Are you curious to know how you can improve your negotiation skills as a freelancer? Then this post is for you, Negotiation is a fundamental to your life and the way you distribute, create, protect, resolve, and manage anything of value. It is central to the viability of every business, for even non-profit-making organizations. The art of negotiating with clients is a very essential tool in today’s business world.
For newbie freelancers, the single skill can make or may your career. Many think negotiation always involves one party becoming the winner while the other end up being the loser. According to investopedia, Negotiations involves two or more parties who come together to reach an end goal through compromise or resolution that is agreeable to all those involved.
Negotiating is also NOT haggling but it is all about building rapport & nurture relationships with your potential client. How can you get to your buyer’s heart and make him agree with you? Here are some negotiation tricks and tips for freelancers that I have learned over the past few years.
Five Tricks to help you negotiate better as a freelancer
1. Show value First before you negotiate
You have to convince your client that you know exactly what you do. Show the value of working with you and why they should pick you. Gather data about their problem and how they would love to solve them.
Listen twice and then ask important questions to help you understand the client and his project. Instead of just hitting the pedal of “what is your budget?” question listen.
When I started freelancing I used to always want to get to this part at the initial conversation, the result I lost almost all of my potential buyers then. The thing is most buyers are already in tabs with at least 3 or more sellers at the same time. So the more convincing you sound the better for you.
Enough information in a business negotiation is a gold mine, helping you to serve the client better. Is the client having doubts? You’ll never know if you do not listen.
Learn to always under promise and over deliver.
2. Choose your method of Communication
In freelancing, your client can decide to give you a call or a written message. Not many find closing a deal on a phone call easy. Honestly it is not, as a newbie freelancer you need to find your strong communication method and leverage it to your advantage.
I have used both to my advantage and have worked perfectly fine. But I found over the years and with experience of top freelancers that the written communication method is the best if you play your cards well. I usually add the scope of work of their project with an itemized project budget, the project deadline and other important details.
Do you know that there are some words that can made communicating with your clients easier, learn more in my copywriting class.
So now that we have known your perfection communication method. What next?
3. Ask for budget
Most clients would not tell you directly what their budget is. They would rather ask the question “How much do you charge?“. As a newbie, your heart starts racing as you do not want to overcharge or undercharge the deal.
There are two ways I go about it one is that I simply ask them or I make research on the project and see how much freelancer charge for similar project.
Once you know their budget you can decide what scope of work you can agree on with them. What if the price isn’t okay by you? Be ready to compromise.
4. Settle for Win-Win
Negotiate to create a win-win situation for you and your client. It does not have to be a do or die affair. As a freelancer, it is also important that you state your own terms of the deal politely but firmly.
Be sure of yourself before doing this. Let the client know your limitations and what you’re ready to offer. I am always ready to build relationships with my clients and take lessons from each deal. Negotiation is not a way to earn quick cash off your client. Compromise but do not bend over backwards either.
5. Be Ready to Walk Away
So you have used all your tactics and the client isn’t ready to agree with you. It is perfectly fine to leave the deal. Tell your potential client that this will not work out. Don’t get emotionally attached to the project.
Even if you do not have options, speak as if you have. A No thank you would do, if the deal does not go in your favor.
The way you negotiate would strongly determine whether or not you would get the deal or other deals to come.
Practice frequently on how to execute the perfect negotiation. Read books and acquire knowledge. Talk to experts in the field and tap from their wealth of experience. And one last tip before meeting a client, have every resource at your disposal. Know every little detail and fact, this will help you in meeting the clients or customer satisfaction.
Let me know which you find the most important in the comment section below.
Till we meet again,