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7 Tips for Negotiating a Raise in Sales

7 Tips for Negotiating a Raise in Sales

By Chris Lytle, Monster Contributing Writer

A CEO told me a story about a salesperson who asked for a raise. She asked the salesperson, “Why do you deserve a raise?”

“Because I made less this year than I did last year,” explained the salesperson.

“That’s because you sold less this year than you did last year,” said the CEO.

“I know. And I want you to make it up to me,” said the salesperson.

This salesperson is no longer working for this organization.

So how and when should a salesperson ask for a raise? Understanding your boss’s point of view will help you position your raise as a good thing for the company, instead of a good thing for you. Here are seven points to consider before negotiating a better deal:

1. Make Sure You Have Clout

The salesperson in the example above didn’t have leverage. Coming off a bad year or quarter is the wrong time to test your value. With clout, you could find yourself with a better offer from the company or on the free agent market.

A better offer from another firm validates your claim that you’re worth more to the company you’re working for. If your boss wants to keep you, you have the clout to establish the parameters of your raise. However, if you use the “here’s what I’m worth to another company” ploy, you have to be willing to leave.

2. Watch Your Timing

Don’t even think about asking for a raise until you’ve been there a year or more. Your value to the company increases when you have some customer relationships you can leverage for increased sales and referrals.

3. Ask for Small Increases in Your Base Salary Based on Inflation

If it’s been a while since your base pay was adjusted, this ploy might work. However, the trend today is for lower bases and increased incentives. This lets companies reduce fixed expenses while rewarding you for meeting company expectations.


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