Kate, it took me a long time to come to the understanding that I am worth it. It wasn't easy and I'm sure I've lost jobs b/c of it, but at the same time I'm now getting more work than ever and at a much higher rate, proving to myself and everyone else that I AM worth it.
Hmm, tips? Well, I have to feel it out. Don't tell them everything! Guess that goes with many negotiations unless it's a lay-it-all-on-the-line deal. For antiques I say how much I have to spend on something based on what I think it's really worth to me. If they think that's horrible then it's automatically a no-go and I couldn't have afforded it anyway! I low-ball, for sure. Then it goes back and forth and these people are good at that and it's what they expect. It's a good way to work on your negotiating chops! Now that I think about it, I love to wrangle with antique dealers and they do too so it always ends up a win-win (basically!).
For work, I give an estimate based on the type of work, the client, the time it would take, etc. So I may say I'll do this recording for XXX and deliver it perfectly clean and good to go. Then they say no, X is all we can spend but we want you, blah blah blah. OK, well for XX I'll give you the sound but it will take a few extra days. Oh well, we can't go higher than X.xx and this is where I have to decide if it's worth it for me. What would make it worth it? Well, if I didn't have to spend so much time editing then it's worth it...I hate to turn down work but I'm finally at the point where I can if it doesn't fit my criteria.
This is a strange example since what I do isn't normal. Recently a client and I had email negotiations regarding a long term project. My hourly rate was accepted after I told them I wouldn't go lower b/c I'd quoted them the lowest I could possibly go already knowing that they were going to be giving me many many hours of work. This was true. Then they wanted to also negotiate my coming in and recording in their own studio. An hour and a half away. For me that doesn't work so I quoted a really high price. He balked, said no way and tried for lower. I lowered slightly and still he said it wasn't in their budget. That was fine with me! If they were willing to pay the price it would have been worth it for me but this way I'm not losing out and their not losing out. They still send me tons of work and we're all happy.
I don't think I'm answering your question but it would take a whole article and more thought to put my tips down
-know your worth
- Know what you're getting into.
-Be willing to barter options w/in the negotiations (if I spend more time here then I'll spend less time there, but if you give me more then it all gets done).
-Hold your head up and keep your shoulders back, even if it's email or on the phone. Posture helps you feel more secure in yourself!
-If you know you're going to be negotiating, do something that empowers you: wear something that makes you feel great, carry a picture/keepsake in your pocket and touch it to remind you of your goal.
-Set your intention in your head or on paper ahead of time.
-DON'T give excuses - don't excuse yourself for negotiating and don't make excuses for why you need to negotiate. Just do it (thanks, Nike!) and have confidence.
-Don't doubt yourself. If this is really what you believe in then stick to your guns.
-Learn...from yourself, from the person you're negotiating with, from the situation. Use it for the next time. What worked, what didn't?
Does anyone else have tips to share? My coffee break is over!