Do you find yourself negotiating with potential clients regularly? What are your go-to Negotiation Tips for freelancers when it comes to negotiating? Read about some of the bargaining tactics and methods I’ve learned over the years as a freelancer. Negotiation becomes one of the most crucial talents that makes or destroys your career after you leave the security of a paid job and join the wilds of freelancing.
If you, like many others, despise bargaining, you’ll be unprepared for the world of freelancing, where being successful necessitates being a great negotiator. Many people consider negotiation to be a confrontation between two sides. Negotiating is not the same as haggling.
After a few years of freelancing, I’ve realized that it all comes down to developing rapport and nurturing connections with potential clients. If you don’t like the offer, you must be prepared to compromise or say no. It’s all about reaching a financial deal with the opposite party in a planned way. Negotiation is, like many other freelancers, my least favorite aspect of client acquisition, but it is also one of the most vital.
Here are some freelancer negotiation tips and methods that I’ve picked up over the years.
Negotiation Tips For Getting Freelance Clients
Show Them The Value First
This is your opportunity to shine. Before you begin negotiating, you must first persuade your potential customer of your ability. After all, the client is haggling because they aren’t convinced by your offer. Your first duty is to demonstrate the benefits of collaborating with you
Consider the client’s point of view. They haven’t met you yet. There is no personal connection or rapport between the two of them. Perhaps they are unfamiliar with your field of expertise and hence have no idea what a typical day at work for you looks like. It’s up to you to create that mental image.
So, rather than pulling out the budget straight immediately, take the time to listen to their situation. Then spend some time explaining everything you’ll do to help them address this problem, such as conducting desktop research, gathering data or analytics, sending them work-in-progress for feedback, revising, and so on.
Find Your Perfect Communication Method
I used to call potential clients when I was a new freelancer with a fresh face. I didn’t have decent negotiating abilities back then. They were very nasty on the phone. Whenever a client inquired about my hourly pricing, I would respond as if I were a deer in the headlights. As a consequence, I agreed to a budget with which I was dissatisfied.
After a few fruitless phone discussions, I concluded that I’m terrible at negotiating over the phone. As a result, I altered my tactics somewhat. Now, when it comes to negotiating, I use two-touch Negotiation Tips. The first step is to make a discovery call. The second is a written proposition or proposal.
Negotiation Tips To Negotiate Rates As A Freelancer
Written communication has always been a strong suit of mine. As a result, I began to utilize it instead for strategic negotiating. During the discovery conversation, I focus on building rapport and learning a little bit about them and their company. I also allowed them to get to know me. When they inquire about the cost, I inform them that I will send them a formal price shortly after our call, once I have given careful consideration to the scope of work.
Following the discovery call, I create a professionally branded pdf that highlights my previous projects (and their outcomes!) as well as how I would approach their project and my complete workflow. Then I’d provide their project’s scope of work as well as an itemized project budget. I also provide tiny details such as project deadlines, a communication plan, and personal contact information in the same PDF.
I still need a good sense of the client’s budget for this offer. As a result, I’ll go on to my next point. You Might Also Like: How to Avoid Getting Stuck in a Rut When Working From Home.
Ask For a Budget
In the discovery call, if the possible customer does not give you a clear answer regarding their budget, the best Negotiation tips are simply asking. It’s the most accurate technique to assess their financial situation. If you don’t want to ask them over the phone, you may email them a questionnaire after or before the conversation.
You may select what scope of work you can agree on with them after you know their budget. If their budget falls short of your expectations, you may simply reduce the number of assignments you assign. Alternatively, if their budget exceeds your expectations, you may always put on some extras. If the customer does not respond promptly, you will have to develop a budget on your own. Let’s have a conversation about it.
Set a Budget Range
During the exploration process, it’s normal for potential clients to inquire about your budget. If you have any concept of the breadth of your labor for this project, you may already have a figure in mind. Never offer a customer an absolute amount when they ask for a budget. By doing so, you are robbing yourself of any negotiation leverage.
Establish a budget range.
If it’s an hourly wage, set it between $80 and $120 per hour, depending on the intricacy and breadth of the task. Setting a range for your hourly rate is a simple process. When it comes to determining a budget range for a full project, though, you’ll need a somewhat different approach.
Create An Itemised Offer
Set a price for each item in your project by doing so. Over the years, I’ve discovered that many clients are happy to pay $80 per hour on Upwork for a project that requires 10-15 hours of labor each week. When a large payment of $3k is suggested for the same purpose, though, most people will be suspicious.
Create an itemized list of all tasks that are required in this project to help them get used to the notion of a total project charge I charge a flat fee for all of my assignments. Each job or milestone has a cost associated with it. Everything has a fixed cost: desktop research, a 30-day content schedule, four blog entries, and content strategy. The more accurate your itemization, the more clear your entire budget seems to your prospective customer.
Be Willing to Meet Them in The Middle
Compromise isn’t just for romantic partnerships anymore. It’s also a necessary business skill. Create a win-win situation for you and your customer by negotiating. It doesn’t have to be a lose-lose situation. Many people think of Negotiation Tips as a technique to get their way in a contract.
However, I’ve come to realize that it’s all about cultivating solid business partnerships over time. All sides should be satisfied with the agreement after the negotiations. Make the mistake of viewing bargaining as a means of extracting quick cash from your clients. On the other side, make concessions but don’t go overboard.
Never Negotiate Under Pressure
‘So how much do you charge for this?’ clients may want you to answer straight immediately. ‘How much does a project like this cost you?’ ‘But, but…’ ‘How much does a lead cost?’ Never. Ever. Negotiate under that kind of pressure.
It may be difficult to maneuver through it on a phone conversation if you are not an experienced negotiator. Simply inform them that you’ll have to think about it after analyzing the magnitude of the project. It is always effective. You’ll have greater influence over the Negotiation Tips spiel as a result of this. You also avoid making mistakes when under duress. I can assure you that I am speaking from personal experience.
It’s always better to take a step back, review your notes, and then make an offer to your customer. Before you agree to anything, make sure you have some time to ponder.
Use the Power of FOMO
In professional jargon, this is also known as scarcity marketing, exclusivity, or the fear of losing out. When you’re up against a lot of competition, you’ll need a hook to help you stand out. Make it clear to your potential customer that you have limited availability in the coming months but are accessible now. Deadlines are excellent motivators for individuals to sit up, take attention, and act quickly.
Be Confident in Your Negotiation Skills and Abilities
Negotiation has two sides to it. You over-assert your stance, and you come out as an obstinate jerk. Alternatively, you may accept your potential client’s proposal too quickly and look uneasy. or, in the worst-case scenario, desperate. Here’s the deal: Insecurity can be detected by most individuals, and your customer will get a scent of it.
They will lose faith in your abilities if they detect your uneasiness, and you may find yourself agreeing to conditions that you do not like. It’s not a pleasant scenario for any of them. So speak out and don’t be afraid to make eye contact. Make your desires known to your client clearly and directly.
Don’t Care About The Result
Negotiation Tips are already a high-stakes topic. When you care a little too much about snagging this customer, negotiating becomes an even more high-stakes topic. You will crack under pressure if you are not a great negotiator. And make blunders.
Communication may easily break down, especially when problems arise during high-stakes talks. Try not to be concerned about completing this assignment. Your cognitive process may become more clear as a result of your indifference. You’ll be more patient and less prone to taking things personally. Most essential, your behaviors aren’t motivated by fear. Fear of failing to complete this project.
Be Ready to Walk Away
So you’ve exhausted all of your options. Your potential customer is refusing to budge, and you’re not pleased with the direction the conversation is taking. It’s time to end the discussion. Tell your prospective customer that this isn’t going to work. Avoid becoming emotionally invested in the project.
Final Note On Negotiation Tips For Winning Over Freelance Clients
And, as a freelancer, you should never put all your eggs in one basket. The more clients you have in your pipeline, the more confident you will be in your ability to get out of this mess. To create a safety net and a steady sales funnel for yourself, you’ll be able to walk away in style and confidence.
Do you find yourself negotiating with potential clients regularly? What is your go-to advice for freelancers when it comes to negotiating? Let us know in the comments section below.
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