Friday, February 1, 2013

10 Ways of Improving Your Chances in Negotiation

As you progress in your freelance career, you’ll find that you’ll need to start negotiating with your editors if you expect to get paid more money. In the beginning, you had no recourse but to accept whatever a publication paid. But as you move on up the ladder of success, you’re in a position to ask for more pay. But to do that, you’ll need to negotiate.

Negotiation is a two-sided process. If either side weighs heavier than the other, it’s out of balance. Since you’re the one who will be initiating the negotiation most of the time, it’s up to you to make sure all your ducks are in a row. Otherwise, the other side will get the upper hand and control the process, usually not in your favor.

Here are ten things you can do to make sure the negotiation goes well and in your favor. Keep them in mind each time you step up to ask a client for more money or a more reasonable deadline. And as in any bargaining situation, be prepared to back away.

    1. Sell yourself on your idea first.
   
    2. Get to the right person before you start your negotiation. Let’s face it, there’s no point wasting your
time talking to someone who’s in no position to talk money.
   
    3. Know why you deserve what you’re asking for. Your resume and hourly rate schedule will help you here.
   
    4. Before you negotiate, get a good night’s rest. Being well rested will boost your confidence, improving your chances during the negotiation.
   
    5. Make sure you take the right approach at the start of the meeting or phone call. Remember, you want the client to think your idea is his or her idea and that you’re just calling attention to it.
   
    6. Think big. Always ask for more than you think you’ll get. You can always go lower but never back up once you’ve come to an agreement.
   
    7. Keep some other ideas in reserve. Be prepared to counter a negative offer with an irresistible idea.
   
    8. Offer to help the client. See the negotiation from his or her point of view. Does he need to make money or save money or reach more readers?
   
    9. Make your client think he’s getting the better part of the deal. If you do, he’ll want to do business with you in the future.
   
    10.  If you’re client gives you the your price-is-to-high treatment, don’t retreat. Be ready to explain why your price is a bargain.

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