7 Tips for Negotiating a Raise in Sales

 

By Chris Lytle, Monster Contributing Writer

A CEO told me a story about a salesperson who asked for a raise. She asked the salesperson, “Why do you deserve a raise?” “Because I made less this year than I did last year,” explained the salesperson. “That’s because you sold less this year than you did last year,” said the CEO. “I know. And I want you to make it up to me,” said the salesperson.

This salesperson is no longer working for this organization.

So how and when should a salesperson ask for a raise? Understanding your boss’s point of view will help you position your raise as a good thing for the company, instead of a good thing for you. Here are seven points to consider before negotiating a better deal:

1. Make Sure You Have Clout

The salesperson in the example above didn’t have leverage. Coming off a bad year or quarter is the wrong time to test your value. With clout, you could find yourself with a better offer from the company or on the free agent market.

A better offer from another firm validates your claim that you’re worth more to the company you’re working for. If your boss wants to keep you, you have the clout to establish the parameters of your raise. However, if you use the “here’s what I’m worth to another company” ploy, you have to be willing to leave.

2. Watch Your Timing

Don’t even think about asking for a raise until you’ve been there a year or more. Your value to the company increases when you have some customer relationships you can leverage for increased sales and referrals.

3. Ask for Small Increases in Your Base Salary Based on Inflation

If it’s been a while since your base pay was adjusted, this ploy might work. However, the trend today is for lower bases and increased incentives. This lets companies reduce fixed expenses while rewarding you for meeting company expectations.

4. Be Willing to Take an Expanded Role in the Company

You have both a job and a role as a salesperson. Your job is to sell and make your quota. Your role is to mentor that new salesperson and be part of the team.

Your role means supporting your boss in sales meetings, not rolling your eyes and sighing when the new demands come down from corporate and not promising clients things your production people can’t deliver. Bosses bend over backwards to keep salespeople with with good attitudes and look for excuses to fire the malcontents.

5. Negotiate for Perks That Don’t Cost the Company More Taxes and Benefits

Companies don’t have to pay workers’ compensation and FICA on an extra week of vacation, a trip, or increased car or cellphone allowances. It’s income to you, but not as costly in cash outlay as a raise.

6. Ask for Extra Incentives After You’ve Made Your Quota

That’s the easiest thing for your boss to give you. Imagine getting an additional 10 percent, or even 20 percent, on everything you sell once you’ve made your commission. This works because your boss has to deliver a number to his boss. Once you help deliver that number, you’ve got more clout, and people will want you to stay.

7. Make It a Win-Win Situation for You and Your Boss

In the scenario I outlined at the beginning of this article, the only winner would have been the salesperson. The boss didn’t get increased performance for increased pay. Show that you’re willing to take on more responsibility. Be willing to do some of the work before you get paid to demonstrate that you deserve the increase.

Asking for a raise is just like asking for an order. Practice your presentation. Be as prepared for this meeting as you would be for a presentation to a major customer. Arm yourself with facts and figures on your performance. Position the raise as a benefit to the company. And finally, make sure your boss sees you as a winner and not a whiner.

This story originally appeared on Monster.com.

Startups Need To Hire A Recruiter…Now

Jeff BussgangSeeing Both Sides

The unemployment rate in America is hovering around 9%. But if you are a competent engineer, sales executive, online marketer or general manager in Silicon Valley, NYC, Boston, or other startup hotspots, the unemployment rate is 0%.

The talent market has gotten as competitive and aggressive as I have ever seen in the last 20 years. CNN recently reported that 40% of the 130,000 job openings in Silicon Valley are for software engineers. Senior executives have never been harder to secure. That’s why, even though it flies in the face of conventional wisdom, I’m advocating that all my portfolio companies hire recruiters when they are trying to fill senior or key positions. Immediately.

Typically, when a young company gets financing and begins to hire, they seek to leverage the network of the founding team and their investors. This network provides some valuable leads and perhaps a few hires. Leveraging existing networks has greater benefits than simply cost savings and convenience. Teams that have worked together in the past simpy are well-positioned to out-execute those that haven’t due to their common history, language and relationships.

I have read studies that show that one of the factors that correlates highly for success in a startup is if the team has worked together and made money together in a previous startup. But tapping those informal networks alone doesn’t scale. And reacting to inbound people flow generates an adverse selection bias – the best people are not looking, so they will never contact you and respond to your job posting.

As an entrepreneur, I was initially very skeptical of fast-talking, expensive recruiters. I thought hiring them represented a personal failure on my part as an entrepreneur. After all, it was my job to secure the best and brightest talent through my own efforts and my own network. But my years of recruiting have taught me that startup CEOs are at a distinct competitive disadvantage if they don’t get outside help for recruiting.

Here are the top five reasons why:

1) You Never Have Enough Proactive Time. As an entrepreneur, you are always battling dividing your efforts into proactive time (where you direct the activities through your own energy) versus reactive time (where you are reacting to people and forces around you). With the inflow of real-time information and people coming at you from all sides and demanding your attention (employees, investors, customers, etc), it’s hard to find enough proactive time in the day. Recruiting is a proactive exercise. It requires effort and energy from the entrepreneur to generate candidate flow, meet candidates, vet them, check references.  It is therefore important to have an outside force push you to react to candidates and help you prioritize the recruiting effort, just as your VP Sales is pushing you to prioritize sales and your VP Marketing is pushing you to prioritize marketing.

2) Hiring Inexperience. Most entrepreneurs are first time CEOs or even second time CEOs who simply do not have a lot of experience hiring, particularly hiring the particular executives they’re hiring for (Try this exercise – ask your favorite CEO/entrepreneur how many times they’ve hired a CFO. Most never have but even if they’ve done it once or twice in the past, are they really now an expert at it?). Like anything else, hiring is a science. A recruiting friend of mine likes to say, “interviews are inquisitions, not discussions”.  Too many entrepreneurs don’t actually know how to interview well.  Further, they’re not experienced at assessing their current human capital needs, analyzing the gaps of management team members, and then understanding the market and how to fill the gaps.  Good recruiters are invaluable in this regard.

3) Shallow reference checking. Busy entrepreneurs and busy VCs typically do cursory reference checking when making even senior hires. They allow themselves to be swayed by their own conviction, let the candidates spoon feed them their top fans from past jobs and ignore the opportunity to push for a deep understanding of candidates’ histories and claims. When I make an investment in a company, I typically do 8-10 reference checks and get a wide variety of perspectives from people who have worked with the entrepreneur in the past and seen them in a range of different situations.  It’s hard to have the discipline to replicate this thoroughness when making a senior hire, particularly when trying to move quickly in a competitive hiring market (see “You Never Have Enough Proactive Time” above).

4) Quarterbacking the Selling Process. Many hiring managers don’t realize that the due diligence process for a candidate is as thorough, if not more so, than your due diligence on them. The best candidates have choices and are sought after. Even though you are deciding whether to “buy” over the course of a series of interviews, you need to be in a position to sell every step of the way. “Everyone’s trying to be the coolest place to work,” observed one Stanford junior who is being barraged with job opportunities.  Recruiters can be very helpful in quarterbacking the selling process – proactively surfacing objections and handling them with data and follow-up conversations, linking candidates to the right people at the right time in the process.

5) Focus on closing. Closing candidates in this competitive a market is very hard.  ounter-offers, compressed timeframes and personal considerations all get in the way of smooth closes.  Again, if you don’t have alot of proactive time available to you (and who does?!), there’s great benefit to having a focused closer.

Further, I have found having an intermediary helps tremendously with the negotiations.  A candidate will be unafraid to tell a recruiter what it takes to get the deal done, and a tough back and forth with the help of an intermediary can avoid bad feelings aftewards between two principals that will need to work together as a team when the dust settles.Too often I hear entrepreneurs say, “I’ll work my network for a few weeks and then we’ll hire a recruiter.”

Many VCs are over-confident about their own recruiting prowress and will tell entrepreneurs to wait until they talk to their partners and surface a few great candidates from their network. The problem, of course, is that everyone gets busy and distracted. A few weeks turns into a few months, a few candidates get turned up and interviewed but then discarded, and finally when the network comes up dry, the group reconvenes and decides to hire a recruiter. Now the recruiters need to be selected, interviewed, reference checked, negotitated with and ramped up – causing more delay.  By the time you get around to getting the recruiter ramped up, the board and CEO feel frustrated that they are already behind.

To be clear, not all recruiters are created equal and some are a waste of time and money. But if you can find a good one, don’t let them go. Paul English, cofounder of Kayak, is a truly gifted recruiter and there has been alot written about his approach to hiring. If you can be that exceptional, perhaps you don’t need a recruiter.  And, believe me, the price you pay for these folks feels exorbitant, particularly if you are in the scrappy, lean start-up phase of development.

My bottom line advice is to just bite the bullet and hire a recruiter now. The difference will cost you an incremental $50-100k, but everyone knows hiring an “A” has a massive positive impact as compared to a “B” – and that impact is compounded if it can be achieved 3-6 months sooner.

Relationship Building Plan- To Grow Sales

By Lori Richardson 

When it comes to building relationships, you must find ways to plan ahead and make this a normal activity in your work week. Relationships are important to build when you do not need anything from someone – since most of us only work on relationships when we NEED something from someone. How about you? If this is how it works for you – you’ll need to really block time in the calendar and work to build more strong relationships.

Why?

Top 10 Apps That Will Change Your Life

The Wall Street Journal Europe presents 10 apps you can’t live without.

By Michelle Price
Microsoft Word and Excel are both applications, but these rather staid and well-established pieces of software are not what modern-day tech enthusiasts mean when they talk about “apps.” The emergence of Web or “cloud”-based IT services and super-smart mobile phone and tablet technology, as embodied by the iPhone and the iPad, has given birth to a universe of weird and wonderful pieces of software brimming with all sorts of information and tools. Apps combine the unique features of the new wave of super-clever hardware, including a camera, a global positioning system, a high-resolution screen, and WiFi capability, with a bottomless pit of Web-based information and data, to deliver some truly innovative and mind-boggling gizmos.

Because apps can be developed by any third party who wishes to try, there are literally millions to choose from.

Presented here are 10 of the most useful, most recommended and most interesting.

Shazam
This is an application for anyone who has ever heard a song or tune they love on an advert or in a shop but have not been able to identify it. Self-styled as a “music discovery engine,” Shazam is a smartphone application boasting a simple but revelatory function: Hold up the phone to the music, whether the tune is being broadcast from a speaker in a shop, on the TV, or in the gym, and the Shazam application will identify the song and the artist. Users can also view related YouTube videos. Shazam is primarily a smartphone application but it can also be downloaded onto the iPad.

The Good Food Guide 2011
Foodies of the U.K., rejoice, as Britain’s best-selling and most well-established guide to dining well is available on the iPhone. The Good Food Guide iPhone application, launched last year, includes the entire food guide for 2011, as well as independent reviews of the best restaurants in the U.K. It also allows happy and disgruntled diners alike to upload their own reviews and includes a function, using the phone’s global positioning system and WiFi location service, which allows users to locate restaurants nearby. In addition, users can exploit the handy restaurant reservation functionality, which clicks through to the restaurant website and phone number.

OmniFocus
Always forgetting to pick up your dry cleaning? OmniFocus has the answer. Developed by productivity application specialist the Omni Group, OmniFocus is a location-based task manager founded on the principle that certain tasks are performed in certain contexts. OmniFocus uses the GPS and WiFi positioning capability of the iPhone to organize the user’s list of chores according to their location. For example, if the user has a number of chores to perform in a morning, the OmniFocus app will remind him or her of the tasks when they are in the relevant contexts, such as passing the dry cleaners. OmniFocus also has a sister iPad app.

Drinks Tracker
This application will change your life, but not necessarily in the way you would like. With excessive alcohol consumption costing the U.K’s National Health Service ₤£2.7 billion ($4.4 billion) a year, the health service has developed this handy iPhone app that allows the user to keep track of his or her ongoing alcohol intake. Simply input the strength, size, and quantity of the drinks consumed and the app will tell you the equivalent units and present the information in an easy-to-view graph. This app, if a little depressing at first, is extremely useful for people attempting to cut back on their alcohol intake.

DataVault Password Manager
As more and more applications and IT services are delivered via the Web, consumers are expected to memorize an ever-bewildering array of passwords with an ever-expanding number of characters. Designed by California company Ascendo Inc., DataVault Password Manager offers a handy and intuitive way to store a range of passwords, PINs, credit-card details, and other vital personal information, which is protected with strong encryption technology. The application, which is designed for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, allows users to have all their vital password information safely to hand at all times, although a desktop version is also available.

Find My Car!
Wondering around helplessly trying to find your parked car is a common recurring mid-life frustration dream, but it need never again be a reality with this inspired application. Developed by French mobile application specialist Presselite, Find My Car puts an end to the ignominy of misplacing your car. Using the iPhone location capability, the application allows the user to locate the position of the car and fix it on the iPhone’s map function. For those who have trouble following maps, the application also has the facility to record visual information as a helpful prompt using the phone’s camera. Once the user’s excursion is over, he or she simply follows the map back to the vehicle.

Layar Reality Browser
Produced by Dutch company Layar, Layar Reality Browser is one of hundreds of applications that use a technology known as augmented reality to provide additional information about the user’s surroundings. Augmented reality overlays images, Web links and data on top of the image displayed by the phone’s camera in order to provide useful context-specific information. Hold up the iPhone’s camera to capture the surrounding area and Layar displays a wealth of additional information onto the smartphone’s field of vision, such as the most popular bars nearby, or flats to rent in the area.

IMDb
Whatever happened to the boy who played Oliver in the 1968 film musical? What year was the first Alien film released? The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has all the answers. As the world’s largest collection of TV and film trivia with a database of some 1.5 million films and TV shows, IMDb can satisfy a vast majority of obscure film-related questions. This app is for any household incapable of finishing a film without squabbling over the name of the supporting actor and other films he has starred in.

Spotify
A good music-streaming application is a must-have for anyone who loves music, whether the app is downloaded onto a desktop, tablet or smartphone. Music-streaming apps allow users to listen to their favorite music on-demand via the Web, without the irritation of endless adverts. There are a number of good streaming applications out there, but Spotify continues to improve and is available on desktops, a number of smartphones, and the iPad. In addition to providing online music streaming, Spotify allows users to play back tunes when offline, and the mobile app offers smooth syncing with the desktop app.

Word Lens
One of the most celebrated apps to be released in recent months, Word Lens instantly translates printed words in one language into another using the phone’s built-in video camera. For example, the user is traveling abroad and cannot understand what a sign says. He or she points the iPhone or iPad camera at the sign, and the English translation will immediately appear on the screen overlaying the initial image using augmented reality. At the moment the application only provides translation between English and Spanish, but the application’s creators—augmented-reality app development firm Quest Visual Inc.—promises more European languages in due course.

Ms. Price is Trading and Technology Editor at Financial News in London. She can be reached at michelle.price@dowjones.com.

Copyright 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

80 Success Quotes that Will Bring You Motivation

 by Daniel Wood

I want to share some of the most brilliant quotes on success I have ever read.

Each one holds a valuable lesson and can be pondered for hours.

Let this list wash over you, soak in the lessons, use them to propel yourself towards your success and make your future all that it could be.

1.“One who asks questions is a fool for 5 minutes, one who does not ask questions remains a fool forever.”

Chinese Proverb

2. “A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart.”

Jonathan Swift

3. “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

Will Rogers

4. “To get something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.”

Unknown

5. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed”

Michael Jordan

6. “There are few, very few, that will own themselves in a mistake.”

Jonathan Swift

7. ”You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take”

Wayne Gretzky

8. “The thing you fear most has no power. Your fear of it is what has the power. Facing the truth really will set you free. “

Oprah Winfrey

9. “Everything you want in life has a price connected to it. There’s a price to pay if you want to make things better, a price to pay just for leaving things as they are, a price for everything.”

Harry Browne

10. “It took us so long to realize that a purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.”

Kurt Vonnegut

11. “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Albert Einstein

12. “You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.”

Beverly Sills

13. “Do what you can with what you’ve got wherever you are.”

Theodore Roosevelt

14. “Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.”

Henry Van Dyke

15. “It is not length of Life, but depth of life.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

16. “To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might just be the world.”

Author Unknown

17. “Strangers are just friends waiting to happen.”

Author Unknown

18. “We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere.”

Tim McGraw

19. “Laughter is the music of life.”

Sir William Osler

20. “In the province of the mind, what one believes to be true either is true or becomes true.”

John Lilly

21. “Experience is the hardest kind of teacher. It gives you the test first and the lesson afterward.”

Author Unknown

22. “Friendship makes prosperity more shining and lessens adversity by dividing and sharing it.”

Cicero, 44 B.C.

23. “In the giving-is the getting.”

David Matoc

24. “The impossible is often the untried.”

Jim Goodwin

25. “Anyone can become angry-that is easy, but to become angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way-that is not easy.”

Aristotle

26. “Character, in great and little things, means carrying through what you feel able to do.”

Goethe, 1749-1832

27. “Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”

Will Rogers

28. “My religion is very simple, my religion is kindness.”

Dalai Lama

29. “The important thing is to not stop questioning.”

Albert Einstein, 1879-1955

30. “It’s not your circumstances that shape you, it’s how you react to your circumstances.”

Anne Ortlund

31. “The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time.”

Abraham Lincoln

32. “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”

Buddha

33. “It takes strength to be gentle and kind.”

Stephen Morrisey

34. “A hero is a person who does what he or she can.”

Roman Rolland

35. “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matter compared to what lies within us.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

36. “Where there is unity there is always victory.”

Publilius Syrus

37. “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”

E. Hubbard

38. “We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”

Author Unknown

39. “Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.”

Michael Caine

40. “It’s not denial. I’m selective about the reality I accept.”

Calvin

41. “The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.”

Madeleine L’Engle

42. “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

Mother Teresa

43. “I like nonsense,it wakens up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.”

Dr. Seuss

44. “A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.”

Herm Albright

45. “Nothing is worth more than this day.”

Goethe

46. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead

47. “If at first you don’t succeed, you’re running about average.”

M.H. Alderson

48. “Life is like a ten speed bike. Most of us have gears we never use.”

Charles Schultz

49. “There is nothing permanent except change.”

Heraditus

50. “The miracle is this; the more we share, the more we have.”

Leonard Nimoy

51. “Out of clutter, find simplicity; from discord, find harmony; in the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.”

Albert Einstein

52. “Hope is like a road in the country. There never was a road; but, when many people walk together, the road comes into existence.”

From the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

53. “Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.”

John Wooden

54. “Dreams come true; without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them.”

John Updike, 1989, U.S. author & critic

55. “Our greatest glory is not failing, but in rising every time we fail.”

Confucius

56. “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

John Wooden

57. “Happiness is inward, and not outward; and so, it does not depend on what we have, but on what we are.”

Henry Van Dyke

58. “A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart.“

Jonathan Swift

59. “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”

Jonathan Swift

60. “Worry is as useless as a handle on a snowball.”

Mitzi Chandler

61. “The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It;s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the wind and rains and the scorching sun.”

Napoleon Hill

62. “It’s not the load that breaks you down; it’s the way you carry it.”

Lena Horne

63. “Keep you face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.”

Helen Keller

64. “If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step foward your always in the same place.”

Nora Roberts

65. “A good hand and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

Nelson Mandela

66. “There are two ways of exerting ones strength; one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.”

Booker T. Washington

67. “Life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.”

John Maxwell

68. “A person that values it’s privileges above its principles soon loses both.”

Dwight Eisenhower

69. “It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.”

Robert H. Goddard

70. “Never deprive someone of hope; it may be all they have.”

H. Jackson Brown Jr.

71. “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”

Sir Winston Churchill

72. “It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret”

Jackie Joyner-Kersee

73. “We all have a few failures under our belt. It’s what makes us ready for the successes.”

Randy K. Milholland

74. “Don’t count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count.”

Anonymous

75. “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

The Dalai Lama

76. “A difficult time can be more readily endured if we retain the conviction that our existence holds a purpose – a cause to pursue, a person to love, a goal to achieve.”

John Maxwell

77. “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”

Albert Einstein

78. ” the faintest ink is better than the best memory”

Unknown

79. “Every dog must have his day.“

Jonathan Swift

80. “No man was ever so completely skilled in the conduct of life, as not to receive new information from age and experience.”

Jonathan Swift

I hope you enjoyed this list.