How to Negotiate Client Deadlines Effectively

Underpromise then overdeliver. This will save you headaches when you want to negotiate client deadlines.

If you don’t negotiate deadlines correctly, you’re going to lose that project or future projects from the same client.

When striking out on their own as clients, most of them may not be sure on how to strike a deal. They will present their deadlines. If you can meet their deadlines, you are better placed. In case you cannot meet the client`s preferred deadlines, what do you do?

When handling a new or existing contract, you should know how to negotiate client deadlines. Do not forget that it is paramount to keep realistic deadlines. Next time you are attempting to negotiate deadlines with your clients, keep the following in mind.

What to Keep in Mind When You Want to Negotiate Client Deadlines


The workload is one of the most neglected aspects when freelancers want to negotiate client deadlines. You may have several projects at ago but you need to prioritize your work and handle those with tight timeframes first. I suggest using a spreadsheet at this point so you know what you need to complete when.

negotiate client deadlines


Estimate your current workload. List the projects that may require your attention that week. Also, check other deadlines you are supposed to hit the same week. Ensure that the suggested deadline gives you adequate time to complete the task.

When dealing with urgent jobs, figure out which deadlines can be postponed. At times, you may need to work extra hours. Remember to charge extra for that extra hour.

Work pace

Your working pace should guide you when you want to negotiate deadlines.  Accept or set deadlines that allow you enough time for work.

Your schedule

Set deadlines on the days you are free. If you don’t work on Sundays, avoid setting deadlines on such days. Also, ensure you settle on a less busy day as the deadline for the given task.

Unforeseeable events

Events like serious power failure, internet connection issues or computer failure may be unforeseeable at the time you are negotiating deadlines. This may result to missed deadlines.

To cushion yourself, negotiate client deadlines that give an extra day or a couple of days. You can sort your issues during those extra days and still meet the agreed deadlines. Your reputation will remain clean in such a case.

Wrap up

So other than looking at the rates and instructions of a new project, be sure to check out the deadline and whether you’re in a position to beat it.

If you’re traveling or busy with another project, do not be quick to take up a very urgent project unless you’ve plans to delegate it to a competent person.

Always, aim at completing the project way before the set deadline especially for the very first projects. It portrays you as an expert, credible and reliable contractor.




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