Instead of making the negotiation about you, frame it by explaining how the request is beneficial for the company or team. This is called a “communal ask.”
Rather than saying, “I need administrative support,” say: “This year, my team was able to outperform the company average by 10%. I ran the numbers, and I believe we can do double that next year, but we would need additional administrative support so we can focus on projects with the highest impact on our revenues.”
Rather than stating, “I got another job offer and will leave unless you match the salary,” say: “I love being at this company. Despite a tough economy, I was able to keep profits stable. I want to continue contributing here, but I was approached by another company and was surprised by what they are offering. Can you help me close the gap so that I can continue working to move this company forward?”
Chances are you’ll be doing this negotiation remotely, which can actually be to your advantage. You can keep your notes next to you. Your boss has no idea your leg is bouncing like crazy. You can wear comfortable shoes.
Here are a few tips for negotiating over Zoom:
- Start with the personal, like acknowledging a pet or piece of artwork in the background. The ensuing banter will ease discomfort.
- Try to get your camera at eye level to help build trust (I pop a shoebox under my computer).
- Make sure the light is behind the computer, not behind you, which can make it hard for the other person to see you, causing them to miss the non-verbal cues that create bonds.
- Do a dress rehearsal to test out the technology, background, and your outfit, and role play what you will say. Extra points if you get a friend to act as your boss.
- Send a follow-up note after the negotiation, thanking the person and summarizing what you discussed to ensure that nothing was lost in translation.
At first glance, it may seem prudent to pass on negotiating this year. However, since Covid has impacted various industries, companies, departments, and individuals differently, this year may just be your best chance yet. Either way, do your homework, be strategic, and wear the Zoom top for the promotion you want.
*Names have been changed at the request of the sources.