ONE Key Negotiation Strategy That Will Guarantee More Clients

Hey BossBabes, I hope you’ve all had an awesome, full-tummied thanksgiving weekend with people you love! If you’re a non-American like me, I hope you had a restful weekend, ready to tackle the coming days. Today I’m sharing the best negotiation strategy discovered through personal experience.

After over two years fine-tuning my client negotiation skills as a creative (a freelance UX/UI designer and consultant), this is by far the most effective method.

1. Give away almost everything you know for free.


Ummmmm, wtf? What are clients paying for then, Jen?

I’ll tell you right away that this works because no one is willing to do it. Everyone is so afraid of giving away what they know that your client will be truly grateful you cherish them enough to give them ‘insider information’.

Information is perceived as exceptionally high-value. However, information is absolutely useless without insight. And that’s what they’ll be paying you for.

Say you’re a writer, and you tell a client that they should be optimizing their SEO and posting consistent content 3x a week. Do you think they’ll immediately go do this well just because you gave them that information? No way! That’s what they’ll pay you to do. Regardless, they’ll be thankful you even told them that in the first place.

We often approach negotiation being guarded and wary of giving away everything up our sleeve. This is actually counter-intuitive because it has a negative impact on our outcomes and inhibits trust. Adam Grant, author of the bestselling book Give and Take says we must “follow the norm of reciprocity, responding in kind to how we treat them.”

In other words, if we wanna be seen as trustworthy, we must offer trust first.

By revealing some information, even when it’s unrelated to the negotiation, you increase the end outcome. You don’t even have to offer technical, insider info of your creative field! Disarm your client by offering a piece of vulnerable information about yourself. Hobbies, personal concerns, or dreams – this will set a positive vibe that’ll be more conducive to closing.

With every single potential client I meet, I make sure to equip them with as much high-value, free information as I possibly can about a subject. Because I want them to succeed. And you should want your clients to succeed to!

Have a good Monday, and continue to kick ass.

Jenny Gao

Founder of Other Worldly—Creative Entrepreneurship for Free Spirited Millennials

Jen is the latte-obsessed founder of Other Worldly, where she teaches millennials how to start creative businesses that they care about and live fulfilling lives. A bit of a creative 'jack of all trades', she uses the medium of photography and writing to create mindful stories about her experiences as a traveler and creative, making a point to showcase both the real bits too, not just the highlight reel!

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