Do you negotiate over rates? If so, then you may be selling your business in the bargain basement bin.

Every now and then I’m queried about my rates only to have a prospect come back and try to get me to drop then. The irony is that (a) it’s always a small project; and (b) the amount they want me to drop down is very small. My answer: No.

And guess what? They almost always meet my rate. If they walk away, that’s okay too, because my rates aren’t arbitrary, and they’re not for sale.

While I will not negotiate over rates, I will, of course, negotiate over the scope of work. This is an effective way to provide value to a client while both meeting their budget parameters and getting paid what you’re worth.

Pricing is always a huge issue–and there is always flexibility on how to structure a proposal. But if your rate isn’t really your rate, then why quote it in the first place?

Photo by calaggie (Flickr).