This article has been written by Hima Bindu Chatri Remote freelancing and profile building program from Skill Arbitrage.

This article has been edited and published by Shashwat Kaushik.


Negotiation holds the key to getting ahead in the workplace, resolving conflicts, and creating value in contracts. When disputes arise in business and personal relationships, it’s easy to avoid conflict in an effort to save the relationship.

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As a business, you need to set a clear work scope and be clear about your budget during the negotiation process. As a freelancer, you need to know the value of your services going into the discussion, and you should stand firm on your value.

In the US market, negotiation plays an essential role in business culture. Big or small industries have their own rules and systems. Enhance the market value of the company by conducting comprehensive market research, analysing competitor rates, and exploring industry websites for valuable insights.

Negotiation is one of the leadership skills that help businesses reach their goals. Negotiation skills are essential in the workplace. It plays an important role in connecting with clients or new people.

If clients offer them their market value or above, they’ll feel more comfortable working on future projects for clients. Letting a freelancer suggest the pay rate is a good starting point, but you still need to know what a fair price is for both; them and the client’s business. Treating freelancers fairly is the best way to negotiate. 

Benefits of negotiation skills in the US market

Mastering negotiation skills in the US market opens doors to lucrative opportunities and empowers professionals to navigate complex business landscapes with confidence.

Building strong relationships with clients

People who have healthy relationships are more likely to feel happier and more satisfied with their lives. Positive customer relations are long-term, mutually beneficial relationships between a customer and a company. These relationships are built by creating a stable environment of trust that results in the continued growth of the customer and the organisation.

Productive communication skills during negotiations

Communication is the backbone of negotiation. Communication is key to building strong relationships, so make it clear from the beginning that you will work with your client. A healthy conversation ensures a mutually beneficial deal and avoids misunderstandings that could prevent the parties from reaching a compromise.

Negotiation avoids future conflict

Both parties agree on a common solution, which reduces the chances of future conflicts to a great extent. Delivering an excellent solution through good negotiation skills ensures that the solution to the conflict is not short-term. It focuses on creating long-lasting solutions because both parties make an adjustment only when the solution is satisfactory.

Negotiation creates an environment for business success

A high standard of negotiation skills ensures the accomplishment of a goal, which creates an environment of business success. This also increases the chances of future business transactions.

Decide to fly solo or offer your services on online freelancing platforms 

Knowing you possess highly demanded skills, such as being a great programmer, marketer, designer, virtual assistant or customer service representative, is not enough to succeed in making a living as an online freelancer. Our other hard key skills are needed to succeed in a freelancing career: selling, negotiation, communication, time management, project management, and business management. Depending on your field of studies or past professional experience, you may have developed some or all of them at different levels.

Research freelancing platforms: The first main thing freelancers do is research good platforms and websites that are a good fit for applying and creating accounts, consult with other freelancers, and directly pitch for work. 

Top 10  Freelance Platforms to pitch dream job as well as Best Freelance Websites to Find Work

  • Fiverr
  • Toptal
  • Upwork
  • YunoJuno
  • Revelo

Freelancing type: digital marketing, web development, social media, software development, financial consulting, writing, graphic design, data entry, etc.

Understand your worth: The first step in pricing your freelancing services is understanding the value of your work.

Estimate time and cost: Freelancers estimate how many hours there are for clients in a week according to the fixed hourly wage rate. This is based on the cost of the quality work service provided to the freelancers. 

Consider your target audience: Freelancers always update their top skill techniques and work experience mentioned in their Upwork or LinkedIn profiles, so customers can directly connect with them.

Offer packages: Freelancers should carefully check all details of the offer package, along with work details. Freelancers select a  package that is a good fit  and offers a more efficient goal.

Negotiate from a position of strength

Negotiation deals are ongoing every day in the US market. The first few times, negotiating with clients is a bit challenging, but after getting experience from 2 to 3 instances, we find it helpful to think about it as just a piece of cake. Practice makes a man perfect; before meeting a client, prepare well and conduct a mock interview with your friend or instructor. It helps you feel very confident.

Securing competitive rates in the US market can be achieved through thorough market research, understanding the pricing strategies of competitors, and offering unique value propositions to customers. It is also important to build strong relationships with suppliers and negotiate favourable terms to lower costs.

Building strong negotiation skills for a position of strength includes:

Focus on the negotiation skills

The negotiation skills required to close contracts serve not as the final destination, but as the basis for perfecting a contract’s performance. Improve your negotiation skills by acquiring knowledge of market value  and watching videos on current rates. 

Problem-solving skills

Most negotiations occur to find a solution to an issue. With excellent problem-solving skills, you propose viable and intelligent solutions that are beneficial for both parties. Problem-solving skills are very helpful in any stage of the work platform and in dealing with different clients.

Setting clear-cut objectives and goals for negotiations

Setting realistic targets is essential to the success of any negotiation. Ensure that your target is achievable, based on the information and research you have conducted. Freelancers always have a clear idea and target before connecting with the client about what rate they have to discuss or negotiate. Check the market value with other freelancers, then set their goals for negotiations.

Try to create a win-win outcome in negotiations

Win-win outcomes occur when each side of a dispute feels they have won. Since both sides benefit from such a scenario, any resolution to the conflict is likely to be accepted voluntarily. The process of integrative bargaining aims to achieve, through cooperation, win-win outcomes. When both sides are satisfied with their agreement, the odds of a long-lasting and successful business partnership are much higher. 

Negotiation rates are dependent upon long term contract 

In the US, negotiation rates depend on long-term contracts as well as on good relationships. A negotiation is a strategic discussion that involves two or more parties to resolve an issue in a way that each party finds acceptable. These are some tactics that help in the negotiation period with US clients.

Collaborative tactics

Negotiation strategy is linked to showing positive long-term relationships. One of the most important strategies is to use collaborative negotiation to build a strong foundation of trust and partnership. It ultimately leads to a higher lifetime value for both parties. 

Understand their needs and motivations

Before meeting the client, do your homework and research all the details, like the party’s background, objectives, preferences and needs. Strive to understand what they value, what they fear, and what they expect from the contract.

Communicate clearly and transparently

The communication culture in the US tends to be direct. Clear and transparent communication is vital in debt collection. Provide debtors with all the necessary information regarding their debt, including outstanding balances, interest rates, and any applicable fees. Avoid using complex legal language that may confuse debtors. Instead, use simple language to ensure that they fully understand the situation. Transparency builds trust and helps lay the foundation for open and good communication.

Focus on interest, not positions

Stay focused on the interest, not on the position. In interest-based negotiation, the purpose is to reach a mutually acceptable outcome, sometimes mutually beneficial to both parties. The parties facing any problem do come out, so they should be dense on the problem and not on the person. The interests of both parties are similar, with strong matches.

Be flexible and creative

Flexibility is also the main key to choosing the right negotiation strategy. The strategy works differently with different people or with changing market situations. Choose the right strategy at the right time. Freelancers must be flexible, don’t try to stick with one strategy because what works in the current situation might not work for future situations.

Freelancers think creatively, so clients are impressed by their new thoughts. Being unique from other freelancers builds your performance rate. Try to use good examples in front of clients, which help them understand scenarios.

Honesty from both parties for a fair deal

Both the freelancer and the client deal fairly with each other, aiming for no profit and no loss. They understand that both are in the same boat at negotiation time. It’s important to remain honest and transparent with clients throughout the entire negotiation process. You may find the conversation more productive when both sides are honest and open with each other. 

Know the details of the project

It is absolutely crucial to know the details of a freelancing project before you even get down to the negotiations. The client will provide you with a rough outline of the project and then immediately ask for your rates. To navigate this situation, it’s best to state your rate and final output rate according to the nature of the work. After, you can ask the client to provide you with more in-depth details on the project for a good idea guideline.

Negotiations in the US are direct and transparent

During negotiation time, Americans tend to say what they think, to be clear about their direct expectations, and to deliver their opinions in a forthright manner.

  • American negotiation culture is very straight and direct.
  • Proceedings are exactly giving directions or instructions about work.
  • Trust is placed in the contract as opposed to in relationships.

In the USA, ‘business is not personal’ means that business agreements and outcome goals take priority over personal feelings.

As such, avoid taking offence to the elements of American negotiation culture that differ from your home culture.

How competitive is the US market

The United States market offers the best opportunity. To win the global competition for new jobs and industries, the US must continue to have an efficiently trained and more skilled workforce. In today’s increasingly global economy, skilled professionals will be best positioned to secure high-wage jobs and fuel American prosperity.

Economists have identified four types of competition- perfect competition, monopolistic competition, Oligopoly and monopoly.


If you’re not sure what to charge, it’s a good idea to talk to another freelancer to find out what they charge. From there, you can consider your experience and set your rate accordingly.

Frequents Asked Questions (FAQs)

How did the freelancer fix the rate?

Freelancers have to look at the client’s work history to see if they paid other freelancers for previous projects and check average pay rates. You should have an idea of what other freelancers have bid on a project, so you know your rates are competitive. 

Why are negotiation skills important?

Without any idea or knowledge of negotiation skills, how can freelancers convince clients of the correct rate for the correct job? Negotiation is helpful from both the freelancers and the client’s point of view, with both agreeing to their deal.

How to improve negotiation skills?

By learning and practicing negotiation skills through upskilling and knowing the current market rate, experienced freelancers can be guided with a few tips and advice to successfully land their dream job. Every time, make sure the market value is set according to their position by checking all the market sites. 

What are the US general negotiating styles?

Negotiations in the US are results oriented: American culture places a great deal of value on ‘getting things done’ and doing so as quickly and efficiently as possible. It means they love to pin the negotiation process to a scheduled time, with milestones to mark progress along the way.

Americans spend quality time getting to know freelancers before and during the negotiation process. Due to the result-oriented approach, wins, milestones and targets take more importance than relationships.


Freelancers negotiate rates more smartly towards contracts with US clients.  Freelancing can be a great way to build a career on your own terms, with greater flexibility, independence, earning potential, etc. responsibility for managing your own business, inconsistent income, and a lack of benefits.  

Ideally, you should be thinking from the point of view of the client. What the client thinks about freelance work and work will make all the difference when it comes to common goals, long-term relationships and agreements.



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