That’s right, don’t ask for it.
But that goes against this blog’s near evangelical belief in the value of questions, you say!
You can’t get something if you don’t ask for it, you say!
Katie, you’ve finally gone off the deep end, you snicker.
But I mean it. If something is really important to you, don’t ask for it.
You’ve prepared, thought about your interests, studied up on the other side, and asked open ended questions to elicit helpful information.
And it is sucking. Hard.
The other side is being jerkish, and every time you try to steer the conversation to problem solving, they drive right back to arguing over details.
You are now trapped in a back and forth about shaving $10 off of your hourly rate because the client didn’t budget that much for your services. You’re now fixed on not losing that $10 an hour.
What do you do, my negotiator; what do you do?
Not all negotiation work happens in the midst of fleshing out the details of a job, with the sweat of contract terms glistening on your brow and the fire of fee arrangements in your belly.
Some of the most helpful negotiation work you can do is when you aren’t negotiating. And one of the best opportunities you have is when you bill your clients. You can use your invoices to make your clients happy and help you get bigger and better fees in the future.