How should a designer communicate price is negotiable to a client?
While in the stages of a bid, quote, or proposal I was curious how should a designer communicate "price is negotiable" in a professional manner instead of stating the simple fact. I know it's sometimes good to be blunt but I feel it is unprofessional and a possible sign of "oh he will take low pay" or "he needs work".
I think most clients will assume price is negotiable and try to lower it ;)
Something you can do is offer more than one option per project. This doesn't work in every case, but I've done it a few times and results were good. You make two or three proposals based on features, starting with the most basic one and going up to a super-complete-pack. You list the things each option has, and then (somehow!) state that features are more or less flexible, and that if they need to include things that are in a different "pack" you can adjust the pricing.
Offering discounts depending on other factors is also a possibility:
- Urgency: If project can take longer, price is reduced
- Quantity: If project is ongoing (more features, related products), price is reduced.
In any case, I'd say something relatively vague like "If you have any questions or would like to discuss this quote, feel free to contact me".
You never communicate that price is negotiable. Sorry. Its bad sales and marketing strategy.
Rule #1 Never speak first.
If they like your work then they'll either pay the rate or start negotiations and see how flexible you are.
You can and should outline what the rate is for. In a bid you would say that this rate is for this exact work. That gives you more flexibility in the negotiations process to be able to either drop elements or upsell. You can also use payment options as a negotiation tactic. Say instead of Net 30 they pay on delivery for a slight reduction.