Negotiation and Conflict Management - A Freelancer's Guide | Nick Armstrong | Skillshare

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Negotiation and Conflict Management - A Freelancer's Guide

teacher avatar Nick Armstrong, I make marketing FUN.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Intro to Freelancer's Guide to Negotiation and Conflict Management


    • 2.

      Negotiation Basics


    • 3.

      How To Win Negotiations


    • 4.

      How To Lose Negotiations


    • 5.

      How To Recover From Negotiation Problems


    • 6.

      How To Scope Negotiations


    • 7.

      Common Points of Business Conflict


    • 8.

      Understanding Scope Creep


    • 9.

      Setting Your Rate


    • 10.

      Handling Tough Questions


    • 11.

      Negotiation and Body Language


    • 12.

      Recap and Your Project


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About This Class

  • Do you often end up holding the short end of the stick with your clients?
  • Do you feel like you can't charge what you're worth without a mile of scope creep tagging along?
  • Do you want to handle client complaints and disagreements with tact and composition?

This course will teach you how to handle negotiations with clients, how to grow your confidence when setting and asking for your rate, how to handle tough situations and disagreements with your clients, and how to redirect scope creep into a profit-earning opportunity.

With the skills you'll learn, you'll have the opportunity to advance your goals in the real-world.

Earn more, stress less, grow your list of happy clients.

Meet Your Teacher

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Nick Armstrong

I make marketing FUN.


I'm Nick Armstrong and I make small business FUN.

I'm the Geek-in-Chief behind WTF Marketing, Fort Collins Startup Week, and Fort Collins Comic Con. I'm a dad, author, speaker at Ignite, PechaKucha, and TEDx, audio drama enthusiast, and award-winning serial entrepreneur.

More than anything, I love to make people laugh, especially while I'm teaching.

I want YOU to learn how to have fun in every aspect of your business and my classes are built specifically around fun, actionable projects.

Ready to make your business fun? Check out my courses below...

See full profile

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1. Intro to Freelancer's Guide to Negotiation and Conflict Management: Hi, I'm Nick Armstrong and welcome to a freelancers Guide to negotiation and conflict management.These are two of the most important skills you can learn as a freelancer.I know I've been one for ten years and I want to make sure that you have the skills to confidently set your rate, deflect Scope creep into a profit-making opportunity and handle any sort of issue that a client could bring to you without the worry that you're going to drop the ball on a client or lose the contract.I'm going to teach you how to set your rate, how to listen effectively, how to ask the right questions, and how to process issues effectively so that you can handle any sort of negotiation or conflict that comes your way as a freelancer.Let's get started. 2. Negotiation Basics: In order to get better at negotiation, you have to understand that there are different types of negotiation. The first type of negotiation is called integrative negotiation. That's a win-win. You win a little, the other person wins a little, you each get what you want. The second type of negotiation is called distributive negotiation. Somebody wins, somebody loses. The zero-sum game is a popular term for this. So somebody is losing something, taking away or giving up something in order for the other person to get something. The final type of negotiation is one that is pretty popular if you're asking for donations or asking for charity, it's the charitable negotiation. So this is win, lose or defer and then win again. So one party wins, the other party defers or chooses to win later. So they get some sort of future benefit. But at the moment they're losing. The moment the deal is sealed, somebody has lost. Then they go on to later win hopefully. This is how most sponsorship deals work. In negotiating, you're trying to prove value to the other party. In fact, if you're trying to pull out what the other party values as well. Negotiation is very much a two-way street. How do you scope and negotiation? Because most of us who, especially when we're early on in freelancing, just dive in. We go in, we say we're going to get this contract sign and here are my terms, sign it or I'll leave. That's not the right way to approach the problem. You need a website, you have money. I build websites, I need money. Let's solve that problem together. Probably not the best way to start a negotiation. But, if you ask the other party, what is their big why. Try to get to the intangibles, you're starting to pull out some more of those needs that might not be evident beyond well, we need a website, we need a logo, we need some copy for our website, we need a blog. Those types of things are nice. They're boxes to check off on somebody's marketing task lists, but they're not necessarily the big why, about why your client or prospect got into business to begin with? If you can address those while you are pitching, then you get a lot closer to somebody who is going to become a partner for this client or businesses as they grow. Ultimately, that's the game when you're a freelancer, that's how you'd be develop recurring clients. That's how you create longer-lasting relationships. That's how you charge more and are trusted with better quality of work. Without that trust, without that acknowledgment of the big why. If you're just checking off boxes forum, you are easily replaceable. You're a commodity. Nobody wants to be a commodity. If you are somebody who understands the needs and the desires of a business, you can answer the big why. That is a much stronger negotiation standpoint. How do you get there? You ask the right types of questions. You start to understand where your clients needs and wants are, and you go into that conversation before you even have them sign the contract, before you even prepped the contract. In the next lesson, we're going to be talking about things that can contribute to better negotiations. 3. How To Win Negotiations: If negotiation is a two-way street, a conversation about value then it stands to reason that the right types of questions, before any documents, any contracts, anything else or sign, would get you the most amount of value for your time. What are some questions that I recommend asking at the beginning of a negotiation? Well, first what are you looking to get out of this project? What is the end goal, right? Maybe they'll say something like, ''I hope we'll get a website or a logo or some copy from my website.'' Cool, but how will that make you feel? Will that let you launch your business? Will that take your business to the next level? Will that give you something that your business currently does not have? That excitement that thing that goes beyond the deliverable, the tangible thing, the money, right? Those are things that you want to get to. If you can get to the intangibles, you win. The negotiation can go really well or really poorly based entirely on your understanding of the intangibles. Intangibles also work the other direction, especially if this client or prospect has had some experience working with freelancers in the past that went badly. One question that you might think to ask is, what are some deal breakers if we were to work together? What are things that would cause you to cringe or have a bad experience? That's a really important question, especially if the client is balking about your rate or the deliverable timelines or the amount of prep work that has to go into the deliverable. That question alone can vet out whatever the speed bump is that's stopping them from signing your contract eventually. Finally, if you're concerned at all about scope creep, one of the most important questions that you can ask is, of all the deliverables that we've talked about during this meeting, is there one that's more important than the rest or are there a few that are more important than the rest? If a client answers with, ''Well, they're all important,'' you'd have recipe for scope creep. If the client tells you that one or two are more important than the rest, that's a good answer. It's worth investigating because those are the projects that the client considers most valuable, the deliverables that the client is most willing to pay for and will have the biggest issues with if they're not delivered on time. Those are the deliverables that you probably can't afford to screw up and still save the client relationship. Make sure that those deliverables are very well scoped and written explicitly into the contract so that the client feels comfortable and you know exactly what you're supposed to deliver. After all, that's a huge value to you as part of the negotiation and it can help reduce conflict in the future when it comes to that specific deliverable. Freelancers win at negotiation by being in the know. That is, they know the situation better than their competition or they know the environment better than their competition. Understanding the environment is a key consideration to going into negotiations with someone. The prospect or client might need some additional licensing or extra care or some extra hand-holding or training after the contract is complete, allows you to understand a better outcome for the client or prospect and that you can help achieve. Finally, you might just have better skills, you might be faster, you might have better technique. You might have some tip or trick or some script that lets you get to done faster or better or higher quality with fewer errors. Those are all negotiation points. Let's go into the next lesson and talk about how to lose at a negotiation. 4. How To Lose Negotiations: Last lesson, I taught you a lot about how to succeed a negotiation. We talked a lot about how negotiation is a conversation about values and getting to the bottom of those values starts with good questions. But all negotiations have one thing in common. They have to start with listening. Not listening to the other party is a critical point of failure for almost every negotiation. If you're not listening, you're not negotiating well, because remember, negotiation is a conversation about value and getting to the bottom of values requires good listening skills. Dishonesty in any form can be hazardous to negotiations as well, whether it's obfuscation or intentional deceit. Honest intent is overall just a really good business practice and the one that you should adopt as well, not just so you become a better negotiator, but so you become a better business owner. Not knowing your contract or not knowing your customer's contract can also come back to bite you in negotiations. This is where that small font can get you in trouble. Whether it's your own or of the clients, if you don't read it carefully, don't understand what it means, don't know how it works, those are things that can create disconnect between you and your client. Failing to understand the tangible and intangible needs of your customer when you're negotiating with them signals that you're either not listening well or you are sloppy with your details. Understanding what the tangible needs are, the deliverables, the specific timelines that they need, what resources are required, those are all really important as well as the intangibles, how the project being finished will make them feel. Those are all key points in negotiation. Missing them is sloppy and it creates tension. Jargon and lingo can also create roadblocks for you. If your client and you have different understandings of what a particular piece of jargon means, or what a process entails, or how steps are followed, then you're not going to have a good outcome because either the work that you put in won't be satisfactory or the work that comes out won't be satisfactory. It's not a good place to start a negotiation. The final critical point for an easy failure in negotiations is not understanding who you're truly negotiating with. If you're negotiating with a middle manager and they have to report to the CEO or somebody higher up in order to make the decision, but they like you, but the CEO or the higher up doesn't, you're in trouble. If you're not negotiating with the end user's goals in mind, that creates a big disconnect for you and it creates a really difficult negotiation point. How do you prevent these easy issues from becoming major roadblocks? Well first, listen more than you speak. Never operate with dishonest intent. There's really no other way to operate as a freelancer than honest intent, operating with honesty as your core value. Also, review your contracts with your clients line by line, by line, and keep asking questions until you are clear on the meaning of terms and conditions and how different functions of the contract work. If you're not clear yourself, get yourself to a lawyer and start asking those right questions. Next, make sure that any jargon or lingo that is questionable in your mind or in the client's mind is documented inside of the contract. There's really no other way to do this. Finally, ask if there are any other decision-makers that you need to be consulting with before you write your contract terms. If the goals of the higher-ups who are actually signing the contract and signing the checks are not being met by the negotiation points that were covered during the meeting, that's a problem. You have to address that in the contract somehow. Otherwise, you will end up with scope creep, unpaid work, and a lot of frustration. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about how to recover from a stalled out negotiation. 5. How To Recover From Negotiation Problems: Recovering from a negotiation that is off track is really difficult. In order to do that, you have to remember a key phrase, "I am sorry". That's the key phrase. It sounds really silly but starting off with, "I am sorry", automatically puts you in a position of power because the next words out of your mouth can help alleviate whatever the problem is. The first thing is, I am sorry, I think our discussion has gotten a little off track, I'd like to get us back on course. Do you mind if I start back here? You can start on a contract term or you can start with something else. Or you can say, do you mind if I rephrase this a little bit differently in the contract because it feels like there's some confusion here? Another super useful phrase, if you need to reset the tone of the conversation. Say, I'm sorry, my tone got away from me, do you mind if I say that again, in the way that I had intended it come out? That can be a really powerful phrase if you've said something that's offended, a joke didn't land, or some other element of the conversation has gone off track as a result of something that you've said. Another useful phrase, especially with the jargon mismatch is, I'm sorry, I don't think that we're discussing the same things. Do you mind if I get clear on what you think of when I say like? Finally, if you're having to negotiate against somebody that you can't see and aren't sitting in front of, you can say, sorry, I didn't realize that a third party would be involved in making the decision. Do you mind if I sit down with so and so, the CEO, or whoever it is, and have a conversation with them about their goals and needs as well? Those four statements can give you a little bit more leverage and can help you recover from a rocky start or stumble in your negotiations. In the next lesson, we're going to cover How To Scope and Prepare for a Negotiation, so you know what questions to ask and when, so that you get all the information you need in order to land a client. 6. How To Scope Negotiations: This lesson is going to be short and sweet. How do you plan for a negotiation? Well, it's really important to consider the needs and wants of both parties. First, consider your own needs and wants because you know those best. When writing down the needs and wants, you'll want to consider the timeline of the project that's being currently scoped. That is, if you have multiple projects with this particular client that you're negotiating with, you'll want to make sure that you're considering just this project. Now, sometimes you can go a little bit longer if you have an established relationship with them and you're just renegotiating some terms. But in this case, for a one-off negotiation, you'll want to consider just this project. Considering your needs and wants is a little bit tricky because you have to consider the things that are not negotiable to you. Things like maybe your rate or whether you get a referral or staying inside of scope and things that you can be a little bit more flexible on. Things like specific natures of deliverables and other things like that. Then you'll want to take your best guess at what the other party's needs and wants are too. The better you know your client or potential customer, the better you will be able to address their needs. It's okay to ask questions during the negotiation to get closer to the real needs and wants of the other part. If you don't know what the needs and wants are, you're not going to do a good job negotiating to serve their needs and they're not going to do a good job of understanding what it is that you need and want if you don't communicate it to them either. Remember that negotiation is a conversation about value and you want it to be a win-win. In that case, you have to make it as easy as possible for the other party to know what it is that you value and you have to help them to make it easy for you to know what they value too. It starts with really good questions. What things are negotiable for you? What things are not negotiable for you? What is the most important part of this project? These types of scoping questions can help make sure that you get your proper rate and make sure that you're not suffering from scope creep down the line. Also, they help prevent mismanaged expectations between you and your client on what the deliverables are supposed to be which helps reduce conflict over time. Finally, what you need to do is write down your ideal outcome. Things that you hope happen over the course of the project and how you hope it ends. This could be milestones, it could be specific deliverables, it could be timelines, it could be payment criteria. Anything that makes sense to you to include as an ideal outcome along the course of the project or even just the final deliverable will help you get a clear picture of what you're going to be asking for. Now, you'll also want to do this for the other party. If they have a different ideal outcome than what your ideal outcome is, there's a mismatch and you'll have to negotiate that away. If you don't negotiate it away, then you're priming yourself for conflict, scope creep and misery. The best way to resolve any sort of mismatch in expectations during a negotiation is to ask better questions. I would ask my prospect, what sort of outcome are you hoping for? What sort of deliverables lead into that outcome? What's the timeline of those deliverables? What are you expecting to pay for those deliverables? In the next lesson, we're going to talk about where conflict comes from in business relationships and how to prevent it in the first place. 7. Common Points of Business Conflict: Conflict is pretty common in four different areas and business relationships. The contract phase, the outcome or deliverables phase, the payment phase, which is usually a symptom of a problem in one of the first two phases and also the support phase. What happens after the contracts work is complete. There three really simple ways to avoid most of the conflict that you will encounter as a freelancer. The first is a very thorough line-by-line review of the contract with the key stake holder or the person who is going to be signing the contract or signing the checks. You can do that, highlight anything that is coming up as a question or a concern and addressing it before the work begins, you are going to have so much better of a working relationship with this client than any other client that you've worked with before. Next, you'll want to review the specific deliverables and timelines in the contract with the client so that you're both on the same page as far as when things are going to happen. This is especially important not just for project deliverables but payment deliverables from the client to you. If you can get that clarified ahead of time, there will be very little confusion when it comes time to asking for money or asking for deliverable from you. A helpful tip here is to establish a grace period for you to fix a resolve any issue that comes up in the course of the work of the contract. Stating this in your contract gives you a natural remedy for fixing any immediate bounce back that the client can give you and instead of them fleeing and running to a new contractor, a new consultant, you have the opportunity to fix it. It's explicitly written into your contract. Now, if it's feasible for you to check in 48 hours before a deliverable is due and if you've stated your deadlines in your contract explicitly, this is a good idea. If you check in 48 hours before a deliverable is due, you can ensure that if you need a little bit more time, that the client is properly informed and also that if you're going to deliver on time that the client is expecting and ready for your deliverable. There's nothing worse than having to wait for a client while they figure out the next time that they can review your work and then you can start getting back into it again and you get this start and stop process that leads to scope creep as far as a timeline is concerned. You can avoid that conflict entirely by checking in on a regular basis and setting your deadlines in advance in writing in the contract if it's possible for you to do that. If it's not possible for you to do that, specify a range. A range of timelines and due dates will keep you from having that type of conflict and scope creep. The final thing that I'm going to tell you is to document everything and be relentlessly honest and thorough in your communications with the client. Whenever there's a problem, whenever there is a delay, whenever there's been scope creep, whenever there's been confusion document it. In form the client. Tell them right away. Tell me your honest opinion about what's going on, why, what caused it and how it's going to be remedied because that's your job to fix it. But also, it's really important to document what happened when, why, what caused it, how you attempted to fix it and what the client said in response. If you can do those things, will keep your contract and your relations so much better with this client and more in the future. The next lesson we're going to be covering scope creep. 8. Understanding Scope Creep: If the word scope creep, don't send chills down your spine, you probably haven't been freelancing for very long. Scope creep is very simply any extension in the timeline of the contract beyond what was established or any deliverable that wasn't explicitly promised, but it's being asked for now as part of some verbal or other arbitrary agreement, it's not explicitly in the contract. Scope creep is a killer, is a vicious killer of freelancers, and you must deflect it every single time you see it, because we are a people pleasers, because we love to do what we are good at and because we love to please our clients, this are all good things. It's really difficult to say no to certain requests. I don't think that you should be saying no to most requests when asked. Instead, I think what you should be saying is, yes and, as in, yes, I can do that for you and here's what it will cost. If you can remember to do this every single time you encounter scope creep, you will be able to turn a profit whenever a fellow freelancer might have eaten a loss. When you encounter scope creep, and it's really important to be able to identify scope creep knowing what your agreement is, knowing that you can take a minute before you respond to an e-mail with yeah, I sure can do that. Knowing that it's okay to say on a phone call with a client, you want to check to make sure that that deliverable is in the contract, and if not, then I need to make sure to scope it for you properly so that I'm not dropping the ball on your other deliverables. Those types of responses are really difficult to give, but if you can learn them, you will be able to succeed where others fail. The point at which you identify scope creep is the exact point at which you should notify your client. Whenever you identify that a contract is gone beyond scope, it's time to re-scope that contract and either charge more or adjust the deadlines for the deliverables. The next questions that you should ask are, What are the priority of the new deliverables? What are the deadlines for the new deliverables? What does the client willing to pay for those deliverables? If the client is not willing to pay more, then they need to be willing to wait longer, or they need to be willing to forego things that they've already asked for in order to get the new things on their list. It can also sometimes be beneficial to ask if it was the client's understanding that those items were included in the contract, and where that misunderstanding occurred. When you negotiate, sometimes things can slip out verbally. Sometimes things can just be assumed on the part of the client or on your part, and when that's the case, it can be really helpful to you for future business to line up what exactly happened, so that you can fix it in the contract and the future. Finally, if you're one of the people who has absolutely terrified of offending the client by telling them no, or using yes, and, and telling them the cost for the extra work that they're trying to put onto your plate, you need to remember that there is the sunk cost fallacy. The sunk cost fallacy says is really difficult to change your mind once you've already made it. There is decision inertia, so if you have money or time for effort invested into a person, a process, freelancer, most people will have a significant roadblock to changing away from that decision because it indicates a lapse in their personal judgment. You have a little bit of wiggle room to say, I'm really sorry, this wasn't scoped, I would like to scope it for you and I need to charge you for it to make sure that we're both operating fairly. If I can't charge you for it, I completely understand and I'm really sorry about missing this component in the contract, I'm not able to do that work for free. Knowing that that statement is totally fair because you need to be paid for your work. Knowing that they're going to have significant inertia in switching away from you. You should feel comfortable to have that conversation, to ask for what your work. It's not an okay expectation for a client or a lead to come to you and say, will you do this for free? It's just not fair. Being able to have that conversation will save you a turn of frustration and a lot of overdue bills. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about how to negotiate your rate with the client. 9. Setting Your Rate: I don't know why freelancers have such a hard time setting their rate and asking for what they're worth. But most of us do have a problem with setting a rate and getting what we're worth. The reason is because when we think something has value, the other party has to understand that value as well and all of the inputs into that value. It's not just the cost of your time and the cost of your materials. It's also the cost of all of the education that led up to that point that created that figure that you're presenting as your rate. It helps to have some data to back up what you're asking for. Understanding a range of what professionals in your industry are charging from low to high and understanding where your skill set, how much experience you have, what your technique looks like, and what your equipment looks like, allows you to narrow in that range a little bit. Practice pitching your range in front of the mirror as much as possible. When somebody comes to you and asks for your rate, you can deliver a practiced figure. It costs between $3,500 and $5,000 to do this work and here's why. Then you go into listing those points of value. Now, they might not understand or agree with you because the jargon might be a bridge too far. If that's the case, you have to work on dialing that in and making it really simple for a layman to understand. Placing value in the terms of the person you're negotiating with is a really helpful exercise. Understanding value for yourself is cool, but it's not going to get you the rate that you're asking for if the other party doesn't consider what you consider valuable, valuable to them, practice saying, yes and instead of no. Whenever you hear a complaint, push back on something about your rate or deliverable, you can say yes and it's really important that we do this because dot, dot, dot or yes, and I'm happy to add that into the project if you think it's important and here's how much it'll cost. Those, yes, and opportunities are where you can avoid scope creep and get into profit-making opportunities. Get really clear on the timeline and the scope, and as much as possible documented explicitly into the contract if you can. Don't be afraid to turn down work. If the client is too pushy, that's a bad sign. If the client is disorganized, that's another bad sign unless you're helping them to get organized as part of your work. If the work is not interesting to you, it's outside of the scope of something that you want to learn or something that you feel is your core competency. It's probably okay to pass on the work. Don't feel bad about passing on the work. Because what you're really doing is saving your client an opportunity to have to redo the project. Never negotiate from a place of desperation or place of anger. It violates honest intent and it doesn't create good outcomes for the client. Finally, you can never negotiate up. Always start your rate at the highest possible portion of the range and negotiate your way down if you need to. You cannot negotiate up. It does not work unless you are adding value and the client is convinced of that value, you will never be able to negotiate up as effectively as you can, negotiating down from a really high number. I'm not talking about high balling here. I'm telling you about delivering a range for the client to consider and saying, I think what you're asking for is up here. Do I have the scope? Correct, and then allowing them to whittle down the scope until they find an acceptable price point for them. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about handling tough questions. 10. Handling Tough Questions: Let's talk for a brief moment about handling tough questions. There are some questions that just seem to keep coming up again and again if you're a freelancer, and the first one is, wow, does it really cost that much? The simple answer to this is, yeah, and the reason is because your experience has taken a lifetime to improve. You didn't just wake up in the morning, decide to be a web developer. Say, I hope not. If you are studying, if you are doing your due diligence, if you took time and energy and commitment to get where you are today, then of course, your rate is what it is. Why would you diminish it just because somebody somewhere said, I don't know what went into this. It's silly to think our value is only surface level and to feel okay with diminishing that rate when somebody who only sees that surface level of how many numbers are in figure on the page after the $ sign, and they don't consider the thing that went into it. All of the hours, all of the work, all of the commitment, all of the time, all the sleepless nights to make sure that this thing was going to end up the way that you wanted it to end up. It's worth educating your client on the thing that adds value to your work. These are the intangibles as well. It's not just how much current consideration you give to the client. It's how much can you support them afterwards? How long will this thing last? Is there a better warranty? Is your work better or have a better technique than the competition? These are things that lend to your ability to answer that question of value. When somebody talks about the price, what they're actually doing is they're telling you that they don't believe in the value that you're putting out there and you have to add support for the value that you are asking for and if you don't do that, you'll never get that rate that you're asking for. The next tough question is, but can't you just do one more revision or can't you just dot, dot, dot, whatever that thing is? Usually my answer to this is, yeah, and if you'd like to pay for an extra so and so number of hours, then I'd be happy to consider doing that for you. I think that it's beyond the scope of the current contract, I might have to bill you for it. That yes and statement is really powerful and we've talked about that before but the yes and, can get you from scope creep into a profit-making opportunity. The final type of tough question isn't really a question so much as an ultimatum. When he receive ultimatums from clients, it's usually because they're the expectations have been mismanaged so badly that frustration has resulted now, and their frustration is at a fever pitch. You might not be able to save this contract. If they're delivering you ultimatums, it's a really bad sign that something somewhere along the process has gotten really snuggled and you have to figure out what that is if you're going to save clients in the future. But for right now, when you're sitting there in that room and you're facing and ultimatum, what do you do? You say, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, and yes and, are two of the most important phrases that you can learn, even if somebody is being a complete and utter jerk to you, I'm sorry and yes and, can still save the day and allow you to save face while you decide which one of your competitors to send off the jerk to. It's not that you have to pander to jerks, it's that your reputation as a freelancer should always be above reproach and operating with honest intent, like we talked about earlier, is one of the key differentiators that will make you a person that people are willing to pay for. The next lesson, we're going to be talking about body language. 11. Negotiation and Body Language: Face-to-face negotiations add body languages consideration to your already full plate of things to think about when you're negotiating. Body language and the environment that you're negotiating in now become an issue. There are three main things that you really want to consider. Are you present for the negotiation? That is, are you slouching out of energy drains, not really paying attention? Paying attention is whatever happening outside of the window, and not really listening. You shouldn't be having that negotiation at the moment. Instead, you should be focusing on trying to become an active listener, actively asking questions, agreeing when it's appropriate, nodding, acknowledging, those types of signals mean a lot when you're in a negotiation. The second thing you'll need to consider is, how do you introduce yourself, are you present? Are you engaging? Are you smiling? Are you happy? Are you ready to negotiate? If you come into a negotiation angry, upset, something is off, the other party is going to pick up on that. It is going to drag the negotiations down. The final thing that you need to consider is, is the environment conducive to having a good conversation? Is it too loud, is it too noisy, is it too distracting? Are you going to be able to have a good conversation about values? If so, cool, you've picked a great venue. If not, it's time to leave and go somewhere where you can have a better conversation. Those are really only the three things that you have to consider. You don't have to worry about whether or not you should have around table or a square table or where to sit at the table, or whether you should be facing the door or the interior of the room. Or if your handshake was firm enough, you don't need to worry about those things. Just worry about, are you present? Are you listening? Are you ready to negotiate? Are you in a good mood? Are you happy about the deal that you're about to make? Finally, is the environment conducive to having a good conversation? That's it, that's really it. Next lesson, we're going talk about putting it all together and your project for this class. 12. Recap and Your Project: Negotiation and conflict management is essentially boiled down to one really useful skill, listening. Understand that value is not universal. You're going to have to ask questions, give demonstrations, elaborate on your points, and it never hurts to document everything. First, make sure you've clearly stated your needs. Second, make sure that you clearly understand the other party's needs. If you don't? Ask questions until you get there. Next, make sure that your deliverables are going to meet their needs as stated. Finally, make sure you understand the timeline of the deliverables, and the specific details of all of the deliverables that client thinks that they're getting. Remember to build in some leeway with the client for an extra opportunity to repair a problem that comes up on the first iteration of work. Even if revisions aren't normally part of the scope of what you do, you can write it into your contract or negotiated with the client on the spot. Also remember your two most important phrases. Yes and I'm sorry. So let's talk about your project. Part number one, no negotiation can succeed unless you know the framework that you're negotiating from. So let's start with the facts. What do you do and what do you charge for it? Put this info into a Google Doc, and list your services and their rates earlier project is okay and arranges is all right too. Under each service list your inclusions. These are the things that you do and makes your value clear. List out the things that you charge extra for and in reality this should probably be anything that isn't on the list of services because these things would be scope creep. It's also handy if you list out things that clients commonly asked for that aren't included in your contract currently. Part 2, list out your needs when working with a client. Personal wallet are not good criteria. But do consider your personal values. Do you need a client who's a little bit more understanding about your schedule because your moonlighting? Or do you need a client who's willing to work inside your project management system? What are the things that are deal breakers for you? How would you identify the perfect client? What things are not deal breakers, but would require you to charge more because they're irritating? Part 3 is to list out some common complaints, questions or issues that you've had, and what someone has said to you in order to not pay you or to get you to do more work without being paid, or otherwise created some conflict for you. For each item, if you can write down how you would address it either in your process or your contract moving forward. This is a good actionable step for you. It also helps you create a glossary of issues that you've encountered as a freelancer. Which is a super useful practice, because those questions do tend to come up from time to time. The last part, think of a client or prospect that you want to land or upsell, outline the project, what you think that they'll value from it, and what you think that they'll need in order to say yes. Then think about what their objections might be. For each objection or point of value, you want to come up with a line item that helps you explain it. Post this as your project for this class, you can hide any identifying information or other things you don't want to be public knowledge on skill share. Finally, I would just practice your skills anywhere and everywhere you can. The easiest method the way that I learned, is to just renegotiate your contracts with your existing service providers. So ISP's cell phone service you name it. A more accurate but complicated route would be to convince local organizations that you can do a project for them. I've also done this, and ended up with some really exciting work that I wasn't necessarily getting paid for, but had a lot of fun doing. You can also try renegotiating and existing scope creeped contract with one of your clients. Just make sure you start with one that you don't mind losing, and that's all. I really hope you learned a lot about negotiation and conflict management, or at least took one or two actionable things away for your next client or prospect negotiation. If things go wrong, feel free to post a case study inside the class for us to look at, learn from, and share with each other. The most critical thing that you can do from here forward, is to talk about the issues that you're experiencing with fellow freelancers. That's how I learned, and that's how every freelancer I look up to learned. It's really important to be able to open up about those critical failures that we sometimes feel really embarrassed about, but can definitely learn from, especially from one another. I hope to see you out there, and I hope that I don't negotiate against you someday as you know what I know now.