“I will make you an offer you can’t refuse”.
While the set-up of this dialogue is condescending, it applies to all freelancers when it comes to convincing the business that’s going to invest time, effort and money in your abilities. In fact, the art of negotiation is not about the commercials at all, it’s about mastering the tactic of FOMO. If they don’t work with you, they will miss out on the best talent and effortless business output.
Here are a few tips that can come in handy.
1. Know your worth
As they say “You are not paying me for 5 hours, you are paying me for 10 years it took me to master the art of delivering 3 days of work in 5 hours.” As a freelancer you need to be aware of your worth. If you are good at what you do and can deliver top- notch service, in time without compromising the quality, your confidence and calm should show in your negotiations.
2. Do your homework
There’s no point in mastering the art of negotiation, if you don’t know what your prospective client needs or trying to fix. So before you come to the table, do your homework about the company, their strengths and weaknesses. Knowing their pain points, allows you to have a constructive conversation specifically on how you can help them overcome challenges.
3. Remain detached
There’s nothing worse than desperation when it comes to negotiation. Your clients will be able to sense it from miles away. So learn to be detached from the gig you are negotiating for. It will help you be calm and composed while negotiating.
4. Learn to say no
Sometimes, saying no can save both you and the client, the heartburn. It helps you separate emotions from logic. If you can’t do the job in the given timeline for a reason or cannot accept it because it does not match your minimum rate, be comfortable to say no. Clients are not used to freelancers turning down gigs, so it may work to your advantage too. They will sense the spirit of commitment and integrity they need and will be up for paying more.
5. Don’t settle or give in too quickly
Patience is a virtue. Negotiation can be painstakingly slow, it’s a game of patience. If you feel confident that you deserve what you’re asking for, then fight for it for as long as it takes. At some point, you may have to meet in the middle—but don’t say “yes” to the first number they throw out at you.
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