JBM

You Cost Too Much. Really? Differentiate or Die.

You Cost Too Much. Really? Differentiate or Die.

When working with clients, depending on who you are talking to and at what level, you can see them turn pale when you tell them your rate.

The story will go like this

Sound familiar? Sounds like a little bit of Dilbert here. Clients at the lower levels of the organization want to know your hourly rate. They also want to know how you will do it. They will dig and dig to find out the hourly rate in an attempt to save money.
However, clients who are at the upper deck of the food chain want to know that you can solve the problem and how soon. This is how that conversation goes:
Now, life doesn’t always go according to plan. And these conversations don’t always go like this. But the people in the upper decks of the client’s organization are more concerned with a few things:

1. Can you get the results?
2. How soon?
3. When can you start?

Often, in these cases price is hardly part of the decision equation. It’s about the result: can you get it done and how soon.
In the lower decks of the organization the things that matter most are these concerns:

1. What is your hourly rate?
2. What if my colleagues think I should be able to do this and can’t?
3. Is there anyone else who is cheaper?
4. Should I get two or three more companies in here for quotes just to be safe?
5. Do you have references and can I talk to them?
6. Have you worked in the same environment with the same technologies in the same vertical industry?

One group of people is concerned with results. The other group is concerned with lower level needs: security/self-esteem, failure, and looking bad.

It pays to deal with people higher up in the food chain.