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How to Deal with Negotiating Clients in Freelance Business

Updated on October 5, 2013

Setting and negotiating freelance rates can seem like one of the most complicated and intimidating parts of the business but it really doesn't have to be.

Here are some DOs and DON'Ts that will help you decide how much to charge or at least arrive at a reasonable rate.

Let’s talk about the Don’ts first.

1) When you are asked for a negotiation, never tell your client that you are feeling undervalued. Being flexible is what the most of the clients want you to be. Don’t tell your client that you are hurt or angry with this act. Never tell your client that you are feeling of being offended.

2) When your client asks for a negotiation, never reaffirm your rate at that point. Your client already knows that. Do this only with sufficient explanations in a polite manner if you really think that the customer needs to know more about it.

3) Do not simply ignore the negotiating customers. Some clients ask for negotiations simply to check if you are charging a fair price. Most of my clients that try to negotiate eventually agree on my normal price. You will lose a good client just by ignoring and not answering a rightful question.

Now let’s talk about some DOs.

1) Highlight the Value not the Cost

Clients are more interested in what you will deliver than what you will charge. A client that comes to you always understands that the work they need done is valuable and they are always ready to pay money for that. I have heard from my clients numerous times that "Cost is not an issue for me; give me the right product that I need.” and “Whatever it takes, I will pay that, I need it done within the deadline”.

Emphasize on the value of your output, tell your client that your work's quality is great and they can depend on your services. Tell them that the money that they will pay you will be a valuable investment to improve their business.

If you are skilled enough, dedicated and you believe in yourself than you can easily convince your clients on your regular price.

In case you are a new freelancer with no portfolio or just starting as a freelancer and you don’t feel competent then it will be hard for you to negotiate. In this case, you can do some tricks. Offer a reduced price for the first week of the project; offer one free custom article writing, a free logo or a free template design. If the client agrees (which most definitely should) then it is your chance to prove yourself.

2) Do it for a Limited Time

When you find yourself forced to reduce your prices for whatever reason, tell your clients that this is for a limited time only, and after three months or three weeks, you will be charging a normal price. This expiry date will protect both of you and your client. Because the client will know that what would be the cost of the same work that you are doing after the expiry date. A satisfied client will never let you go just to save some money. Clients are not here to save money, they are here to spend and get some work done.

3) Treat your Clients as Peers

Treat your clients as peers, not as bosses. When negotiating, don’t play the boss' rules. This means that negotiating is not just for the price of the work; it is also to see if you and the client both are a good fit for each other. Your negotiation skill will improve with the passage of time as you deal with more clients over time.

How do you negotiate with you clients? If you are having trouble negotiation with your clients, use the comments box below to get an advice.

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