In a perfect world, your boss would regularly recognize your immense contributions to the team with hefty raises. Unfortunately, it doesn't usually work that way. Here are keys to convincing your boss to give you a bigger paycheck:

Display a sense of gratitude.

"While it is a negotiation, treat it like it's a conversation," says Jonathan Flickinger, human resources manager at Swanson Industries, an industrial products manufacturer. You and your boss are attempting to come to an agreement that's mutually beneficial. At the end of the day, you both should walk away feeling valued.

Present hard facts and quantifiable results.

Objective information helps.This requires you to track your performance throughout the year so you can cite specific achievements. It's also wise to use sites like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics prior to the meeting to gather information on industry average salaries for professionals working in your field.

Prepare a well-planned presentation.

Maybe your boss appreciates PowerPoint presentations, or maybe a written plan is preferred. No matter how you plan to present it, you need to make sure your request for a raise is convincing and well-researched. You need to prepare and contemplate the "what if" scenarios before you begin the conversation.

Don't oversell it.

At no point should you start begging. You also shouldn't repeat yourself after you've already made your points.

If you've presented hard facts and quantifiable results, be confident. Be concise, yet complete. Once you've presented your case and asked for the raise or more benefits, be quiet. Let the other side respond.

Compromise with bonuses.

If your company lays out a convincing case that financial difficulties prohibit granting pay increases, perhaps you can convince your employer to give you bonuses if you help the company increase its revenue.