20 Jul Going Crazy Deciding Client Fees? 5 Steps To Make It Easy Peasy
So you’ve met a client who’s interested in working with you.
You’re a perfect fit for the project.
He’s impressed with what you have to offer and is keen to start.
Of course, you’re happy the client wants to work with you. You’re delighted. But are you worried about quoting the wrong price?
What if you blow it and spoil your chance?
Anxiety takes over.
You fear losing the client if you charge a premium fee.
But what if you quote a low price? You may close the deal, but you’d feel miserable about all the work involved.
In my early days as a coach I charged my first client a low fee. It was lead by a sense of unworthiness that came from the thought “But I’m just starting out, how can I charge a higher fee?”
While I did love working with her, I was not exactly excited or looking forward to the sessions. It was not fair to a client that I felt this way. I was quick to correct my fee, so I could be fully present as a coach with joy and excitement. 3 years later, I’m still a coach to this client.
What is the perfect price? The answer lies within you. Below follow simple techniques to help you extract that price. A price that works right for you AND the client. A price you feel happy to work for and the client feels happy to pay.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to know how to get there?
Step 1. Know The Market Price
Find out market prices for the kind of work you do.
Unsure about the exact numbers?
Ask friends who hire talent like you, check with peers or do research online.
Working in a new industry without price benchmarks?
For example, you may be the first Kids’ Stylist in the market or the first Pet Parenting Coach.
Ask around for prices charged for similar work. You could figure out what adult stylists charge. You could ask around to know the fee of a veterinarian or a health coach.
Write down the range of prices you’ve found.
Step 2: Is there a match?
Landing at the right fee depends on a clear connection between your offer and the client’s pain points.
For example, you’re a graphic designer and your client is fed up with his old-fashioned logo.
You propose to create dazzling social media graphics with little concern about his logo. In such a case, you’re barking up the wrong tree.
Clients buy into you because they see you as someone who can get them out of their pain. They are willing to open their wallets and pay you for solving ‘what they think is their problem’.
So, ask your client what he thinks is the problem. Understand the pain he’s going through in his business and match your offering.
Step 3: Agreement on the quantity of work
So you’ve nailed the client’s problem and have offered a solution that fits perfectly.
But the client feels you need to do half the work you’ve proposed.
You’re a graphic designer. Your business owner client seeks to modernise his logo.
You believe that spending 3 weeks in research leads to a better output. This, in turn helps his business. But the client sees no need for research.
You need to work with the client to arrive at a mutually agreed scope of work.
Iron out differences and agree on the scope of work before you present a fee to a client.
Step 4: What’s Your Number?
Now you’ve got a clear idea of market prices and a clear scope of the work. You understand the value you bring to the client’s business and you understand him too.
Given all this information, what do you think is the correct price for this project?
A price that allows you to do excellent work and a price that works for the client.
Put down a number that comes to you. Don’t overthink it.
Step 5: 2 Questions That Nail It
Now here’s the final step.
You got a number for the price you should charge.
You need to put this number through an ‘authenticity check’.
Ask yourself these 2 questions and be honest with your answers.
- With this price, do I feel exploited? Yes or No
Put down your spontaneous response.
- With this price, am I overcharging the client? Yes or No
Note your answer.
Now adjust to arrive at a number that makes you happy and is not coming from a place of greed.
There, you’ve got the price!
- Know Your Walk Away Price
Before you meet the client to close the deal, it’s important to know your ‘walk away price.’
What’s the price below which you will not take this job?
Knowing your ‘walk away price’ helps you lead the final price conversation with confidence. It helps you maintain healthy boundaries while being considerate to the client.
When you go to the deal-closing meeting armed with this clarity, you’re likely to sign off a business at your happy price (and the client’s too). It’s all win-win.
Should the deal not work out, as you chose not to work below your walk away price, you don’t need to feel guilt or resentment.
- Throw In A Bonus or Two
Want to sweeten the deal?
Offer bonuses relevant to a client’s pain points.
“Give, but give until it hurts.” ~ Mother Teresa
For example, your client may be struggling with getting started on social media. It would be a good idea to offer him a 2-hour training on social media as a bonus.
Know the right price. Ask your worth.
Getting to know the right price is a huge step to honour your worth.
It has a positive impact on the way you close business deals.
Charging the right price puts you in a happy place. It allows you to give the client excellent service. So, when you undercharge a client, you’re actually doing a disservice to him.
All it takes is a few hours.
Climb one step at a time.
First, know the market price of your work.
Then, figure a match of your offering to your client’s pain points.
Get an agreement on the scope of the job. Put down your number.
Finally, nail your price by asking the 2 important questions in Step 5.
Make this a practice. Soon you’ll see yourself asking your price as easily as you say ‘please pass the salt.’
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