The greatest myth about profit is that the client doesn’t want you to have any: You either lock horns with them and try to wrestle them down, or you roll over and let them cut the price.
I used to believe this stands to reason, and then I learned better. They don’t mind if you get paid but don’t want to be the only ones to pay you. That only makes sense if you can see a difference between a negotiating position and its underlying interest. A position is an overt demand: I want $20.000 for this job, while the interest is the motivation behind it: I want respect and financial stability.
The difference is, that while the client wants to pay less than 20.000 (position), it doesn’t mean they don’t want you to have the profits, respect, or stability (interests). There are other ways in which your interests could align:
– Equity/revenue sharing: you could instead make 50.000 if you share the risk and let their clients foot a large portion of that bill
– Skill development: a part of your pay could be training or access to resources that will allow you to upgrade your offer in the future greatly
– Retainer: they could offer a steady stream of revenue that will help you reach financial stability but in a longer term
When you start seeing negotiations as a collaboration, rather than a conflict of interests, you can both “win”. I’ll show you how to uncover interests in the next email.