to Get Paid What You Want
Making a profit as a creative services professional is a
balance of meeting your client’s needs and your needs to make a profit. Learning to negotiate is the only answer to
avoiding becoming a non-profit business!
Considerations to Negotiate
don’t know the client or if you don’t know you have the job, being prepared to
negotiate is very important. Prime example: when you quote a price, what
do you do when the client wants to pay less? Answer: you walk away - or you
negotiate. When the client names a price lower than what is acceptable to you,
your answer can be, “Let’s take a look at how it can be done for that
For the client to pay less
than your quoted price the client will get less of some aspect of the project
description or you will get more of something valuable to your business.
The most business like way to negotiate is to be prepared. You can put together
these two lists in advance of your next pricing discussion. First, make a list
of the considerations the client can make to lower the price. For example, they
can get less usage rights, fewer personal consultations, smaller quantity of sketches,
variations or prints. Anything you can think of that will help the client pay
less without damaging the project.
List of Client Gets Less of
Less usage rights
Fewer personal consultations
Less quantity of prints
Second, make a list of
considerations where you can get more of something so the client can lower the
price. For example, you can get more time, more printed samples or better
payment terms. Your negotiations are
simpler and easier when you are prepared and have lots of items to choose from
on your two lists.
List of You Get More of
Better payment terms
Increased self-promotion rights
Better “credit” of your name, print or web site
Increased number of printed copies
The bottom line is you do
not have to accept less money for the same amount of work. You will damage your
chance at a profitable relationship with clients. You will give your work away.
Don’t do it. Instead, look for the win-win. Learn successful negotiating
techniques to get the best return on your creativity and your business.
Packaging Your Price
When you and your client have a price you both agree on
or when you want to gain a marketing edge over your competition, you'll find
that a good looking presentation of the price can be the difference between
getting the job or not. Whether you are
an artist, designer, photographer – any creative professional - an irresistible
presentation of your price will better demonstrates your professionalism,
value, expertise and abilities. This will help the client decide to hire you
instead of a competitor. In addition, this beautifully prepared proposal
demonstrates to the client the extra value they will get for the price they
will pay and the attention to detail you will apply to their job.
The final benefit s that the person you call “client”
probably has to get this approved and needs something to show around in
committee to help you get the job. After all, the estimate confirmation just
tells them what it would cost to hire you, but the packaging tells them why it is such a good idea!