Does the topic of money make your mouth dry and your hands sweat? Do you dread that point in a conversation when someone says, “So what do you charge?”
You’re not alone. Most of us have difficulty talking about money—especially when it comes to quoting prices for our own work. If you’re going to be successful in business, though, you have to get over it.
Practice. The first rule for declaring your prices with confidence is simply to practice. Talk to yourself in the shower. Tell your dog what your rates are. 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 be for you.
Smile. Even if you’re on the phone or writing an email, smile when you say your rates. 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.
Avoid being wishy-washy. 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, like $1,000 per month,” straighten your back, smile, and say, “My rate for services is $1,000 per month. Where should I send your invoice?” And then…
Be silent. When we’re nervous or feeling intimidated, we tend to talk. 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 because you’re most likely to try to justify your pricing) and let your potential client take time to respond.
Will speaking with confidence always land you a new client? No. But being able to share your pricing in a clear voice will help potential clients know that you’re confident in your skills, and consequently, that you are right for them.
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