Should you always negotiate?

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It has recently dawned on me that a lot of people out there, creative ones especially, think there’s something wrong with negotiating.

That if you negotiate, if you don’t “stand your ground” on your prices, you’ll be perceived as someone who doesn’t value your own work. Or maybe, worse, that you’re weak.

This came up in October when, after hearing my pricing talk at the AWAI Bootcamp, writer and prolific author, Marcia Yudkin, asked me if I advise everyone to negotiate.

Before I answered, I asked her to share the thought behind her question, and she revealed that she doesn’t like to negotiate and would rather just give her price. The client can take it or leave it.

That’s fine for someone who knows exactly what their prices are and can walk away from anyone who won’t pay it. That’s a good position to be in and it comes after you’ve been at it while, as Marcia has.

But even though I have been at it awhile, I want to negotiate — I actually like the money conversation. I don’t see it as a confrontation or anything negative. I enjoy the back and forth. And I even think there’s it cultivates trust and solidifies a relationship to come to a price together. That means you’ve both contributed something — win/win as they say.

Plus, if you don’t negotiate, if you just say, “This is my fee. Take it or leave it,” you may be leaving money on the table.

This myth about negotiation came up again in my interview last week on the new podcast, Just Add Hustle, with T. Paul Buzan. Listen to the podcast here.

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