You know how I said in the last article that I would give you a foundation to work from to negotiate with your clients?
Let me explain why having this foundation is so important.
I’ve shared this metaphor so many times: a bird in the hand is way better than a bird over in the bush, right?
Bird in the bush is potential. Bird in the hand is reality.
The foundation I’m describing for you isn’t just “How to Negotiate Super Well”.
It’s actually the foundation of a relationship.
You see, it’s not the method that lands you the clients and projects, it’s the rapport that you build with the clients by following these points that lands the projects.
These clients come to Know, Like, and Trust you, and that gives you the ability to negotiate initial projects…
… and then upsells…
… and then cross sales…
… and then bring it back in and upsell those cross sales…
… and have clients for years and years and years to come!!
The last three points I’m about to give you will help you to see this better.
#5 – Assumptive Close
Here you make the assumption that they’re going to say yes and you’re going to go ahead and get started.
I put at the bottom of the proposal email for that company that asked me to create 21 video scripts, “I think this is going to be a great project, I’m going to get started on the research for this and start writing the first script. I can’t wait to hear from you.”
I made the assumptive close that we were going to be able to do that project together and to do it very successfully. If you’ve asked a lot of questions and written a simple proposal, the assumptive close works because they’ve already made an investment into you of time and energy.
#6 – Be Generous & Easy to Work With
Before we get into this, let me point something out.
When people begin negotiating a deal, they often start from the wrong foundation, the wrong perspective. They start with the idea that they are about to wage war.
“I have to get all I can out of this because they are going to squeeze me for everything they can get out of me.”
This is a false expectation. Point six shows you how you can correct it.
Generous: I like to get on the same side of the table with the client and focus on the project. Not on the dollar amount.
“How do we help you be more successful?” “What do we have to do to help this campaign rock?”
You give yourself. You give your ideas and your thoughts. You reach out to them. You think about their stuff.
You do to them what you would like them to do to you.
You plant seeds so that you can reap a great harvest. And they get even greater benefit, Win – Win!
Easy to work with: Sometimes they just can’t do the price I asked for, and so… if I can see in my mind a way to upsell them and cross sell them or I can see that I can do the project faster or that the negotiating price is still within my range… then my answer is: “Sure, I can do less.”
Often they’re ready for battle, but when you just say, “Sure”… they deflate. They’ll say, “Okay then, let’s get started!” 🙂
#7 – Be Willing to Walk Away
However… if you can’t upsell and cross sell, if you can’t figure out how to do things faster, if it’s just going to be way outside the bounds your hourly rate, if it’s not a good long term investment, then… you’ve got to be willing to walk away.
You’ve got to respect yourself and your family.
A little bit of money — from a project that’s going to consume a lot of your time and prevent you from finding other clients that will actually pay your rate — is not worth it.
Those clients that are always in that mode of, “I’m gonna squeeze this copywriter down to get all the copy out of him that I can…” those guys are the worst clients ever to work with.
But you know, I have people tell me all the time, “I negotiated this deal, got the contract, then they stiffed me on the final payment.”
Or, “They were so hard to work with.”
Or, “They didn’t even send the first check and I already sent the copy.”
With, like, one or two exceptions, this has never happened to me.
It just doesn’t happen to me!
Because I follow these seven steps.
I have my hourly rate, I target the right kind of clients, I ask a lot of questions and I’m genuinely curious about things. Then I try to reap what I sow and sow what I want to reap. I’m generous and easy to work with. And when I have to, I walk away.
Because I try to do all those things, all those things come back to me. And it’s what will allow you to negotiate the best deals ever. Because you got yourself on a foundation of correct principles that produce a lot of wonderful results.
Follow these seven steps and ingrain them into your system. You’ll find that you’ll never have to worry about not getting paid a lot — and paid frequently — and you’ll never be in that uncomfortable situation of bargaining for bits.
It makes for a great lifestyle.