A previous posting showed how a professional who questions his own value can determine what value his clients get from his services.
To get her price, however, a professional must not just know what her help is worth, she must feel it and act like it. Of course it feels uppish the first time you quote a $500,000 or $1,000,000 fee (or whatever is a large number for your firm). This is especially so if you are used to quoting much smaller numbers (see Why Peter Couldn’t Bag an Elephant for more on that subject). But you had better not let your doubts show.
Here are some things you can do to make it easier:
First, practice saying these words, I can help you. Practice them in front of someone you trust, and, if possible, have her videotape you, so you can see what you look like. Say them with calm self-assurance. You are simply stating a fact. You aren’t arguing with anyone or trying to convince anyone; you are just stating a fact. Have your friend tell you whether or not you sound believable and self-assured. Practice it again and again until you can turn it on at will as you do a faucet. You probably won’t say these words when you get in front of a client, but you will think them and the tone will carry over into what you do say.
Now, say them again, adding these words at the end, This work will run you between $750,000 and $1,000,000. And again, and say, Well, those are our rates. And again, this time adding, Well, how much of a deduction are you looking for? We might be able to shave a little off, but if we are too far apart I don’t want to waste more of your time. Remember your tone. You aren’t arguing. You are calmly stating facts.
Practice this until you have it down, and then try it on a client.
For more advice like this, please see Ford Hardings’ new book: Rain Making, Attract New Clients No Matter What Your Field, 2nd Edition
“Rain Making, in its new edition demonstrates its position as the single most sensible, accessible guide to building a professional practice…”
David Maister, author of Strategy and the Fat Smoker and co-author of The Trusted Advisor (with Charles Green and Robert Galford)