Do you dread that point in a conversation with a potential customer when they say, “So what do you charge?” If so, you are not alone! Most of us have difficulty talking about money—especially when it comes to quoting prices for our own work. However, if you plan to be successful in business, you have to get over it! Below, we provide a few of our favorite tips to discuss rates like a pro!
How to Discuss Rates like a Pro
Practice Makes Perfect
Athletes, performers, and hobbyists know that, in order to get better at something, they have to practice. This is true for entrepreneurs, too! So, practice is the first step to becoming an expert rate discusser!
The cool thing about practice is, you can do it basically anywhere.
- talk to yourself in the shower, while driving, or preparing dinner
- explain your rates to your dog
- stand in front of your mirror and say, “I charge $XXX.00 per hour”
The more you say your rates out loud (not in your head) the more natural it will role off the tongue when actually pitching your services.
Regardless of whether you are discussing your rates on the phone, via email, or in person, always smile when mentioning your rates! (And yes, this means that you should smile when you are practicing as well!) Your tone of voice changes when you smile (as does the “tone” of your typing), and that tone can convey confidence and authority, not to mention professionalism.
Throw timidness out the window!
Avoid being wishy-washy when you discuss rates! Listen to yourself as you speak to potential clients. Do you say things like, “Well, normally I charge…” or “Actually, my rates are…” or “Do you think that $XX.00 will work for you?”
These (and others like them) are all wishy-washy ways of talking that do not instill confidence in your client, and worse, they make you sound like you don’t believe in yourself.
Rather than squeaking out a timid, “Um, I charge, $1,000 per month,” straighten your back, smile, and say, “My rate is $1,000 per month for the services we discussed. Where should I send your invoice?” And then…
Remember the saying, “Silence is golden!?” Well, in this case, it is. When we are nervous or feeling intimidated, we tend to talk… a lot. We want to fill the silence with something, anything, just to avoid having to sit there uncomfortably and wonder what the other person is thinking.
But guess what? He or she is just as uncomfortable with the silence, and psychologically, the one who speaks first is at a disadvantage. So when you’re talking price, avoid the urge to fill the silence! (Especially since you might want to justify your pricing.) Give your potential client time to respond.
Ultimately, the above tips will not always land a new client. (Sometimes when you discuss rates, they really cannot afford you, and that is okay! That usually means that they are not in your target market.) But having a confident conversation will make a major difference when it comes to earning respect! The potential client will know that you are confident in your skills, and consequently, that you will do an amazing job!