You can use this guide to learn when and how to ask for a rate increase. That’s a recommended approach, based on our experience and feedback from customers and partners. However, it’s always up to you to decide if you want to follow that process or not.
💸 Six steps to request a rate increase
- Figure out if the increase is possible and what options do you have.
- Give heads up to your manager
- Write a self-assessment
- Get feedback from your colleagues
- Get your manager’s opinion
- Send a formal request to a budget owner
🤔 How to think about that process?
During the process try to think that your primary goal is to get an accurate assessment of your performance. You want to learn how valuable you are to your team and the company. You want to see who supports you and how people, who you work with, assess your work.
Yes, you want to get an increase in the end. But it’s way easier to request it if you know exactly where you stand. Learn what other people think and how much they support you. Then it’s way easier to figure out what to ask for, how to approach the request and what to expect.
From our experience people who focus too much on the increase itself, instead of the assessment, may have a hard time to convince budget owners to approve their request.
📝️ Process in details
Most of the time people who work with you on a daily basis don’t have the power to change your rate. You need to convince the budget owner to approve it. That’s tricky because that person doesn’t work with you directly. Quite often they’ve never met you at all.
Saying that your work speaks for itself doesn’t do the trick. Budget owners don’t know your work, therefore, they lack the necessary knowledge to make a decision. Your whole job here is to help them get that knowledge. The more they know, the easier it will be to get their approval.
Your best approach is to build a case which shows how much valuable you’re for the team. You want to have as much internal support as possible from your peers and a direct manager. The budget owners may not know anything about you, but they have a lot of trust in the opinions of people who interact with you.
Here’s how you can approach building such case and leverage the support from your manager and the team.
Step 1: Is the timing right and what amount should I ask for?
Before you start working on your case you need to ask yourself if that’s the best moment to do it. Initiating the talks after two years with the customer makes more sense than beginning them in the third month.
Step 2: Give heads up to your manager.
Let your manager know that you’ll be working on such a request. Explain to them what you’re going to do step by step. It’s helpful for them to understand what you will expect from them. Additionally, they may have more information than you. They can let you know for example that other approach will be more successful or that you’ll have higher chances by decreasing your expectations a little or starting the request at a different time.
Step 3: Build the case.
Prepare documentation, which supports your requests. You can copy this template and fill in with your assessment, feedback and manager’s opinion.
- Self-assessment. Write down why you think you’re a valuable member of the team and what has changed since you joined. You don’t want your manager to do it. It’d best for you to be in control of the story from the beginning to an end. You also want to be in charge when the documentation is ready.
- Feedback from colleagues. Your co-workers on the client side are probably your best supports. You want to have their opinion on a paper.
- Manager’s opinion. This opinion is the most significant factor to get a new rate approved. You want to make sure that the manager agrees with your self-assessment and the feedback from other team members. Their opinion will be your greatest asset to change the rate.
Step 4: Send a formal request.
Once you have physical documentation, you need to make sure that it will find its way to a decision maker. Usually Pilot or your manager will be the best people to figure out whom to speak with and how to deliver the message.