Are you familiar with this statement, ‘you have come in way above budget’?

If you’re in business, it is a comment many may have heard once too often. I have.

I submitted a training and coaching proposal to a client. She responded quickly, on the same day (always a good sign) and said, “Thank you for this proposal; it’s good and shows you understand our situation. The options you have presented are great, but we cannot afford this.”

I decided that the best thing to do would be to meet her in person and not discuss this through email, so I asked for a meeting – this was pre-Covid.

I cannot remember why I did what I did during the meeting, but this was the clincher.

Before the meeting, I had a printout of all the modules and decided what I would do for the reduced fee.

I suggested that she looked at the modules again and select the ones they needed right now.

I went quiet and listened as she selected out loud which specific module they needed and why and which ones they didn’t. I did not interrupt.

In the end, I delivered fewer modules than I would have selected had it been left to me and not a module more. There was repeat work, but the fee did not increase.

If the client says, you have come in too high, reduce what’s on offer. You know when you are not valuing your service or are unclear about the difference you make when your fee stays the same, but you end up doing more.

Sometimes you have to allow the client to decide, and often how we approach negotiations is a reflection of our beliefs and knowing our worth.