Core negotiation skills are extremely useful for creative professionals. Even so, negotiations can bring about feelings of apprehension, uncertainty, and anxiety.
Attending a sales negotiation seminar can allow creative professionals to build the career of their dreams, leading to creative and financial freedom.
What are the tactics that can support creatives to overcome their career vulnerabilities and attain success? How can creatives deal with employers and clients of different temperaments? The following eight negotiation strategies can help you reach out for opportunities, build relationships, and achieve career success.
As a professional, you know your trade. Still, are you prepared to close a sale on a chance meeting with a prospect? If a potential client called your phone right now, could you sell them your service at premium rates? Can you upsell the prospect on extra services and claim more value?
Being prepared can get you ahead, especially when an opportunity catches you unawares. For creatives, being prepared may mean having an outline for services provided. A set of service packages can work as an anchor for starting negotiations with a prospect. Know how to set your pricing. Expect different scenarios of what your prospect may request.
Cut Out the Need to Negotiate
Creatives can use insights gained from past jobs to make their expertise obvious. When prospects recognize you as an expert in your field, they are less likely to negotiate against your prices.
Use your previous work and training, such as from a sales negotiation seminar, to highlight your pricing and services. Work on your sales marketing to gain and hold the interest of prospects. Then, when a prospect needs your kind of service, you are likely to be the top pick. If you have a website, create a portfolio page. Show clear deliverables your clients should expect. Also, create a pricing page which shows how much you charge.
Be the Expert
Express to your clients that you know your field and your trade. Show the client that you know how best to determine their needs.
Ask clear and guided questions to clarify client needs. Collaborate with clients to create effective plans. Produce budgets and schedules in line with the client's needs.
When you're an expert, you are open to ideas. Even so, you make the important decisions on how your service best fulfils the client's needs. Don’t allow anyone to bully you into producing a shoddy job which may not fulfill the client’s needs.
Separate Yourself from Your Service
For photographers, designers, writers, content creators, and other creatives, we can feel like the individual is synonymous with the service. So, we can take business actions too personally. We care too much about rejection and criticism of our services.
For better sales outcomes, it’s advised for creatives to separate the person from the service. Otherwise, we let personal insecurities lead to a loss of professional perspective. View your business as a separate entity. It’s important to detach your emotions from business negotiation outcomes.
Don’t Cut Deliverables
As a creative professional, you will likely come across clients who love your work and want to engage your services but don't want to pay the full price. It might be tempting to cut deliverables to avoid losing the client and work within the client's budget. However, cutting down on deliverables often results in a loss of value and failure to meet the client's needs.
Delivering a watered-down result undermines your status as an expert. A service that produces a failed result can lead to blame games. Most likely, the creative professional will be the one to receive blame for below-par performance.
Don’t Rush Into a Deal
Anxiety about losing a client often causes the creative professional to hastily give in to client demands. Join a sales negotiation seminar to help you curb the urge to enter into a rushed deal. Learn to take your time and view the negotiation as part of the creative process.
It is during the negotiation that you find clarity on what the client requires. You also learn how best to deliver on objectives, and what price points to operate with. Rushing to close the deal exposes you to unfavourable terms while laying bare your weaknesses and insecurities.
Don't Accept the First Offer
Clients who approach you with an offer are usually prepared to negotiate on some margin or services. Most clients will make an initial offer, fully expecting the creative professional to make a counteroffer.
Seminar trainers advise that if you don't negotiate a higher rate, the client might lose some of the initial respect they had for you. The prospect may also mark down the value they had earlier attached to your services. Take some time to define the scope of your client's needs and adjust your budget accordingly. Try to close sales that claim a higher value than what's proposed.
Don’t Reveal What You Would Have Accepted
It’s not advisable to reveal to your client what your real bottom line is or how you arrived at your sales pricing. Often, such revelations leave the client feeling they were taken advantage of.
Revealing what you would have accepted puts you on a collision path with your client when future sales opportunities arise. The client will most likely use your revelations to negotiate a lower fee or more services.