Do you state your fees confidently to your prospective client? Or do you find yourself avoiding the subject, wishing you could just get down to starting your fabulous work with them without having to answer the dreaded question, “so how much do you charge then?”
This is an area where many entrepreneurs trip themselves up and make mistakes (believe me I know this from first-hand experience as I’ve committed all of those mistakes myself!). You might be doing just about everything else right – you’ve built a good rapport with a potential client, you’re clear on their needs, they’re super interested in your services and you know that you can truly help them. And then comes that dreaded questions, “So how much do you charge then?”
In that crucial moment, good common business sense is often lost as your emotions can play havoc and jeopardize closing the deal.
- What if they tell me I’m too expensive?
- What if they tell me they can’t afford it?
- Should I charge them less because I really need the work right now?
- Shall I offer them a discount (so they know I’m a really nice person)?
- What if they question my fees?
- If they think I’m asking too much, will they think badly of me?
Do you see what has happened? All of a sudden your attention is no longer focused on the client – it’s become all about you.
The reason this moment is so emotional and loaded with fear and doubt is that your fees are a direct reflection of how much you value yourself and the services you provide. This simple question goes straight to the heart of how you see your own self-worth.
The first step to changing this is awareness. You need to confront what is your biggest fear about how a potential client will react when you state your fees?
Second, you have to make the shift from thinking this is all about you. Because it’s not! It’s about the client saying yes to themselves and the different results they want in their lives. Here’s a simple strategy. Simply state your fees and then… be silent. Don’t prevaricate. Let the client make the decision for themselves.
Third, you have to decide whether you want to be liked or run a successful and lucrative business? If you are running your business from a place of needing to be liked and at all costs avoiding rejection and criticism, you’re going to be in for a tough ride. Nobody enjoys feelings associated with rejection but it’s important to recognize and understand that when a client says no, they aren’t personally rejecting you but are saying no to themselves. You’re far better off putting time and energy into clients who are willing to say a big yes to themselves and you.
© 2013 Vanessa Shaw