When you are an industry or area expert you don’t typically consider yourself a sales person, you see your role more as a consultant. Consultants however are sales people on some level, after all they charge money to a company or client who wish to use their knowledge and expertise. Sometimes when a consultant tries to earn business they accidentally give away their expertise for free or quote a price to their prospective client too early. The following are tips on how to avoid these pitfalls.
Give Away Your Expertise
When you meet with a client they want to know three things 1) what do you know, 2) how can you solve this problem, and 3)how much is this going to cost.
In the initial interview if you answer these questions with out agreeing on a price first you have just given a free consultation. Another downfall of providing this information is that you are likely not the only consultant the client has met with, now you risk becoming another name in a pile.The client may possibly even sit on the information you provided deciding not to do anything just yet. Or you may quote a price higher than your competition and lose the contract because your price is higher than some one else.
Provide a Price for Services Too Early
Oftentimes clients underestimate their problems. They simplify the problem in order to communicate quickly and then ask, what can you do. In reality you won’t be able to give a precise quote because you don’t know the extent of the problem yet. If you give a quote for your services that is too low and wind up in the end going back and saying that you miss quoted the price it reflects poorly on you.
Don’t give into the pressure to provide a price too early. Be honest and say, “From what you’ve told me you have A,B,C going on, but once I take a closer look there may be D,E,F happening too. This is my estimate for A,B,C, if you need more than that it’s going to be extra.
It’s a gutsy thing to do but it’s your expertise and services that are your money in the bank. Don’t give it away for free. Charge what you’re worth. get your price and make it stick.