One role of a business leader is negotiating wage rates with employees. It’s an uncomfortable challenge, particularly when rate increases aren’t merited.

I made this video with sales team leaders in mind – I’d like to help you navigate the difficult conversations you have when your team comes to you for raises.

As a sales manager, setting and adjusting compensation is often all up to you. How do you determine the appropriate salesman salary? And how do you handle it when your salespeople ask for more?

Remember that salespeople are skilled negotiators. They may point out that they’re highly responsible for your company’s revenue. They close huge deals, so they may have extreme expectations when it comes to the salary they command.

Salespeople negotiating wage increases may argue that since they bring in large sums of money, they deserve a bigger portion of the profits. Because their efforts directly impact the success of your business, they tend to have an inflated view of their contribution.

This is your cue to point out that all employees are vital to your company’s success. Unless everyone plays a part, no one makes money. It would be unfair to raise the salesman salary without also raising the accountant salary, HR specialist salary, consultant rate, or manufacturer fee.

Sometimes negotiating wage adjustments is unnecessary, because your company has budget restraints or gives raises across the board. When you do have to decide, measure job descriptions and targets against results. Does your salesman salary warrant an increase? Once you’ve made your decision, own it. And then brace yourself for your next negotiation.

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