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Do you ask for an annual pay rise from your ongoing clients?

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Community Guru
Krisztina U Member Since: Aug 7, 2009
21 of 26

Also, John since you asked about free courses in another thread, you might find these interesting: 

 

https://www.coursera.org/learn/art-of-negotiation 

https://www.coursera.org/learn/negotiation-skills

 

I think ultimately, when it comes to wanting something, one should never ask a question that could be answered with a simple no, like:

 

Can I get a raise? No.

Can you bump me up to $x? No.

Can you pay me more? No.

 

On the contrary, one should also never negotiate with "do x, or else" as that's not negotiation but extortion.

 

I've never seen either of these two approaches succeed. 

 

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Community Guru
Scott E Member Since: Jul 26, 2015
22 of 26

On the contrary, one should also never negotiate with "do x, or else" as that's not negotiation but extortion.

 

I completely agree. However, "do x, or else" should be what you're aiming for, otherwise you're kind of telling yourself that the pay rise, or whatever else it is you're trying to negotiate, is 'optional'. Sure, it should always be worded a lot better than "do x, or else".

 

Yes, the idea is to negotiate, and if you can get some kind of raise, even if it's not the initial amount you quoted, then that might be sufficient. But at the end of the day, we set our own prices and we work for a rate that we are comfortable to work at... if a client isn't happy to work at that rate then sometimes it's best to let them go. Obviously if projects are few and far between then that's not the best course of action.

 

It's just I've seen people state in their profiles that they charge $X an hour, but are happy to negotiate. Then they're essentially saying that "I'd like $X an hour, but you can pay me less if you want".  

"Welcome, humans. I'm ready for you!"
- Box, Logan's Run (1976)
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Community Guru
Krisztina U Member Since: Aug 7, 2009
23 of 26

@Scott E wrote:
However, "do x, or else" should be what you're aiming for, otherwise you're kind of telling yourself that the pay rise, or whatever else it is you're trying to negotiate, is 'optional'.

 

Of course! Not having a plan B for the possibility of a "no" and being unwilling to act on it weakens ones negotiation position not just in that moment but for the rest of that work relationship. 

 

 

It's just I've seen people state in their profiles that they charge $X an hour, but are happy to negotiate. Then they're essentially saying that "I'd like $X an hour, but you can pay me less if you want".  

 

I've seen those too. It's a terrible practice. 

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Community Leader
Michael Z Member Since: Jul 19, 2015
24 of 26

You do not ever tell your client you're willing to negotiate about your rate until he/she brings that up. That's the only time you should consider changing your rate. If you're telling the client upfront you'll change your rate just to get your contract - you're either not valuing your time , or your rate is not at what it should be. If I were to hire anyone, and they have listed in their profile "rate is ** but negotiable - I will never pay them their listed rate. If you tell me you're willing to reduce your rate, I will try to get it as low as possible. And while that may be unethical, it's your own fault for putting it up there. You cannot expect people to pay more when you're basically saying you'll work for less.

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Community Guru
Robert James R Member Since: Apr 17, 2015
25 of 26

I would probably ask them had I the confidence to lose them. Asking your employer IRL for a raise can make you the odd man in the office and more often than not, employees don't like being watched.

 

As it is, I'd first make sure I can take losing them should they decide to part ways due to my request for a raise. At the moment, I only have one client who still pays me at my "entry" rate but I only keep him because the work is SO easy. 

 

What I'm doing now is taking clients who can pay more so I can just ditch the cheap clients whenever I want. 

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Ace Contributor
Brian E Member Since: Jul 21, 2015
26 of 26

After reading everyone's responses I think the fundamental difference in the 2 sides of the argument are as clear as they usually are.

 

1) Some people think a client is an employer and you work for them. In which case, I'd say go get a job as a business could pay you more in quite a few countries than some bedroom entrepeneur most of the time.

 

2) Some people know they're a business, ergo a  freelancer. They don't make requests and use language like "raise" "employer" and other terms related to working for an "employer". They say things like "my rate" "my time" "my schedule". A freelancer should be looking to empower themselves not pander to their client if they really want a raise. 

 

My 2 cents, put some money aside and raise you rates. If you can't get paid those rates initially tweak it till you can command what you demand for your services.

 

 

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