Being a Pro Negotiator

One of the best weapons one has to win a negotiation battle, is to picture oneself as a worrier. A knight, a samurai, whatever. A skilled worrier judges his opponent on what he seen before the battle, not the battle within itself. An experienced worrier knows what to expect from his opponent. Blind courage is easily uncovered by tell tail signs. But if the opponent knows the rules of the battle, it is easily seen and is automatically respected. In the art of negotiations, you need to know the rules of your own side before going to battle. In our case, knowing standard going rates for labor and gear, plus other billables. Makijg hard demands such as a 10h day is also a strong move. What is everyone else fighting for? If you will fight for less, you are perceived as weak, and will be treated as such. If you fight for more than what your opponent is used to hearing, they will likely consider you to be a better opponent. At that point they want you on their side more. They may not have the resources to afford your proposal, and ask for a negotiation. But they also might be testing you. You need to draw upon your experience to decide if this battle is worth gaining more territory than usual, or winning the battle over a compromise. If the project is multiple days, maybe there can be leniency on your part. But on short term projects, you should expect and demand full rate, and they should expect nothing less. But you need to be sure that you are not ceding too much, otherwise you will still lose their respect. You always want to be the one in control. You are the expert. You are the person they desire to run their show. And you know that they do this many times a day, so do not feel like you are being unreasonable when they say that they’ve never heard of such numbers or terms. That’s them trying to play you. You are not desperate for the money, you just command correct compensation for your experience and expertise. If they want to argue over numbers, you don’t need them. In fact, you never need them. That’s your mindset. If you don’t need them, you have the upper hand. This will work for you, and win your battles 90% of the time. You can’t bargain with cheapskates and also have a good production, so don’t concern yourself with them. They want young blood, and they don’t care about the project. Your experience and your care for the project is what will make you successful. The more you adopt this strategy, the less you will need to worry about getting every call you receive. I don’t stress the gigs that I don’t get because I don’t need the headache. Good producers with realistic budgets will know what numbers to have, and have more on reserve for extra costs. A real producer budgets at least two times the cost of a project (because they get to keep whatever’s left over), so the money is there, it’s just a question of their competence, and their greed. Good producers want Khan on their side, not an inexperienced, incompetent weakling. Show them that you are Khan, and you will no longer only have badlands to live upon.