Top 5 tips when negotiating your rates 31.10.2016 : 10:52am
Dealing with money can be a bit of a tricky subject,
especially when you’ve come from a working background where service and
employee rates are set by others. But when you go it alone, there’s no reason
why you have to go in blind to any negotiations or chats about rates.
Here’s a few pointers that may help you out when talking
cash money with any clients.
1. Have a starting point
As with any negotiation you have to come into any client
meeting with a figure in mind. This will probably be your normal hourly rate or
project rate, and will give you a base from which to start from. Nearly every
client meeting you have, you’ll get the inevitable “so how much do you charge?”
question. And you need to have an answer. Yes, you can negotiate from there but
not having a figure will leave you looking a little amateur.
2. Know your bottom dollar
Just as important as knowing your starting figure, you need
to know your rock bottom. This is basically the rate you won’t go below or else
the project or work just won’t be worth your time. It can be hard, especially
if some clients push and push (and they will, everyone wants something for next
to nothing), but you need to stand strong or else you’ll be running your
business at a loss.
3. Don’t be afraid to discount
Discounts are always welcome, especially on the client side.
So when you get a project come in really evaluate what you are getting out of
it. If it’s likely to lead to something bigger, your client is giving you ongoing
work as opposed to one-off bits, or if it’s going to be a good jump into other
industries or companies don’t be afraid to discount your rate. Of course you
don’t want to be crazy low but your clients will appreciate it if you come to
the table with something more competitive.
4. Don’t be afraid to negotiate
Similarly, if you think your clients are offering a figure
that is on the low side, don’t be afraid to negotiate with them. Whether they
simply don’t know market rates, or they’re just being a little cheeky, have an
open discussion with them to ensure you don’t sell yourself short. In the end,
it will mean everyone is happy.
5. Don’t hesitate to renegotiate
Renegotiating is a must, especially if you have been working
with a client for a decent period of time. The market doesn’t stand still and
neither should your rates, you have to factor in increasing costs and market
inflation. You can be smart and make small incremental changes, it doesn’t have
to be a whopping leap in price. Just make sure you outline the reasons why and re-sell
yourself to your client. Make them understand why you’re worth that little bit