Sunday, May 21, 2006

Book Excerpt: How to Broach the Topic of Money

Situation: You don’t know how to broach the topic of money.

Strategy: Be direct and simply say, “Let’s talk about money.” Always ask for the other person to tell you what they have in mind first. They may not, but sometimes they will and it will give you a place to start. From there you can either tell your prospect or supervisor what you want and let them respond.

Once your positions are out in the open, don’t feel pressured to respond immediately. Take time to think. Whatever you do, don’t rush into any decisions. This may convey desperation or over-eagerness, neither of which are positions of strength.

Also, if talking about money is one of a number of issues being discussed with this person, create a simple agenda for the meeting and put “Money” on the list of things to discuss. That way, when you get there, you don’t feel like you’re bringing it up out of the blue.

Any other ideas you can contribute to this topic?

Excerpted from Stop Pushing Me Around: A Workplace Guide for the Timid, Shy and Less Assertive (Career Press, 2006). Order your copy here.


Anonymous Dan said...

Thank you! This helps me. As a self-employed web designer, I have several clients who have been promising a check to me every week now. I've been embarassed to pursue the matter further. I feel like I set myself for this by not having proper contractual wording on my invoices.

Since I get most of my work through agencies, this hasn't been a big issue before. Thanks for your tips!


5:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard something last week that was a real eye opener for me...

"You cannot put a price on your talent; you can only put a price on your time."

I'm not a designer - I'm a fine artist, but I think the same principles apply. As Peleg said in the audio tip, most people aren't used to buying creative services, and along those lines, I think they tend to believe designing, drawing, writing, etc., are easy to do. Just scribble a few things on a scrap of paper, throw it together and you're done. They have NO idea of the time involved.

As for self-worth, talent is in the eye of the beholder. Not everyone will like what you do. So you HAVE to believe in yourself first. If you don't, why should anyone else? If you truly believe what you offer has value, then a rejection becomes their loss, not yours.

(copy and paste this link if you want to listen to the audio tip Carole mentions:

Carole Raschella (via Ilise)

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Howard Levy said...

When discussing fees with clients, I find it's best to set the context. For example, if they need a website, and ask you how much it costs, your mind might immediately jump to how much time would be involved in creating it and they will be wondering if they could afford it. To frame the debate, find out what percentage of their business they will gain through their website. Once they realize that they are looking to create a $400,000 business through their site, then the $30,000 investment (and always call it that) in their business is worth it. Putting it in the context of less than 10% of their projected sales creates a more realistic expectation for them than having them see it as an expense that is not related directly to their sales.

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More from Howard Levy:

How do you get a client to reveal their budget? When faced with a new client that is working with a designer for the first time and asks about pricing, one tactic I use is to give several ranges for their project to get a sense of their budget. For example if they are need a brochure, I might say $2,000 – $3,000 gets you x, $3,000 – $5,000 gets you y, and $5,000 – $7,500 gets you z. Then I ask, which category they feel they fit into. This gets them to reveal a budget range and their priorities. It also sets an expectation for what they can get based on their budget and eliminates the need to come back with a proposal that is over and under their budget. This budget range tactic puts the client in the driver’s seat by making them negotiate with themselves over what they need and are willing to pay for and takes the pressure off the designer to negotiate the client’s need based on a fee that we want to get.

6:00 AM  
Blogger Darla, Pencil Portrait Artist said...

I think it was in one of your earlier email newsletters, Ilise, where you interviewed a gentleman (I cannot remember his name, sorry) and the topic of money and clients was discussed. He recommended that when a service provider needs to take some time to get back to the potential client with the fee amount, a good way to approach it is to ask, "may I get back to you tomorrow with an accurate estimate?"...of course the idea being that they wouldn't want you to give them an inaccurate estimate! I thought that was great advice, gives a person time to think about everything about the project before just blurting an amount out.

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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3:57 PM  

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