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How to Negotiate With Clients on Pricing

How to Negotiate With Clients on Pricing

Liston Witherill
Liston Witherill
2 min read

Learning how to negotiate with clients on price is a rare skill that makes you money immediately. Find out how, right now.

The art of negotiation is one of those elusive arts that seems confined to the inner sanctums of smoke-filled rooms.

It’s not that complicated, actually. And the best news is that you can quickly learn how to do it.

Before I get into how to conduct the negotiation, let’s agree on a few things:

  1. Price is one of many factors that cause a client to buy or not buy.
  2. A price objection may actually be a different objection in disguise.
  3. You don’t have to give the client everything they want.

Do we agree?

Okay good. Let’s keep going.

Starting with the first axiom of negotiation, your client wants much more than the price tag. They want quality, speed, communication, ease of adoption, support, expertise, and more. Mostly, they want their problems to go away.

The first key on how to negotiate with clients on pricing is to not negotiate with clients on pricing. It might be tempting to jump right in and get your client to budge on their desired price but resist the urge. Instead, focus on the outcome the client wants. That’s why they’re talking to you in the first place: you provide the promise of markedly improving their situation. Remind them.

Find out what they really want. I once had a client who always needed a “win” in every negotiation. If he got me to budge on something, somewhere, it really made him happy. In subsequent negotiations, I simply marked up my price, knowing he’d ask for a 20% reduction, and everyone was happy. I got the price I wanted, he got a win, and I addressed his challenges head-on.

Never cut the price without cutting scope. Every negotiation requires concessions from both parties. If your client doesn’t want to pay the price you named, give them another option, or cut something from delivery. They don’t get to simply pay a lower price. It doesn’t work like that.

It’s okay to think about it. You should go into every negotiation knowing the lowest number you’ll accept, the conditions and contingencies you’ll trade off, and the number you’ll walk away from. That’s your required homework. Occasionally you’ll still get a surprise in the negotiation, and be caught off guard. If that happens, take some time to think about it. You don’t need to make a decision on the spot.

See. That wasn’t so bad. If you implement these small changes in your negotiation, I guarantee you’ll make more money in your next negotiation. You can send a check to the address on my contact page.