wager
An employee made a wager with me: if he reached an absurd sales number in one quarter, I would have to give him a raise. I agreed and he immediately began closing one sale after the other. This friendly competition encouraged him to go above and beyond, and I stayed true to my word and gave him a pay bump once he demolished the astronomically high sales goal we agreed on.
10. Use a Video Pitch
I received a video pitch like a movie preview that was entertaining and clever. A lot of time was put into it, and I had to reward the initiative for the person who had already impressed me with her work and resourcefulness.
Now it's your turn! What's the best, most creative, and/or the most effective way that you've asked for a raise, or that anyone's asked you for a raise? What is your best advice on getting a raise? Please share in the Comments section below. And here's to every one of my readers getting a raise in 2018!
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