I have been there, so many times.
Planning, rehearsing, and getting ready to call out the price I think I deserve. The moment comes, the time is right, I grit my teeth – aaand blurt out a lower price.
This is bad on many levels, but the gut-punch feeling of letting myself down is the worst.
The first price you say is probably the highest you can get in monetary terms, so if you start low it’s very hard to land somewhere you wanted to end up.
In addition, it’s very hard not to let your face give the client any clues that you are not happy with the number you just proposed. And if you are suggesting a price you think is low, that means you probably need them to say yes, so you are probably negotiating with your back against the wall.
Even if that’s not really true, giving off “vibes” like that means you artificially lower your negotiating position. Not everybody will take advantage of that, but some will.I know you know that doing this is bad. I just wanted to emphasize that this happens to everybody, and it will continue until one day, after enough repetitions it just stops happening. Just like stage fright, practicing your price pitch is never pleasant but sooner or later it yields a better stance.
So, next time it happens to you, let yourself off the hook – it was just one of the practice runs, and the sooner you shake those out of your system, the better.