Kelly Coffey knows how to make her company lots of money. As the CEO of JPMorgan Chase's US Private Bank, which manages the money of extremely wealthy clients, she grew revenue last year by 10 percent.
She can help you make more money, too. At a recent career goals panel hosted by Well + Good, Coffey offered her advice on how to ask for a raise. (Hat tip to Quartz for spotting this.) Playing the hardball negotiation game doesn't always work in women's favor because it portrays them in a bad light. A more tactful approach may work better.
Whether you're asking for a raise or negotiating a job offer, Coffey says you're more likely to succeed if you say: "I would like to make $X. What would it take for me to get there?"
Here's why phrasing the question in this way can help you get that well-deserved raise or desired salary.
It keeps things open-ended.
Asking a yes/no question invites closing the door. If the answer is no, where do you go from there? The conversation is over. That raise ain't happening, at least not anytime soon. You want to keep the conversation going. By asking an open-ended question, you can discuss how your role should change to set you up for a raise. Instead of a you-versus-me mentality, now you and your employer can work together to create an action plan towards getting that salary bump.
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It displays confidence and honesty.
Many salary negotiation experts say you shouldn't be the first to put a number on the table. Let the other side speak first. But by stating your desired salary, you show your boss or potential employer that you're not playing games. You're ready to have a serious, honest conversation about your compensation. Of course, this strategy requires some prep work and research on your end. You can't just pull a number out of thin air. Your desired salary should take into account your experience, the market rate for your position, and other factors including other aspects of your compensation.
It shows you're committed to doing the work.
The second part of the statement -- What would it take for me to get there? -- shows that you're willing to put in the work to earn this raise. You're not just asking for more money. You're asking for more responsibility or direction on how to be more successful at your job.
Phrasing the ask in this way also displays humility. Even if you feel you've already earned this raise or salary, you're not coming off as entitled.
In the end, Coffey acknowledges that you might not get to that exact salary. This is all a negotiation. Yet by posing the ask in this way -- with a specific number and open-ended question -- you're putting yourself in an excellent position to have a productive conversation about your compensation.