Negotiating prices as a self-employed person: Preparation is the key to success.
Many people find it difficult to conduct price negotiations on their own behalf. This is something that I have been able to observe throughout my 20 years of negotiations – in my role as a negotiation expert for banks and as an independent negotiation strategist.
The fact is: Negotiating or selling services for yourself is harder than acting as a negotiator for a reputable company.
Why is it so hard to negotiate prices (fees) for oneself? Once you’ve understood the reasons for that, you will be a big step closer to the solution!
Ever since I started supporting businesspeople in price negotiations, I have identified 2 perils that make negotiating in one’s own name significantly harder.
The 2 perils to avoid when negotiating prices as an entrepreneur:
Emotional attachment to the product or the service
Your services are the product of many years of toil, ideas, labour, energy, and passion. You have already weathered successes and failures with your business and surely have invested money in it. As a result, an emotional bond has grown between you and your services. That’s absolutely natural!
Emotions are out of place in price negotiations, because they prevent us from thinking and acting rationally.
The power of decision is in your hands. And is sabotaging you.
As an entrepreneur, you determine how much your services are worth. You do not have to justify yourself to supervisors when you agree to mark down prices. This automatically increases the temptation to give in during price negotiations and to lower the prices – in hopes of accommodating, reaching and retaining potential customers.
Enter into negotiations well prepared by doing your homework.
Tip 1: Always think like business owner!
1) Clarify your roles. You have many different roles in life. In business, you act exclusively in the role of an entrepreneur.
2) Get your entrepreneurial roles straight, too: You are an expert in your area, an excellent service provider, a problem solver…
while customer acquisition and sales are not your first concern? That’s alright. Those are skills you can learn. Because: The moment you intend to sell your services and need to negotiate a price for them, you are an entrepreneur with negotiation skills! Make sure to get that straight!
3) Take what you are negotiating for or selling for what it really is: your company’s service – no more.
Thinking in numbers is the best way to let go of an emotional attachment to your own services.
Tip 2: Stand by your value and the price you offer.
Decision-making authority means: YOU set the value of your service. Not your customers.
What’s important: “YOU” does not mean that you have to determine the price of your services on your own. Either you have a team to consult with. Or, if you are self-employed, get professional support! People who are able to size up your strategy objectively and who provide practical input. Make sure to keep tabs not only on your costs, but also on the added value that your services offer to your customers!
Not every opinion is helpful. I would explicitly advise against consulting family and friends. Their suggestions may be well-meant. But they do not have the necessary expertise and you are too close to them. Only a neutral and professional opinion will help you to set the right price for your negotiations.
Once you have worked out the value and thus the price of your service in a professional manner (Yes, that’s work!), you’ll see: You’ll be happy with and sure of your offer and able to stand by it without any qualms.
In closing, here are two more final tips for your price negotiations:
• Never allow fear to run your price negotiation.
• Never be apologetic about your price.
Would you like professional and respectful support for your negotiation strategy? I would be happy to be your sparring partner: Together we will get you in shape for your price negotiations!
My programme “Increase your value” is designed just for you:
UPSHOT: After the programme, you will be better at selling yourself and your services and able to turn out a bigger profit!
Stay tuned: The upcoming blog article will discuss cutting a good figure during negotiations.You can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or +436602400135.
Your Raluca Ionescu