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How to Ask for More Money the Right Way with Fotini Iconomopoulos, Ep #287

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How do you ask for more money the right way? What phrases should you avoid in salary negotiations? How do you prove you’re “worth” what you’re asking for? How do you overcome imposter syndrome and act with confidence and decisiveness? Fotini Iconomopoulos breaks down the answers to these questions and simplifies the process so that anyone can negotiate their salary with ease. Don’t miss what she says in this episode of Negotiations Ninja!


Outline of This Episode

  • [1:47] Learn more about Fotini Iconomopoulos
  • [2:39] What holds people back from negotiating?
  • [6:19] How to ask for more money the right way
  • [12:52] It’s time to get curious in conversations
  • [16:31] Strategies to overcome your nerves
  • [21:38] How to “Say Less, Get More”
  • [24:33] Learn more about Fotini Iconomopoulos

The value of just asking

I recently advised a family member to negotiate a higher salary for a job she was being offered. She was hesitant to do so because she didn’t want to lose this opportunity. But if a potential employer is coming after you, the odds of them pulling an offer if you try to negotiate terms is low. She is the one that has leverage. She’d be leaving a job where she has security and would be giving away comfort. She’d have to rebuild relationships and credibility at the next job. It’s only worth it if she’s fairly compensated.

How to ask for more money the right way

What should you avoid doing? Fotini recommends that you do not go in making demands. It increases the risk of them pulling an offer. Instead, approach the situation in a collaborative way to minimize the risk of them withdrawing the offer. If they say no and pull the offer when you’re approaching it collaboratively, you’ve uncovered useful information: you’re averting a dangerous scenario with a potential new employer.

Secondly, do your research. What is an appropriate and well-researched number to ask for? What does your market look like? You need to be able to say, “Based on the rates out there and what you’re asking of me, the experience I have, the knowledge I’m bringing with me, here’s what I’d expect for someone of my caliber.” You’re speaking objectively based on third-party research.

Never say the words “I think”

Fotini carefully points out that the most dangerous words you can use in a negotiation are “I think.” Good negotiators don’t think—they know. They come to the table with confidence. They demonstrate that they’re well-researched and well-prepared. Tell them your number, and then you can follow up and ask them how close they can get to that figure. Subconsciously, that tells them there’s flexibility, and you want to work with them. But you’ve anchored them to a number they should come close to.

Remember that the average salary figure is based on a range. Are you average? If you’re #1 on a giant pile of resumes and they’re chasing after you, you’re worth more than the average. Put yourself at the top end of the range. You’ll feel fine backing off the figure slightly but happy with what you’ll achieve.

How much are you worth?

Fotini points out that there’s no magic number to ask for. It comes down to preparation and knowing your worth. You need to sound credible and reasonable, which comes back to having a bank of knowledge that anyone has access to.

Secondly, what amount would you be willing to walk away from? What do you need as an incentive? Blend it with the market values out there. You may find that you’re ridiculously underpaid. If you decide not to leave your current position, your research allows you to negotiate and correct your salary.

Just remember that there are no hard and fast rules. Fotini has seen people increase offers by 40%. They moved from a $100,000 salary to a $140,000 salary just by having a quick conversation—just by asking.

After I coached this family member on how to proceed, she negotiated a better deal with the new employer who was recruiting her: a 15% increase in salary and the addition of stock options. The value of asking for more money the right way cannot be emphasized enough.

Resources & People Mentioned

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