Negotiate Value with a Target Number
So get your rate; how do you get your rate? And that's really the idea behind this fear. I don't know, right. If I tell them my rate and it's too high they're gonna say "Forget it." Some might; some might not. So the first thing I wanna show you is some stats. I did this talk for The Muse not too long ago. And these are some stats that they provided, which is true. People are too afraid to negotiate. This fear of I'm not good enough; I don't have that value. So you've gotta walk in with confidence. You really have nothing to lose. Because if they tell you, "I can't pay you for this," then you can negotiate. But you have to make a decision because here's the thing. This is kind of silly. It's such a low number; it's just money. We have this idea in our head, "I'm not allowed to talk about money; this is weird." You actually get to talk about money. I love talking about money. Because the minute I bring up money, it determines whether or not they're gonna be my clients. It's hard because...
when you're starting you're like, "I need that job; I wanna do it well." I will also tell you I've taken jobs that I knew weren't right for me and I was miserable. So why was I doing it? Because I had this drive, this weird thing of I have these rules in my head about freelancing even though I've never freelanced. I had a conversation recently with a designer. And I said to them, "Have you gone out and gotten work? "Have you been looking for work, have you let people know?" And she said, "No, I haven't." And I said, "Why?" "I'm redesigning all of my work. "My portfolio, I'm redesigning everything. "I'm doing all of that." And I said, "Well, who told you to redesign everything?" And her response was, "Me." I said, "Well, how do you know?" You're putting all this extra work and time and effort into something and no one's told you to do that. Because this weird rule in our head that it has to be this way or I have to talk to clients this way or I have to do this this way that doesn't exist. It's this idea that we have. So make your own ideas up. I have great conversations about money with clients. I love that. For me, I do things like-- when I say things to clients about raising rates, they'll say, "Why are you raising your rates?" And I'll say, "Well, because you ask a lot of questions." because it's just a conversation. If I know that person, I have that relationship, I feel comfortable doing that. So do your research. Pay attention to clues in the actual conversation when they start talking. If it's all about money, money, money, money you know they're really nervous about budget. What's your budget? You've been telling me a lot about this fear of money. Let's talk about it. What's your problem that you need solved and what's your budget? Use your mentor. Mentors are great because they'll help you. And they will be the ones to tell you no, no, no, no, no, you're not valuing your work enough. Be confident, tell them what you want. And then target your rate; what's your number? We came up with a number earlier based on my salary, so that's my target. So target your number. This is my suggestion for negotiation. Do not give them a range. Because if you were gonna give me a range I'd be like, great, your range is $40 to $60. I'd like to pay you $40. That's your range. Give them a number. You're more likely to get close to that number in negotiations. So give them a solid number. Better yet, don't just say $85. Say "I charge $85.50" or I charge this. That is your number. So have your target number, but then have your walkaway point. Because we get into this moment of I gotta take this job. If it's not a number that you feel comfortable with you can step back. You can also say to a client, "I need to think about this; "let me get back to you tomorrow." Don't make that decision immediately. I've had clients say, "No, you have to make a decision right now." And I said, "Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that. "My decision is I'm not ready to take this job." It just feels right or wrong. So you have to think about that. So I like the actual number.