The Art of Negotiation

Negotiation when and where to implement it

Many have forgone the art of negotiation, but in this article, I will dive into when and where we can implement it to build up your business.

As a marketing professional, I have to send proposals for work all the time to potential clients. Often potential clients want an estimate or ballpark range rather than an official proposal.

What is the difference between an estimate or ballpark range with an official proposal?

Estimate and Ballpark Range

An estimate/ballpark range is a guess on what the price could be. Often, at least for me, I tend to give a higher estimate than what the official proposal will actually be.

Marketers only know about the scope of work from what you tell them. Usually, the scope of work outlined is just that, an outline. Marketers need to ask more questions, analyze what has already been done, go over what improvements could be done. This takes more than a few minutes to process.

When a marketer gives an estimate or ballpark range there is so much they haven’t factored. They assume the work will take a lot more than it might because they haven’t analyzed everything yet.

Official Proposal

The official proposal takes into account all of the questions, all of the analysis, everything. It is sent via a professionally made PDF that lists out everything included in the quote.

For me, I usually give an official proposal after talking with the potential client either in person, over the phone, or via video call. Though, I prefer in person or video call the best.

What to Look for in a Proposal

If you aren’t sure what you should be expecting in an official proposal, here is a list of items I make sure to include when I send out my official proposal.

Date of proposal – sometimes proposals have an expiration date
What the goal of the project is
The two parties involved (the marketer and the potential client)
The different tasks

For example, if it is social media, does it include content creation, scheduling, engagement? How often the posts are scheduled, Which platforms, etc

Who is supplying the content calendar and strategy for the social media example


The quote can be a full packaged quote

Sometimes I also give a breakdown quote, what specific items will cost, for example, each content calendar is $X and a month of graphics to post is $Y.

How and When the invoice will be dealt with

For both marketers and clients, having everything listed out makes sure both parties are on the same page with what to expect from the price being paid. At the end of the day, both parties need to be happy when the invoice comes.

The art of negotiation, getting the most for your money

Negotiation Can Be An Option

Now, after an estimate is given or even after an official proposal, a potential client could negotiate.

This depends on the marketer. Some marketers have set prices for set packages on their website. If they quoted you what is exactly on their website, they might not be up for negotiating. If the marketer, such as myself, gives a custom quote, they might be open to negotiating.

Marketers have had experience on the types of services they provide meaning they know what they can move around to fit a specific budget. They also know what specific tasks are reasonable for your budget.

Don’t be afraid to ask further questions on the quote especially with an estimate or ballpark range.

This is especially true with you have connected with the marketer during your meeting or video call. Please see my article on why complimentary discovery calls or meeting is the best option.

Negotiation Steps

Not sure how negotiation works? Here are some quick steps!

  1. Receive the estimate
  2. Analyze the price difference between the estimate and your own budget range
  3. Prioritize the list of tasks you want to outsource, which do you need help for sure right now
  4. Send back an email or jump on a call with the marketer and list out your concerns with the budget and ask for some wiggle room with the quote.
  5. The marketer should respond with what they could offer
  6. Lay out what you absolutely need
  7. At this point, the marketer should respond with a lower quote or offer to help you find a suitable person

I hope this article has helped you in the process for finding a marketer or handling quotes with clients. Feel free to book a complimentary call with me and we can discuss more about marketing your own service business or to see how I can help you bring your brand voice to life!

Be sure to keep an eye out for the Build a Business eCourse! This will help you conquer your business goals! The course will dive into the different aspects of building your business online from branding to contracts to invoicing to hiring someone. Sign up for the newsletter for more tips!

Leave a Reply