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):
http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/negotiate

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38 Comments

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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.

    Thanks!

  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

  11. Like the technique a bunch… I am going to try it on a big meeting I have on Thursday & will keep you posted on my success. Thank you!

  12. Really? A webcast during Lost? :-(

  13. Damn… Sorry for swearing… Frustrating. I giras i will have to get up at 4am… I think im not going to be very sharp at work tomorrow… I hipe i raen some points with you ramit! ;)

  14. Wow, that totally worked on me, and i am not even looking to buy anything! Awesome technique!

  15. I just finished your book and was motivated to finally invest my savings in a lifecycle fund…until I received the latest edition of The Economist. Now, I am hesitating.
    The cover story claims that the American stock market is “still nearly 50% overvalued on the best long-term measure, which adjusts profits to allow for the economic cycle, and is on par with two of the four great valuation peaks in the 20th century, in 1901 and 1966.” It then suggests that there is no reason to believe that the stock market will definitely continue its upward trend of the last 70 years: “The NASDAQ trades at half the level it reached during the dot-com mania.” Similarly, “the Japanese stock market still trades at a quarter of the high it reached 20 years ago.” What is to say that the American economy will not exhibit a similar decline?
    How safe am I investing my hard-earned savings (long-term) in a life-cycle fund?

    • That is why you don’t try to time the market. You dollar-cost average in. Maybe it’s too high. Maybe it’s not. Who knows? Certainly not you. So invest consistently and focus on the long term.

  16. Well it reminds me of preparing for an interview and how to sell yourself to the employer’s LOL. I don’t know if there’s more to it but it’s kinda good technique i’ve seen in you video.

  17. Although I like your technique – isn’t this just ‘never sell on price’

  18. This tip reminds me of what a good car salesman does. They keep telling you about the features, not the cost. Get you sold on the product (or service), then and only then once the client knows it is what they want, price.

  19. I’m using this today. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  20. Ramit,
    Reporting back.

    I came up with a “Top Ten List of Things That Need Changing Now” for the company’s website.

    During the meeting, I gave it to the lady who was interested in hiring me. She could not stop reading it. Seriously, she was ignoring the other people present in the meeting while voraciously reading every bit of the advice I had in the piece.

    Plus, all the things I said needed fixing were included in my proposal.

    Keep up the good work.

    P.S.
    Just read 4HWW and it seems that much of your writing is based on his principles. Love that book.

  21. Ramit,

    your videos are always so clean and professional – who does them for you? Can you recommend any resource/ company/ person?

    Thank you and keep it awesome !

  22. Really a great article! Nice post! 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!

  23. Hmm, really interesting. It makes you seem prepared. I get the feeling that people don’t do any preparation when I just get the same sales material that seems to go to everyone. Maybe I’m being a bit naive, but getting personal stuff makes me feel more important.

  24. Hi Ramit, any chance you could post the document you pulled from the briefcase, names changed for confidentiality perhaps? It would be really interesting to see the kind of analysis you would need to make to really address an organization’s needs.

  25. Brilliant. This is another manifestation of the “Craigslist Penis Effect”. Why be any thing else than brilliant at what you’re supposed to be doing. Your doing it anyway, why suck at it?

  26. Is a pity that I could not see the broadcast. I just subscribed to your blog. Thank you!

  27. Yeah I just found it today and was hoping to see it too :-/ Oh well- I’ll pay more attention from now on!

  28. Wow! So it is called the brief case technique now it has been a while since I had to negotiable anything. Any time you show a customer that you really have looked at their situation in such a manner if will be hard for them not to hire you.

    I uses this method in conjunction with the Ben Franklin closing technique . Very hot stuff.

  29. Sheer genius. Thank you for sharing.

  30. [...] « The Briefcase Technique — make thousands of dollars in contract and salary negotiation [...]

  31. [...] The Briefcase Technique — to earn thousands of dollars | I Will Teach You To Be Rich [...]

  32. Thanks alot for that! great stuff :)

  33. Thanks for this great tip. It is totally TRUE !!!

  34. [...] The Briefcase Technique — to earn thousands of dollars | I Will Teach You To Be Rich [...]