As sure as the sun rises in the east every morning, you will receive calls from the proverbial bargain hunters and tire kickers. They want something free or at least heavily discounted.
The tire kickers call a long list of numbers taken from an internet search. They think they are crafty. There is little focus on their needs, only price until the job is actually completed. Then the issue is suddenly converted to quality.
We live in a culture of bargain shopping with an obtuse regard for short term gain versus quality and long term satisfaction.
Does this sound familiar:
A new client calls and asks about your rate. You offer a discounted rate, below what you would really hope to charge hoping to close the deal in 30 seconds or less. You get the job.
The client has conveyed his estimate of how long he thinks this job will take, based on his abject lack of understanding of the complexities of the work. When you begin the work you find the job before you does not resemble the work described over the phone. This should not be a surprise.
The job will take much longer than forecast. You realize your rate and the estimated billable hours are not enough.
Your demise began with the very first phone call. You gave yourself almost no chance of success.
Too frequently the most common response to an inquiry about rates is a quick off the cuff answer with a rate. You have already relinquished control of the conversation.
In the initial exploratory conversation you need to ask the client to define his priorities; is it price or is it accuracy, timeliness, and quality. Your reply needs to focus on his point of pain. You tell your new client that you are well experienced in this area, help him relax and feel confident with you.
Then you wrap things up with..”l look forward to working with you. I have a very busy week... but I will be happy to see you on Friday, is 1:00 p.m. fine with you?”
You need to assume the position of control. Admittedly this does take a little confidence, but you will probably win more business than you expect.
You need to control your business and your valuable time.
We have your best interest at hand and work for a lasting relationship with all our clients.