Want A Pay Rise? Name Your Price, And Then Shut Your Mouth

Advice on seeking a pay rise often emphasises being conciliatory and emphasising your worth. Celebrity agent Max Markson advocates a simpler approach: name your price and then don't say another word.

Picture by Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

In a piece on salary negotiations published by movie industry magazine Encore, Markson explains his recommended take-no-prisoners approach:

One of the key mistakes people make during negotiations is to talk. Say what you want, then shut up. He who breaks the silence, loses. If you want $50,000, say ‘I want $50,000…’ Don’t then start talking about why you deserve the money and things like that. They have to answer you. The other key point is to start high — you can always come down.

This tactic is a variant on one we've noted before: simply repeating an offer when it is made and then sitting in silence. Justification has its place, but so does not overplaying your hand.

How to negotiate a pay rise [Encore (republished on Mumbrella)]


    So, if your boss asks you why you deserve the raise you're asking
    for, do you continue to sit in silence, or do you answer them?

    This approach worked for me a little while ago. I'd asked for an
    increase in my hourly rate, given my justification and let them sit
    on it. It's a weird feeling, and you have to pick the moment, but
    it can work.

    What worked once for me was stating I wanted 20% more, or I'd
    resign. It helped that I knew there were a number of projects
    coming up that needed my particular skills, that I was paid 15%
    less than other people on a similar level to me, and that I was
    planning on leaving in the next year or so (so it didn't matter if
    it left a bad taste in anyones mouth). So picking the time is

    Pay rises still exist??? OMFG!

    I told my manager, I know the value I provide is $X. I'd like to be
    paid closer to $X. The topic did not come up again. 5 or 6 weeks
    later, my new salary was $X. As with others, timing is everything.
    We were in the middle of a killer project that had felled any
    number of senior staff, and presumably she saw this as a way to
    keep a key resource happy (and on the team).

    I used this a 'tool' in negotiations for a salary increase a few
    years ago. As with everything, timing is everything - because of
    nature of the place that I worked in, Salaries were very much,
    pre-defined, so an increase in salary was almost out of the
    question, but the boss gave me a 'work trip to France and Italy for
    8 weeks (including my partner) and a new mobile phone, a new
    laptop, and a whole bunch of new responsibilities. It worked out to
    be better than a salary increase because I'm much happier with my
    new role.

    I like having rise offers thrown at me.

    Payrise (if any) is decided by the HR in the company I work for and
    they don't consult the employee whatsoever. p.s. it's one of the
    major airlines

    I have a similar strategy when I'm receiving a job offer. When I'm
    told the salary, I break out into hysterics. If the person I'm
    talking to is close enough, I'll pat them on the back; otherwise,
    slapping my knee is usually sufficient. Then I'll stop laughing,
    wipe the tears from my eyes, and say "but seriously... what's your

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