The Art of Renegotiating Rates With Clients

by Thom Tracy

2 min read

The only thing more difficult than negotiating your rate with a client is renegotiating it. You may find it awkward and intimidating to ask a client for more money, but, as a freelancer, you’re the only one looking out for yourself. Whether you receive a fair pay rate depends entirely on your negotiation skills. If you aren’t receiving appropriate compensation for your services, there are a few tactics you can use to renegotiate it more effectively.

Identify the Reason for the Raise

You aren’t going to get very far in your negotiation if your only reason for a raise is that you want more money. Everyone wants more money. For your clients, the question is, “Why should we pay you more, and are you providing enough value to justify a pay increase?”One common reason for a pay increase as a freelancer is that you’ve outperformed your original pay rate. To convince a client that your value has increased, you need to show evidence. For example, if you’re a digital marketer, you could point to the return on investment that resulted from your marketing campaigns. Whatever you do, look for evidence that shows what you’re worth to your clients.You may need to negotiate a higher rate if scope creep is resulting in more work than you originally agreed on with a client. You can avoid scope creep by drawing up clear contracts for all your jobs.

Prepare for Objections

The ideal scenario is that your client immediately agrees to increase your pay. As the adage goes, “Prepare for the worst, and expect the best.” Your client may have objections to increasing your pay. Consider any objections your client might use so you’re better prepared to deal with them.Your client could say that a higher rate is too expensive, at which point you should present evidence showing the value you provide. If a client mentions that other freelancers charge lower rates than you, explain how you provide a higher-quality service than they do.

Project Confidence

Confidence plays a huge role in any negotiation. You can have all the numbers in the world to demonstrate your value to a client, but they don’t mean a thing without the confidence to demand what you’re worth.You may need to shift how you view yourself and your clients. If you’re willing to take whatever they give you because you need the money, then you’re negotiating from a position of weakness. Know that if you’re providing a valuable service, it’s not easy for them to find another freelancer who can do what you do. Figure out your target and minimum acceptable pay rates before you negotiate, and be ready to walk if your needs aren’t met.Renegotiating your pay rate may be nerve-wracking, but remember that you have the edge if you prepare. Spend time going over the numbers and planning responses to any client objections. When you make your move, do it with confidence, and stick to your guns.

References & Resources

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