Win-Win Negotiables: Making You Money While Making Your Clients Happy
If you're in the business of doing freelance work, you must understand the way negotiations work. The negotiation process can be a little confusing to new freelancers because there are often things that seem like they should be negotiable while others don't.
This article will help you understand what's negotiable and what isn't, so you can make sure your clients get exactly what they want without having to pay more than necessary.
Step #1 - Prepare Your Negotiables and
Non-negotiables Before the Client Meet-up
When you're meeting with a client for the first time, it's important to be prepared. You should have an idea of what you're going to ask for before they walk in the door. You don't want to be caught off guard and end up agreeing to something that isn't fair or reasonable just because you didn't know what else was available.
Expecting some things to be negotiable and other things to not be. This can happen for a variety of reasons.
For example, if you're working on a project for a client who has never worked with an agency before, they might not understand how much time it takes to complete certain tasks. In this case, it would be important that you set clear expectations about what is expected from them during the project--and make sure that those expectations are enforceable in case anything goes wrong later down the line!
Another example might involve price: Some clients may feel like they need more money than originally quoted because their budget has changed since first agreeing on pricing (or perhaps because they think they deserve more). If this happens with your client while negotiating terms and conditions, remind them that there were no changes made at all during initial conversations surrounding costs; all pricing information was accurate then!
What is non-negotiable?
The best way to negotiate terms and conditions is to know what your non-negotiables are. What are the things that you absolutely cannot change, no matter what? Once you have this information, it’s easier to determine which parts of a project are negotiable vs. unchangeable.
It’s important to know what your non-negotiables are because you don’t want a client to ask for something that isn’t possible. If you have problems with this approach, try saying “yes, but…” when someone asks for something that is out of the scope of your agreement. This way, you can still see if their request is reasonable or not without compromising on anything.
What is negotiable?
The next step is to determine what is negotiable. This can include anything from timelines and deadlines to deliverables, pricing, and more. Keep in mind that even if you’re not willing to negotiate on some of these points, you should still discuss them with the client so they know where your boundaries are.
This way, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page and that nothing gets lost in translation. It’s also important to avoid making any assumptions about what the client wants. If they ask for something specific, it’s best to confirm with them directly before proceeding with anything else.
Here are the 6 important points that will help you in the negotiation process:
Quality of work: As a freelancer, your top priority should be to deliver high-quality work that meets the needs and expectations of your clients.
Deadlines: Meeting deadlines is critical to earning clients’ trust and maintaining a good working relationship with them. Setting realistic deadlines and meeting them will help you do that.
Payment: Always be sure to set and stick to clear payment terms. Never make exceptions or accept delayed payments; this is an insult that devalues your work.
Price: Price is always a negotiable point, and you should feel free to negotiate it. However, be careful not to price yourself out of the market; if your rates are too high compared with those of other freelancers in the same field, clients will likely go elsewhere.
Revisions: While you should always aim to produce top-quality work, it may be necessary to revise your work at some point. Negotiate with the client about how many revisions are required and when they must be completed by.
Communication: Although it is important to maintain open communication with your clients, you can negotiate how frequently and in what ways the two of you communicate.
Project Scope: Depending on the needs of your client, you can negotiate project scope by adjusting deliverables or tasks. You may also modify timelines or budgets as needed.
Step #2 -Figure out what are the client's pain points
The second step to help you prepare your negotiables and non-negotiables is figuring out the pain points of your prospective client. This means that you need to ask questions about the project and understand what the client wants from it.
Sure, here are 20 discovery questions that can help you uncover your client's pain points during a client meet-up:
1. What are the biggest challenges you face in your business?
2. What are the pain points that your customers experience when interacting with your business?
3. Have you received any negative feedback from customers or clients recently?
4. Are there any areas of your business that you feel could be improved?
5. Are you experiencing any issues with customer retention?
6. Are there any common objections that customers have to your products or services?
7. Have you noticed any changes in customer behavior or preferences in your industry?
8. Are there any internal processes or systems that are causing frustration or inefficiency?
9. Have you experienced any problems with your current marketing or advertising campaigns?
10. Are you struggling to reach your target audience effectively?
11. Are there any gaps in your product or service offerings that you feel could be addressed?
12. Are you finding it difficult to generate leads or convert them into customers?
13. Are you struggling to keep up with competitors in your industry?
14. Have you experienced any issues with the supply chain or logistics?
15. Are there any regulatory or legal issues that are causing concern?
16. Are you finding it difficult to manage cash flow or maintain profitability?
17. Are there any staffing or HR issues that are causing problems?
18. Have you noticed any issues with your brand reputation or perception?
19. Are you finding it difficult to keep up with industry trends or emerging technologies?
20. Are there any other pain points or challenges that you would like to discuss?
Step #3 - Ask yourself these questions
What does the client want from you?
As a freelancer, then it's important to ask yourself what the client wants from you. If they're not willing to pay your rate and all they want is someone to quickly churn out a mediocre product that'll still cost them less than if they had hired someone else, then you should think twice about taking their business.
On the other hand, if they want something polished and high-quality, then it might be worth considering lowering your price so you can make more money in the long run by building up a reputation for producing great work.
What's the client's budget?
This is another question you should ask yourself before taking on a new client, especially if they're not willing to pay your rate. If they have a small budget and want something that costs more than they're paying, then it might be better to turn down the job.
On the other hand, if they're willing to pay what you need and are looking for quality work rather than just something cheap, then there's no reason not to take their business.
What are the client's goals and yours that coincide?
You should always ask a client what they're looking to achieve from their project. If their goals align with yours, then there's no reason not to take their business. If not, though, you might want to reconsider whether or not it's worth the effort of working with them.
If how much money they can spend on this project, then it's time to discuss the price with them. If not, feel free to offer some ballpark figures based on similar projects that were done in the past or other similar skill sets within your organization--this will give both parties an idea of what kind of cost range might be involved with completing their goals together!
Do you have enough time to work on completing the project?
If you're working on a project and don't have enough time to finish it, then don't start. That's just common sense, and it will save you from having to rush at the last minute and potentially making mistakes that could cost you in the long run.
Step #4 -Enforce your negotiable and
non-negotiable terms and conditions on paper
This is especially important when you're dealing with non-negotiables, like getting paid on time or having access to the equipment you need. If there's no contract, then it's up to the other party whether or not they want to honor those terms--and if they don't, nothing is stopping them from doing so.
You may think that since this is business and not personal, they won't break their word just because they don't like how things turned out between the two of you. But trust me: people will find ways around even good contracts if they want something badly enough!
So make sure that whatever deal is being made has been put down in writing so both parties know exactly what their responsibilities are under said agreement and can't just walk away from their end of the bargain.
Sometimes you will go into negotiations expecting some things to be negotiable and other things to not be negotiable.
Takeaway: Aim for a Win-Win Negotiables
A win-win situation is a best possible outcome. If you can achieve a win-win situation with your client, it means everyone involved is happy and will continue to work together in the future (if not already)! This can be difficult to achieve, but it’s worth trying to do so if at all possible!
Try to think of ways that both parties can benefit from an agreement you make; maybe one side gets something they want while also providing something else they need in return—this way neither party walks away feeling like they were taken advantage of or cheated out of what was promised.
The best way to prepare is by making a list of everything that you may need or want out of this client.
This includes things like the initial payment, how often they will pay, what type of projects they want you to work on, and how much time you can dedicate to them each month. You can also include any additional requests, such as needing access to their email account or wanting your social media accounts linked up with theirs.
You also need to have a way to enforce the terms and conditions of your agreement so that both parties are protected if one party does not follow through with what they promised.
You should always be prepared for negotiations and know what you need from the client. This will make you money while making your clients happy.