Determine Your Rate And Negotiate Carefully With Unreasonable Clients

Consultants who offer executive assistant or computer services on a virtual basis must know their value and be prepared to gauge their billable rate to meet the circumstances.

At some point everyone encounters potential clients who expect professional work at rates that are less than appropriate. For example, a posting advertises an opportunity that matches your highly polished skill set. After making contact with the client you find they don't want to pay a reasonable fee for the services they expect.

While these types of engagements might help to build a newcomer's portfolio or pay some bills when money is tight, a successful virtual service provider knows their value and refuses to be exploited. Make sure clients understands your training, background and areas of expertise. Then, set expectations for services by pricing in accordance with your qualifications and skills.

Be prepared to be flexible, yet firm in your compensation requirements.

? Determine your base rate in advance of client discussions. Scratch it out on paper or create a spreadsheet. Take into account the fixed overhead and variable costs to legally operate your business

? Determine your flex-rates for times you might be willing to work for slightly less or feel the need to demand more pay.

? Calculate the value added for meeting tight time constraints, the demanding nature of the client or the complexity of the project

? Take the time to project costs not otherwise considered in your base rate (long distance, printing, etc.)

A pre-determined rate scale helps you respond calmly and logically to stressful situations, so you can advert potential disasters.

Last year I turned down what seemed on paper to be an ideal "personal assistant" opportunity. The ad described duties such as checking email and preparing responses on the client's behalf. Work assignments would be completed by phone and fax for a client who did not want to use a computer.

The job matched my skill set, but I chose to pass because:

1. The offered rate was 50% less than the low end of my base rate range.

2. The client expected me to own and pay for the operation of a fax machine, but was unwilling to pay for its purchase or operation.

3. The client expected a commitment to work for him part-time, even though hours were going to be determined by him each week

4. The client's refusal to even consider using a computer was destined to create confusion and conflict over what I prepared on his behalf

Regrettably, I realized this potential client was a fussy, technology laggard who wanted a very experienced, highly reliable personal assistant who was agreeable to an entry level rate.

Know when to "pass" on a client so you can continue to market to more viable prospects. Try to negotiate a better rate with clients by matching their expectations with your level of service. Keep an eye out for performance bonuses or other types of perks to balance out discounted rates for good clients.

Elisa Shostak is the founder of Compass Rose Strategic Consulting LLC, an advisory service and secondary research firm based in Seattle, Washington.

This is the first in a series of articles about negotiating with clients and managing a management consulting practice.

Elisa can be contacted through her website: http://www.compassrosellc.com or blog http://www.compassrosestrategic.com

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Harvard Business Review

Research: When You Don't Have an Alternative in a Negotiation, Try Imagining One
Harvard Business Review
Conventional wisdom suggests that negotiators need alternatives to succeed. Alternatives give negotiators the confidence to negotiate offers more ambitiously, to push for more optimal outcomes, and to walk away from the table when needed. But ...


6 Mistakes to Avoid When Negotiating Your Job Offer
Inside Higher Ed
Joking aside, negotiation takes some practice, but if you know and understand the basics, you can become much better at it. Here are six mistakes to avoid while preparing for your job negotiation. No. 1. Negotiating at the wrong time. Even if the ...


The Verge

North Korea's freeze on nuclear testing isn't a victory — it's negotiation
The Verge
North Korea will be pressing pause on its nuclear and missile tests this weekend in advance of summits with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in next week and with Donald Trump sometime this spring, Reuters reports. The announcement, via state news ...
Here's one thing North Korea can do to show it's serious about de-nukingCNN

all 1,437 news articles »

WGN Radio

The art and science of hostage negotiation
WGN Radio
As we reflect on the 25 Year Anniversary of the WACO Seige, Karen Conti speaks with the author of Fight or Flight: Negotiating Crisis on The Front Line, Dr. Andrew Young about hostage negotiations. Dr. Young provides details of what's included in his ...

and more »

New Straits Times Online

Negotiations for second phase of devolution of powers to Sarawak completed
New Straits Times Online
KUALA LUMPUR: Negotiations for the second phase of the devolution of powers from the Federal government to Sarawak have completed, says Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri. Nancy, who is also the co-chairman of the ...


The Globe and Mail

NAFTA talks in 'perpetual negotiation' as US stresses deadline
The Globe and Mail
The three NAFTA countries are in a “perpetual negotiation,” Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says, committed to bargaining daily as the United States presses for a deal within the next two weeks. And while the all-important auto file remains ...
US targeting NAFTA deal in three weeks: SourcesCNBC

all 116 news articles »

Daily Bruin

UC's largest employee union announces strike after negotiation disputes
Daily Bruin
The University of California's largest employee union announced a systemwide strike Thursday. Workers throughout the UC represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 voted Wednesday to go on strike. The ...

and more »

Inc.com

5 Highly Effective Negotiation Tactics Anyone Can Use
Inc.com
It's easy to go into a negotiation focused only on what you'll say, especially when you're nervous. The goal of a negotiation isn't just to get what you want, but also to help the other side get what they want. (Otherwise, how will you ever strike a ...


Statesville Record & Landmark

Smyth's negotiation skills admirable
Statesville Record & Landmark
This letter is in response to John Deem's column, “A potent power play” (R&L, April 11). In my opinion, Mr. Deem owes Ms. Smyth, interim city manager, an apology. His column clearly reflects an unconscious bias that women in the workplace have been ...

Google News

Negotiate to Your Advantage

The hardest and most important part of any negotiation is... Read More

National and Cultural Negotiation Style

Cultural and national negotiation styles reflect communication behaviors and the... Read More

Lets Make a Deal

Smart buyers will always ask for a better price. Unfortunately,... Read More

Dont Be Afraid Of Silence

In any conversation with two or more people, there is... Read More

Can a Service Be a Commodity

Well Enron dealt with this a little for instance an... Read More

Win-Win Power Negotiating

Let's talk about win-win negotiating. Instead of trying to dominate... Read More

What Are The Four Types Of Negotiating Outcomes?

Negotiating outcomes are the types of results that can happen... Read More

7 Tips for Bartering Products and Services

What better way to gain a new customer than by... Read More

Negotiating Tactics: Don?t Let ?Good Guy ? Bad Guy? Control the Sales Negotiation

Counter one of the classic negotiating gambits by addressing it... Read More

How To Make An Inflexible Bureaucrat See You As A Person

Inflexible Bureaucrats Are Characterized by:1. Cares little about your happiness... Read More

Negotiate Like a P.R.O.

Whether you're negotiating a peace settlement in a war-torn country... Read More

Power Pricing - Getting the Right Price for Your Products and Services

There's an old joke about the New York City blackout.... Read More

Just Ask!

Ask and you shall receive & knock and it shall... Read More

Managing Conflict, in Life & Work: Using Ancient and Modern Approaches

"Conflict" is a word that can have varying degrees of... Read More

Writing an RFP (Request for Proposal)

A while back, a potential client provided me... Read More

Business: Keys To Negotiating Well

Whether it's buying a car, asking for a pay rise,... Read More

Are You Scaring Away Potential Customers?

When you are trying to make a sale and ask... Read More

Cross Cultural Negotiations

Cross cultural negotiation is one of many specialized areas within... Read More

How To Communicate Using Space

What Is Proxemics?The study of the communicative aspects of personal... Read More

So Whats Your Argument?

Arguments aren't always bad things. Sometimes They're used to convince... Read More

Four Ways To Work Out Business Disputes

Business owners have four options to resolve disputes with partners,... Read More

How to Negotiate Effectively

You may be thinking, "Gary, I am a mom, housewife,... Read More

Where to FIND the BEST Employees --

Obviously, you might logically say, "that is good!" You would... Read More

Resolve Conflict In 6 Easy Steps - The BEDROL Method

The principles of Negotiation can work for you in any... Read More

The Art of Negotiation in 535 words

I want to get better at negotiation, but where to... Read More