Looking for a raise? What salespeople should think about when asking for more money

I must have spoken to over 1,000 salespeople who left their jobs because they didn’t get the raise that their manager had promised them. Also, I don’t blame them. Broken promises never have a positive impact on your career, and if they haven’t given you the raise you have earned – what excuse will they come up with next year?

If you’re in sales and want more money, then you’re not alone.

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Prepare to ask for a raise

Before you ask for an increase – does your company have this flexibility to give you more money? Some jobs have bandings where you’re limited to a salary, and your pay is equal to a sales target and not the length of tenure or favouritism. It’s an open compensation plan, designed with transparency and career planning in mind.

Not every Water Treatment business has such a structured sales plan, and I suspect that your basic salary may be different to a peer. Higher or lower is anyone’s guess but think about the last time you saw anyone get a raise in your business.

Your sales targets vs performance

Ultimately, the numbers define a salesperson. It’s the best way to gain credit with your boss and the key that drives negotiation.

Before you put your case forward, go back over your history and find out your targets vs achievements. This should be over a few years – not just a month or a quarter. Consistent performance is valued highly, not just a flash in the pan. Go check out your percentages and put a logical case forward. Trust me, if you’ve had three years over 100%, you ’re, and they should be doing everything to keep you!

It’s not just the numbers

Don’t just think sales, also believe behaviour. Also, I don’t mean being a naughty schoolkid…!

Your boss will be busy with a wide variety of tasks to do daily. Usually, this is just down to lack of resources.

  • Have you helped a new employee? (Genuine leadership, not just pointing out where the pens are kept)
  • Do you have the best feedback score from your clients?
  • What ideas have you come up with to grow the business?
  • Have you raised much for the company charity?

The more that you can demonstrate that you live by the company values, the better chance you have of getting the raise you deserve.

Timing is everything

I’ve heard stories from sales directors about people storming into their office and just blurting out anything and everything – and looking foolish. No poise, no logic – just a flurry of emotion.

  • “I’ve sold this, and I’ve sold that”
  • “I’m better than him – he’s shit!”
  • “My wife is taking all my money!”

In reality, the situation got the better of them, and they missed out on a chance for a raise because the timing (and message) was way off.

Wait for a scheduled review and sit down formally. This will give you the chance to practice your pitch and think of any objections that will be thrown at you.

If you never have formal reviews, ask for a meeting with your line manager and HR.

Get your facts ready

Do your research and find out what you think you should be getting paid. Try Google or the links below:

To ask for a 5%-10% raise is ambitious but achievable. Find out what it is you are looking for and base it on fact rather than opinion.

What about a promotion?

Do you want a promotion or a raise? People often confuse the two, and it’s important to know what you’re asking for.

Promotion is where you’ll be given a higher rank in the business. You’ll have more responsibility which in turn will probably lead to a higher sales target, more significant region or more.

A raise is when you’ll be given more money for the same responsibility. Your responsibilities shouldn’t change, but you’ll get paid more for doing the same thing.

Salespeople often leave because they didn’t get the promotion or raise they had been promised, and it’s important to know what you’re asking for

Other tips

  • Don’t expect a raise straight away. It’s likely that your boss will want to think it over first, as well as run it past finance and HR.
  • Try not to get too emotional. Selling through education and logic will eventually beat pressure tactics.
  • If it’s a no, ask for something in 6 months or a SMART target.

However, if all else fails – call me!

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