John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker LLC
Most common question: What am I worth? Most common answer: It depends.
BV professionals who ask that question are usually facing a review with potential for a raise, and want to arm themselves with the best data. But, that’s not all you need in your toolkit to ensure the best possible result.
Whatever number you settle on – however you may arrive at it – as your “go-for” salary, you’ll need to be prepared to do some more homework to help make your case.
Prepare a simple table that reviews your annual earnings for the last three to five years. Don’t forget to include the value of employee benefits in your calculations. (You can bet the boss won’t leave them out of his.) At the same time, it’s fair to include any applicable information about inflation or increasing cost of living.
Stop to think about how your responsibilities have changed over that period of time. Look for evidence of consistent expansion and growth, punctuated with high points such as particularly challenging projects or achievement of credentials. Prepare a list.
Add in the contributions you have made to the practice, the team and your boss. Quantify them when you can. Does your boss get ready for expert testimony more efficiently than before? Are valuation reports getting out the door faster, and with less review time from your boss?
Don’t forget to dig into your files for those performance evaluations and congratulatory letters you’ve been saving. Pay special attention to anything from a client.
Put together a list of “alternative currencies” to negotiate for if the cash you want isn’t forthcoming for some reason. Is there a conference you’d like to attend? Does the practice have the flexibility to let you work from home? Is there a boring project you’d simply like to get off your hands?
Remember that when you actually sit down to talk to the boss, you’ll be talking to someone who wants to say yes. It’s to your advantage to walk in with that assumption. If your work is good and your skills are up to date, it’s most likely to be the case, anyway. You can help them by having your homework fresh at hand.
Managers know that talent keeps them competitive. When you ask, be patient with their predicament. Be collaborative. Be creative. Maybe you can get an agreement to re-visit the salary discussion in another three to six months. In the meantime, your professional approach will pay off for you.
For more ideas about being successful where you are, check out Love It Don’t Leave It: 26 Ways to Get What You Want at Work, by Beverly Kay and Sharon Jordan-Evans.