Has this happened to you? You've had a great conversation with a potential client, you send a proposal, and hear some version of this response: “We can’t work with you, you’re too expensive.”
You just spent all that time on the proposal! You perfectly described how you can solve their problems! And it even looked beautiful! (I’m assuming).
But now you’re pissed. Why did you spend all that time if they couldn’t afford you anyway? Your time is valuable, and you just wasted it.
This used to happen to me all the time, and each time would be the same. I'd kick myself, but I'd also be super annoyed at the client. But then I realized it’s because i was afraid to do the one thing that would have saved me from writing another useless proposal again:
Have the price conversation.
This is the one thing I hear most often from entrepreneurs when they talk about the sales process - they hate having the price conversation.
And who could blame them? In our society, talking about money is taboo. And we’re afraid to bring up price for fear of losing the client.
(And let’s not forget that most of us came from corporate, where we’re coached not to have the salary conversation until the very last minute)
But back to solving this problem.
Why? Because it allows you to determine if your price and the client’s expectations are even in the same ballpark. In sales terms, this is called Qualifying - you’re evaluating whether a potential client meets the qualifiications to work with you. (Check out my complete ABCs of Selling here).
If your fees and your client’s expectations aren’t in the same ballpark? Then this client isn’t qualified, and isn’t a good fit.
And guess what. You just saved yourself from wasting time on a useless proposal.
Having the price conversation takes a few key steps:
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