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Ask Dave

Asking for a Pay Raise

How should Deb know the correct way to approach her boss for a raise?

QUESTION: Deb on Twitter wants to know if Dave has any tips on asking for a raise. Dave says to switch shoes to figure out the answer.

Dave's ANSWER: Switch shoes–if you were the boss, why would you give you a raise? Don't say you work really hard–we all do. Why would you give you a raise if you owned the company? Why are you worth more money?

There are a couple of possibilities. You could show the things that you've been doing that have brought in money and/or saved the company money. That would be very helpful to me if I owned a company, which I do.

As an example, point out how an activity you did last year saved them $100,000. It may be part of your job, but you are doing your job very well. Or perhaps you brought in $100,000 worth of deals. You know that you need to cost them less than you make for them, but you are making them a lot and believe you’re doing a very good job.

Another thing you can do is pull up people in your similar position and do a compensation study from something like, or go to some of the career websites and do a regional compensation study in your area. What does someone in your position usually make? Show your boss that and say that the average person makes this, so what can you do to make your way up to that?

Don’t go in there like you’re entitled or belligerent. That will last about 20 seconds with most owners, if that long. Go in there and ask how you can serve and how you can add value and what you can do to be worth more because you really want to be making more. I like those people on my team.