1. Know your worth
Set a limit to what you will agree to. Don’t feel obligated into taking lower pay for a project. Your time is the most valuable thing you can offer and you should be compensated appropriately. Also know your goals and your main objective for the project. Is this a networking project to create relationships in a new industry? If it’s a cutting edge project that could propel you into a new area then be prepared to give up a little more to look favorable to the client.
2. Do your research
Look at the market. Compare your rates, services, and resume to what is currently being offered. Research other projects and talk to people you know in the industry. You can find lots of great information by talking to the right person. Find out who that person is. The more you know about the position and market, the better you’ll be in negotiations. Don’t hesitate to have the information and data at your finger tips when negotiating.
3. Be open to compromise
You won’t get everything you want in a contract. Have your priorities and know you may have to let some things go. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for everything. The worst they can do is not give it to you. They already want you, so don’t be afraid to assert yourself. We see too many contractors accept unfavorable contract terms because they are too afraid to ask. At the same time listen to the client’s needs and try and come to a happy middle ground. Just as you don’t want to go to work feeling like you aren’t getting compensated appropriately, the client won’t enjoy paying too much and may find it enticing to look for another contractor at first chance.
4. Know the Client/Broker
You’ve been in the business for years and seen plenty of contracts, but knowing the intricacies of contracts can go a long way. Some clients have set payment terms so they won’t be able to compromise on those but they may be able to shift in other places. Again don’t be afraid to talk to other contractors that may have worked for those clients. IProfessional can help with this too as we see plenty of contracts from various industries.
5. Take your time
Take your time and go over every facet. Contracts can look complicated so read them over thoroughly. If it takes you an extra day, don’t worry. Better to make sure you have everything covered than be surprised later on by a clause or section that limits your access to future work. Additionally, don’t be afraid to walk away from an unfavorable contract. Many people believe that ending a negotiation closes the door to future projects. In fact this is the complete opposite. By accepting an unfavorable deal you set yourself back and force yourself to prove your worth rather than declaring it. Ending negotiations on a friendly note and keeping in contact with the hiring manager can lead to more appropriate contracts in the future.