After giving a prospective client a proposal for my services, and she said “If I look at your pricing, and the actual hours of your time I get, well, it seems like you get paid an awful lot per hour!”
Without missing a beat, we dove into her concerns and she agreed on the spot to sign on as a client. My biggest client to date.
As I hung up the phone, I thought, “WOW. A few years ago, her comment about my pricing would have totally freaked me out.”
What did I say to close the deal? Well, first of all, let’s travel back in time to how I would have responded earlier in my career. I would have started to justify or stammer or lower my prices (or all three) and it would have sounded something like this:
“Well uh, you see you have to understand that I, uh, work from home and, um have to pay for my own insurance and computer and taxes and I, you know, live in California where the cost of living is really high and, you know, I charge less than my competition, so you’re really getting a deal actually but well, I guess, if you want me to give you my best deal, why don’t we take another $1,500 off…”
Now, compare that hot mess to how I responded this time:
“It’s so interesting that you bring that up and there are two things going on here that are opportunities for us. The first has to do with us working together and the second has to do directly with your business.
First, I’m glad you brought this up so I can clarify everything you’re getting in this program, and it goes way beyond the hours we spend directly working together. You will also get email access to review any documents or promotional materials you’d like feedback on. Your staff can also have access to me and be included in any of our coaching calls. In between formal calls, if you need support through a specific challenge, you have access. What you get is a dedicated coach so you can meet your goals faster, because you don’t have to figure it all out yourself.
Which brings us to the second opportunity. Why aren’t you charging more? If my prices seem high, I’m betting there is an opportunity in our work together to increase what you’re charging. You’re a 25-year expert running a million-dollar company – why aren’t you charging more? That’s one of the first things we should work on.”
Feel free to use this as a model the next time a prospective client hints that you’re charging too much for your expertise!
Dina Lynch Eisenberg says
Powerful words, so very powerful, Mary. I hope readers will be motivated to write their own script based on yours.
Resetting expectations about value, your own and your clients, is the way through this tough conversation for sure. Too often and unwisely, we judge value by the container it comes in, like one hour of time, rather than the impact achieved (your business transformed).
My clients experience the impact of embracing delegation and outsourcing, which is swift and dramatic. You discover the process to make more money and time for yourself. You know how to ‘rinse & repeat’. That’s worth far more over the lifetime of your business than the investment in my program fees. Kinda like Loreal, ‘I’m expensive, but you and your results worth it’.
I love the L’oreal reference… perfect description!
Adam Cravets says