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Re: Seek advice on client negotiations

Ace Contributor
ILANNA M Member Since: Jun 29, 2014
1 of 14

Hi All;

 

I'm usually pretty calm with client negotiations, but right now two possible clients are acting a bit odd. 

 

1. The first one is a company in the UK. I've signed the NDA. We've had a phone discussion. He's offered me the work. But, he won't send through a formal offer in Upwork. And, he keeps promising to send the work so I can start, but doesn't do so. He keeps using how busy he is as the reason for this. I understand busy, but either he wants the work or he doesn't. 

2. The second one is a professor in the US who wants to do an anti-bullying program. She has declared me perfect for the role, but keeps haggling on the price. I've offered her many options, and she keeps saying she'll only deal with a fixed amount. I've tried repeatedly to tell her the cost, but she keeps asking again what it will cost in a fixed amount. Until I know exactly how much work the project is, I can't give her that. 

Thoughts? Advice? Ideas? 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
2 of 14

# 1 doesn't sound like an issue to me. He knows what you need to take the next step (or not). He hasn't provided it. I'd just go on with my life and let him come back or not, and then see whether you have time and are still interested.

 

# 2 sounds like she might be difficult to work with even if you are able to resolve this, so factor that in. If there is specific additional information you need to set a fixed price, ask her for it (assuming you want to move forward). If you don't know, that raises a separate question: is that because she hasn't provided adequate information, or because you don't have sufficient expertise with the type of project she's proposing? You could provide a fixed price with a scope of your own creation (word count or number of slides or number of chapters at xxx-yyy words each or whatever is applicable to your situation with one round of revisions) and then specify that any additional (whatevers) will be at an additional cost. But, your ability to do that effectively is going to depend on a combination of adequate information and experience with this type of project.

 

 

Ace Contributor
ILANNA M Member Since: Jun 29, 2014
3 of 14

Those are all good points. The second one seems very flighty. Something feels off, but I can't put my finger on it. I know she's a professor of Education somewhere but I can't find her on Google. She has good reviews from past clients, but I also know her last contract ended in a legal struggle. She claims she doesn't really have the money to pay a lot, but she wants a ton of work. Perhaps a very nice person, but with unrealistic expectations? 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 14

re: "She has good reviews from past clients, but I also know her last contract ended in a legal struggle..."

 

if you are the client, and you have a contract that ends in a legal struggle... Then you are the problem.

 

Clients can fire freelancers at any time. Clients do not need to have a "legal struggle."

 

I don't know what happened in that situation, but most of the time when I hear those words, I assume that the client was up to no good, or didn't know how to manage a project.

 

For example:

Wise client: "This freelancer's work is terrible. I'm going to fire her and hire somebody else."

 

Unwise client: "This freelancer's work is terrible. Why didn't I check her work during the past year while she worked on this project? Now I'm going to try to sue her."

 

...and that's not even mentioning clients who just try to avoid paying the freelancers they hire.

I have stated many times my opinion: I think the overwhelming majority of Upwork clients are wonderful people and wondeful clients.

 

But clients who have "legal trouble" with freelancers? Definitely something to avoid.

Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
5 of 14

Move on from Client 1. Check back in week and ask if he's got any further questions or comments regarding your proposal. If he does, great. If he doesn't, don't waste any more time chasing him.

 

Client 2. is also not worth much more of your time. Your price is your price. If you genuinely won't do the project for a fixed price below the price you've quoted, thank her for considering your proposal and wish her luck finding the right freelancer. Don't be sarcastic; be professional. Then never give her another thought.

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
BEST ANSWER
6 of 14

1) Thank you John and don't worry, take your time. As soon as you hire me through Upwork, I'll be notified and I'll start.

 

2) I understand your concerns Markus. While I cannot estimate the price because the final scope of the work is not clear at this time, what I can suggest is this and this. Take your time to think it through, I'll know that you are ready to start once Upwork notifies me that you have initiated a hourly offer at my rate.

 

 

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
Bill H Member Since: Aug 18, 2017
7 of 14

1. First case is a client you don't want.

 

2. Second case is one where you submit a proposal with a firm statement of work for a firm fixed price. Anything outside the SOW will be billed at $xxx/hr, or through a modification to the existing agreement. All work to that point will be paid for before starting new work. If client rejects that, wish her well and block her.

Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
8 of 14

#1. No contract, already wasted enough of your time. Consider this a dead lead and ignore him. If he returns weeks from now, immediately issues a contract and provides you with everything you need to get started, you can fit him into your schedule. 

 

#2. This will not end well. She wants the work cheap with no limit on the scope. Not a professional and will unsatisfied with your work (unless you work endlessly for pennies.) End negotiations. 

Highlighted
Ace Contributor
ILANNA M Member Since: Jun 29, 2014
9 of 14

Why would he have me sign an NDA,  and call me from the UK and send me the proprietary information, plus the sections he wants me to work on? This is all highly confidential information. Doesn't make sense to me. 

Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
10 of 14

ILANNA M wrote:

Why would he have me sign an NDA,  and call me from the UK and send me the proprietary information, plus the sections he wants me to work on? This is all highly confidential information. Doesn't make sense to me. 


It doesn't matter. Until he's ready to move forward and create a contract, he's not a client. You won't get paid for any work you do. So, you can sit around and wait for him to be ready to pay you or you can move on to the next client who is ready to pay you. 

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