Most graphic designers get into the business because they want to be creative. They spend years developing excellent skills in art and design, maybe even marketing, but many designers are at a loss when when a client asks for a deal. Here are a few tips to make client negotiations easier.
Know Where You Compete
There are many ways to compete in a marketplace, but the three main ones are cost, quality, and service. If you know where your strengths are, you know where your bargaining chips lie. If you’re quality and service are excellent, you don’t need to be cheap.
Keep The Balance
In our article about the scope-timeline-budget balance we talked about how changes in any of these factors will affect one, or both, of the others. Use this knowledge; never move on one without changing another. That is to say, if the client wants the project done cheaper then suggest reducing the scope of the project.
Know Your Value
When trying to get new work it can be easy to agree to a lower price just to get the job. That’s fine, but know your own worth and be careful not to sell yourself short. Also be aware of how lowering your rate affects how the client perceives your value and watch that you aren’t setting dangerous precedence – if you give them a deal the first time, will they expect a deal every time?
Be Willing To Not Get The Job
It’s easy to get too focused on getting the job, and as a result agreeing to a price that’s too low, or making promises that you’ll have to bend over backwards to meet. Know what you can and can’t accept for terms of the job, and stick to them. Think of it this way: if you get every single job that you quote for, maybe your prices are too low.