Have the budget and value conversation early; it makes things much easier and prevents problems later on.

After delivering a speech recently, one of the attendees said, “I struggle to get prospective clients to share what their actual budget is.

Some are open and willing but others, often say things like ‘the budget hasn’t been set,’ ‘we don’t know, ‘there isn’t a budget at the moment. Does that sound familiar?

She felt that they were often nervous to say their actual budget, fearful she would provide a proposal to precisely that number and therefore ends up flying blind with the fee presented in the proposal.

I thought it was excellent that she had the budget conversation upfront because this question is often avoided or left to the very end. Or, you give up because the prospective client has not provided a clear answer.

Here was my answer: Firstly, if at the end of your initial strategy session you are clear about what the outcome looks like and the value of your intervention and you still don’t know the budget or, the client turns around and asks, ‘well, how much is this going to cost?”

Consider providing a fee range and not a single price.

For example – “From our conversation, typically to deliver this kind of service, our fee ranges from X – Y.

Does that fall within the budget, or did you have something else in mind?

This prevents giving a single fee, limiting your options and putting the client in the place of a yes or a no. Providing a range opens up possibilities and the conversation, prevents undercharging, and the client can decide what works for them. With this answer, you can leave the meeting with a greater degree of clarity.

At the earliest opportunity discuss budget and terms, don’t leave it too late.

These responses and several others are covered in my forthcoming program – Attracting Value Pricing Clients. To find out more and reserve your space, send an email to value@mortonpatterson.com