Ask Dana: 4 steps to prepare for negotiating a pay raise

4 steps to prepare for negotiating a pay raise
4 steps to prepare for negotiating a pay raise

4 steps to prepare for negotiating a pay raise


Help! I need your advice for an upcoming meeting to negotiate the salary I want when being hired.

Answer from Executive Job Coach Dana Manciagli

Most people do not do a good job negotiating a salary increase or compensation package for a variety of reasons. They “wing it,” they don’t believe they can ask for a higher amount, or they are afraid of losing the offer.

So here are my top four MUST-dos for you:

1. Do your homework and over-prepare!

Know your market value. How? Research sites like, network with peers in similar positions, and simply ask others.

2. Know your internal company value.

How? Study your company’s career website, networking with others in similar positions, and learn on what salary increases are based. Understand your company’s metrics and how you are evaluated. Without that, you are dead.

Unfortunately too many women say, “I’ve done a good job this past year; therefore…” even though their company may base increases on future potential or scope increase within a role.

3. Prepare your discussion and write out your presentation.

Don’t “wing it” or think that having a conversation is effective. It’s not.

Write out the flow of your discussion, limiting the topics to three items. For example, give the purpose of the discussion and your objective, present your supporting data and request the compensation package or salary increase.

Review your presentation with a friend or mentor to see if there are any gaps or missed opportunities.

4. Write your salary justification in a letter format.

Distribute your justification letter and lead the discussion. Be clear and confident. Take notes, listen and respond in an impactful way.

The hiring manager may need time to consider your proposal and get back to you. Don’t worry — they will NOT rescind the offer. In fact, if you do this well, he or she may come back with some — or even all — of your requests!


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