There are a lot of sales people who work in sales for one simple reason….money. It’s one of the few professions out there where you can literally control how much you earn. The harder you work, the more you can earn. Now don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of sales people who don’t work for money directly, but I’m sure what they do work for (car, house, holiday, watch, shoes) will all require money!
Throughout my career in sales I’ve managed to negotiate several pay rises and have helped my colleagues, my team and people within my network gain significant increases in their salaries. This is no easy task as I’m sure you can all imagine.
Now normally when sales people ask for money from their managers this happens…….
Whilst that may be one of the easier ways for you to make more money, there will plenty of you out there who should be earning a much higher salary. Before I got into the 5 ways I’ve found to gain pay rises here are some important points to remember if you want to negotiate a better package:
It’s difficult to negotiate a pay rise if you’re not hitting target!
It might take time for your manager to think it through
Don’t make it an emotional request but a business/logical one
If you get a “no”, go back, learn and try again later
Ultimately it’s just like getting a sale. You’ve got to find the decision maker, find the pain, present the solution and close the sale! Do it right and this sale might just make you a nice pay rise.
Here are the 5 ways I’ve identified that will help you get a pay rise in sales:
1) Check Your Competitors
It’s worth looking at what other companies similar to you and your current competitors are paying their sales people. Don’t get sucked in with “The grass being greener” as it may not always be as great as they make out! However it’s good to know what the average pay is for your current role locally and within that industry. If you’re being paid below that standard you have a good case to present to your manager about earning the local/industry average.
This worked great for some friends of mine who found that they were being paid less than most of the similar type sales teams in their local area. They presented this to management proving that the company was behind the times with their sales pay and within a month they all gained a £4,000 per year raise.
2) Present A Business Case
Chances are to get a pay rise signed off it may need to go higher than your manager so presenting it like a business case could really help. This means drilling down into the numbers and logic as to not only why you deserve a pay rise but why that pay rise will benefit them. This could be by motivating you to sell more or allowing you to reinvest some of that increase into your professional development.
This is one that’s worked for me a lot in the past. I’ve always made sure I made a full case to present and justify why I feel I should receive a pay rise. By putting it in black and white and making it very clear it becomes more difficult for them to turn it down.
3) Wear Their Shoes
Put yourself in their shoes. They are leading a team and ultimately judged on the performance of that team along with the cost of it. If someone asked you for a pay rise, what would you need or want to justify it? When you present them a case to get a pay rise you need to think about the questions they’re likely to ask you. For example, why should I give you a pay rise? How will it benefit me or the company? What have you done to earn a pay rise?
A good friend of mine made good use of this tip when asking for a pay rise. They knew that whilst their manager had to be convinced, the manager would then have to convince the finance director. They made sure when they presented it to their manager they designed the case to win over the finance director and make it easier for their manager to justify it.
4) Work Hard First, Then Ask
Show your commitment to what you’re asking for by showing them your commitment and dedication. It will be hard to ask for a pay rise if there are people working harder than you in the office or people delivering more than you. In the same way in sales you’ll offer value first before asking for the sale you’ll want to offer value to your manager before asking for more money.
Personally I’ve always made sure before I ask for a pay rise that not only have I worked hard for it but they’ve seen and noticed how hard I worked for it. Don’t assume that because you work hard that it’s been noticed. Managers can often be so focused on putting out fires that they don’t notice what isn’t causing any fires.
5) Be Prepared For Negotiation
There is a big chance that your manager will try and negotiate with you so be prepared to negotiate a good deal. Make sure what you propose to them has room for negotiation should it go that way. You then want to have some back up options that you would be happy to settle with. Make sure you’re realistic about this though and make sure that all options are packages that will motivate you.
I’ve unfortunately had a few colleagues pitch for a pay rise but they haven’t been prepared for negotiation and as a consequence ended up agreeing to something that they weren’t actually happy with. Make sure you’re prepared with some back up options should your initial pitch get challenged.
So there it is, 5 ways to get a pay rise! Do it right and you could end up earning more money. You never know you may end up getting your entire team a pay rise in the process…..