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The Briefcase Technique — to earn thousands of dollars

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Most people are terrible at negotiating their salary. They leave over $1 million on the table because they’re afraid of saying the wrong thing. And they worry that it’s not possible to negotiate “in this economy.”

Wrong. You can negotiate your salary — even now. A single conversation can be worth $10,000 to you.

(And it’s not just salary! We’re afraid of negotiating with our cable company, our credit card company…)

First, use this powerful technique, the Briefcase Technique:

Next, if you’re interested in a more expansive view of how ethical negotiation fits into freelance discussions — and all parts of life — here’s a 1.5-hour interview I did with renowned photographer Chase Jarvis:

If you’re only interested in the Briefcase Technique, skip to 34:00. But I recommend you watch the rest, because I reveal several scripts and psychological insights you can use today.
Ok, if this resonates with you, and you’re interested in learning how to negotiate, I’ve packaged the material up into a mini-course to help you use the same material, along with video of a master-level negotiation.

“I was able to increase my salary by almost $5,000/year and receive paid-time-off for a 2-week vacation all within in a 10 minute conversation.”
— Clay

“I used a variety of your material to land what I would consider my dream job and then implement your negotiation techniques to nearly double my salary. Thank you!”
— Don

“I’ve always had friends ask me how I negotiated my way from 40k to 50k for my first job with only 6 months of programming experience and only having worked at Starbucks previously. Thanks a ton for all of the advice you’ve provided.”
— Stephan

Here’s what you’ll learn in the mini-course:

  • The word-for-word scripts to use in your salary negotiation
  • The importance of timing: When should you bring up salary — and when should you avoid it?
  • Common mistakes for people negotiating salary (especially women)
  • How to recover if they say “no”
  • What to say if they tell you there’s no budget

To get the mini-course on negotiation, here’s the link (free for readers of this site):

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  1. It won’t play as it’s a private video?

  2. The video won’t play – it’s set to private.

  3. […] get entrepreneurial: The briefcase technique. Love this. If you are a freelancer attempting to lock up work, this is a great video. Boost your […]

  4. Ramit-

    At first I was a bit skeptical about something called “The Briefcase Technique” but I’ve been reading your blog long enough to know that you usually have something pretty insightful to say.

    Thanks for sharing that with us and laying structure to a solid negotiation technique. When I saw your video, it was one of those “aha!” moments – of course that makes sense. All good ideas do.

    Keep up the good work.

  5. I obviously had no clue what the briefcase technique was because I didn’t even see the briefcase 🙂

    Amazing technique though! If I were the client and you did that technique to me, not only would I be very impressed that you knew my business so well but I would also feel compelled to give you my business because you showed me you took the time to learn and understand my business.

    That’s something very important I think.

  6. Oh wow! This reminds me of a internal job interview I went for, did something similar for landing the job! “I have something for you…” as I put it to the senior managers, specs on what I would bring to the role that would immediately improve the department! I thought they’d think me arrogant, instead they lapped it up!

    This type of advice is applicable not just for sales but simply accomplishing something you want, demonstrating you’ve thought over & beyond the expectations is what will make you successful!

  7. This sounds great! I am looking forward to the webcast.

  8. Ramit – I love all the information you are sharing, thanks again!

    Is there any risk in showing them the problems and them just taking the list of problems and handing them over to someone internal who already works for them and cutting you out of the deal?

    • No. It’s not the like the ideas are secret. What matters is having a fresh set of eyes to (1) evaluate them and (2) do them.

      You’re not selling the ideas. You’re selling your initiative.

  9. Ramit – I love it. That is great advice and I totally agree. So many times do I see things about other websites / businesses / business processes / etc. that I think could use an overhaul and this is a great idea of a way to basically walk in the door, tell them what is wrong (agreed – even if they know it already) and convince them that you (me) is the person to fix it.


  10. Hello Ramit,

    So the video won’t be recorded? I would be very interested but i’m from spain, 9 time zones away!!! I just cannot be up at 4am! Is there no roundabout way?

    Thank you