I have, over time, heard of all of the strategies for getting raises. I have always been a bit skeptical of them, as they seemed to involve some sort of trickery or having to sell or something. Never used them but do think I have been very succesful in moving forward. Recently, I got to see another person go for a raise. I will talk about him...
He is an above average person who works "near" me. Doesn't work for me, but his boss and I work closely together and are friends. We were on the road travelling and having a few beers at night and he really started to ask questions about where the company is headed, where his group is headed, and where he was headed. Interesting. Filed away in head (and questions were answered as best could be). Next day, talking while sitting in an airport, he mentioned that he had an offer on the table from one of our competitors and asked what I thought he should do. We went through the +'s and -'s of the two positions. When asked about this I am, generally, very blunt in the assessment. I will not talk you in to staying.
He heard me. When spelt out it was pretty clear staying was better than leaving. SO - next day he went in to his boss's office, told her the whole thing (knowing I had already briefed her, as I told him I would and you as the worker should expect to happen anyway) and said "now I know my market rate and worth. If you can match, I will stay. It isn't really about the money, but I do now have a sense of what I am worth".
We matched. Gave him 10 minutes to accept. He accepted. Done. insta-raise.
Couple of points to make.
1. You have to be good. If your boss doesn't respect you and think you are great, this likely won't work.
2. You have to be real about leaving. He was. He didn't say anything to that effect, but his reputation is one of keeping his word (which really leads to point 1 above....). If we hadn't matched, I fully expect him to have walked. He didn't say it. He didn't threaten it. He did none of that. Just stated "this is my market rate, please match".
3. Playing games doesn't work. He didn't and he got a decent raise out of it.
I have received two pretty decent raises in the last year. Neither of them have I really asked for. I just work my butt off. It seems easier than playing a game to get them.