The Price of Price Blurting with Ilise Benun

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If you’ve ever blurted out a price, agreed to a deadline you knew wasn’t realistic or, worse, volunteered to deliver a project faster than humanly possible, just to please your client – this new solo episode is for you.

The 3 quick tips in Episode 492 of the Marketing Mentor Podcast will save you from yourself! So listen here (and below) and learn... 

And if you like what you hear, we’d love it if you write a review, subscribe here and sign up for Quick Tips from Marketing Mentor.

And if you want more resources to get better clients with bigger budgets this year, check out my online courses: 

Read the transcript of Episode 492: The Price of Price Blurting with Ilise Benun 

Have you ever blurted out a price and then instantly regretted it? Or agreed to a deadline you knew in your heart wasn’t realistic? Or worse, volunteered to deliver a project faster than humanly possible, just to please your client? If you said yes to any of these, this new solo episode is for you. In it, I’m sharing 3 quick tips to save yourself from yourself so you don’t turn self employment into something even worse than a J-O-B. So listen and learn…

Have you ever blurted out a price and then instantly regretted it?

What about saying yes to a deadline that you know in your heart was unrealistic (not to mention impossible) but the client insists on it?

Or worse yet, volunteering to deliver a project too quickly just to please them, even though they aren’t even asking for it right away? 

It's easy to feel pressured by someone who wants a price on the spot.

And it’s not unusual to feel pressured – to actually pressure yourself – when you desperately want a project or a client. (Or when you have a hot lead on the hook.)

Here’s the lethal combination that might make you do it: 

  1. You don't want to lose the project. 
  2. You hate the money conversation and want it to be over as quickly as possible! So you sacrifice yourself (and your income)!

You know what happens...the blurted price is almost always too low and of course they agree to it. Later, when you see how much work is actually involved, it feels too late to ask for more. (Is it really too late?)

It’s even worse when the price you blurt is too high, which can scare your prospect away before you even have a chance to demonstrate your value.  

That's why you have to resist that urge to blurt.

Unless you are absolutely sure about the right price, the best thing to say, is:

"Let me give it some thought and get back to you."

Why is that so difficult?

All you have to do is restrain yourself in that tiny moment of emotion and pressure. If you can manage this, you've bought yourself some time.

That way, you can give your price careful consideration (i.e. sleep on it and talk to a mentor or accountability partner) and, when you're ready, propose a number you won't hate yourself for.

You see, when it comes to pricing your creative services, you may think your biggest challenge is charging the “right” price, but it’s not.

Because there is no “right” price without the money conversation – and that’s a conversation it’s your responsibility to lead.

But many, if not most, creatives I talk to confess to actually avoiding the money conversation at all costs. 

How? They take the first price that is offered or, when none is offered, they knowingly underprice so they don’t lose the client. But that usually ends up being a very expensive project – emotionally as well as practically.

So while this attitude may get you the project, it will rarely get you the best deal.

So here are 3 Quick Tips:

Quick Tip #1: Address “the money question” early on. In fact, be the one to initiate it. That puts you in a position of strength. Don’t put any more effort in than necessary before talking money. Otherwise, you may waste a lot of time researching or even just thinking about the project, only to find out they have “no budget.”

    Say this: “Let’s make sure we can come to terms financially before we get too deep into the details.”

    Quick Tip #2: Don’t take the first fee offered. Sometimes the prospect will have a budget and they’ll be up front about what it is, saying something like, “Can you write a landing page for $200?” Whether the price they offer is higher or lower than you expected, resist all temptation to accept it, just to be done with it. Budgets aren’t written in stone and there is usually some wiggle room that you won’t know about, unless you push. (And yes, you can push without being pushy.) So instead of accepting the first offer, see how much more you can get by asking for more. The negotiation will then take place within those two boundaries.

    Say this: “I was thinking more along the lines of (try double what they offered). Can we meet somewhere in the middle?”

    This happened to me recently. An editor at a magazine I have written for before offered me $1,000 for an 1,800-2,000-word article with a deadline in 30 days.

    That’s essentially 50 cents per word; I wanted $1/word. So I wrote back: “I was thinking more along the lines of $1 per word. Can you come any closer to that?”

    Her response was to offer $1,200, which she said was the maximum she could offer. But she also brought down the word count to 1,300-1,400 words. I accepted, but not without one more request: would she agree to give me more time? I got it. 

    I could have left it at the higher price, lower word count, and same deadline. But I like to negotiate — to see how well I can do for myself — and that last “chit” hadn’t figured into the negotiation yet, so it was there for the asking.

    Quick Tip #3: Know how low you will go and be ready to walk away. The best outcomes to negotiations are always a result of a willingness to walk away. After you get your questions about the project answered, but before opening up the negotiation, you must have a number in your mind below which you will not go — your personal bottom line. And you must be so detached from the opportunity that you can take it or leave it — and that you will leave it, if it doesn’t meet your bottom line.

    If you do have to walk away, all is not lost.

    Say this: "I'm sorry we couldn't make it work this time. Hopefully, there will be another opportunity for us to work together in the future."

    Don’t you want the best deal for yourself, if for no other reason than out of self-respect? If so, follow these guidelines, adapt the language to your own situation and see what happens. I can guarantee you’ll learn and earn more!

    And finally, do it with a twinkle in your eye. The more you practice, the better you’ll get, the easier and more natural it will become for you to have a twinkle in your eye when it’s time for the money conversation.

    I do hope you found those tips helpful – your baby step is simply to notice the next time you are about to do this and see if you can stop yourself. If not, then simply take a moment to reflect on what would allow you to catch yourself, to restrain yourself, next time. Do that until you do.  

    And if  you want to build a thriving business on your own terms, the first step is to sign up for my Quick Tips at Once you’re on the site, you’ll find lots more resources, including my Simplest Marketing Plan. Enjoy and I’ll see you next time.

    Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

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