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Jul 02, 2004 8:01 pm re: re: re: re: re: Sales... Job #1
steve chichester
Sounds like you have the problem and solution well in hand, so that comments are irrelevant. Still, I wonder why you commit to a free consultation of one hour. It seems to me on the average a long time for fact finding and qualifying. And you may be telling too much, giving away to much, as sales people often do.

HAving an arsenal of experiences that can be drawn upon to create customer confidence is for rifle shots. What do you have in your brochure that you hand them? Someone commented to Mark Victor Hansen if "Chichen Soup" fame that his office and brochure looked like he is expensive. He said"I am, but I'm worth it."

If your qualifying them gives you good info on the price range they want to work in, and it gives you the space you need, an estimate at time of consult would be counter-productive. But for folks who are still appearing unrealistic in expectations, a ballpark estimate (between x and x) often clears the air.

If anyone has a solution to completely eliminate regretful buyers, I'd like to hear it. I've had enough repeat business from people who made big complaints then paid the bill to consider them irriating negotiators. It may be different in your business. Steve Chichester

> - Hilary Baumann - Fascination Design wrote: > Note: see the other post I made about this topic. >

>Also worth noting is the fact that I DO do a one hour free consultation with new clients so that I can get a good idea of what they are looking for, what they need, they can get a general idea of the process I typically go through, and also so I can get an idea of what their budget is and discuss where the project might need to be scaled back in order to fit if they have a tiny budget. >

>I don't give my estimate during this consultation because I do like go back over my notes so I'm not just jumping to a conclusion on price. It's also no obligation so if they decide that they want to go with another designer, it's not a problem (I do a follow-up with them so that I can see if there's something I need to change in my process for the future ... unless they just went with someone willing to do the job for free. Some people just have a hard time paying to quality if someone has offered them something free.) >

>I have been refining the process over the years (the day I stop learning is the day I need to no longer be in business .) As I said before, nothing is 100% foolproof. >

>Hilary >

>> steve chi wrote: >> >>I'd suggest ALWAYS quoting at the high end, explaining EVERY conceivable benefit, all the customer oriented details you can provide, and mention a variety of things which you do with every job at NO EXTRA COSt. Give yourself room to negotiate down. A lot of people feel that if they can't chisel they aren't getting a good deal.(Perhaps you'd prefer the word "negotiate." :)

Then give them a free something, maybe a book on how to market their website more effectively. Free downloadable books are in great supply on the internet. And if you've been able to plan with enough fat in the program, give them free extras. and at the time you present the invoice ALWAYS tell them what you generously added free . (It's psychologically better to present a detailed INVOICE than to present a BILL.

If you set yourself in a quiet place and list every detail you handle, that you take for granted, you'll be amazed at what you can present. Many many years ago when I was in the tv/electronics business I shifted my ads to promote "the very best, neatest, most effective tv antenna installations in town; call for absolutely free estimate." Everyone did free estimates. But my requests for estimates tripled.

It's amazing how people go to great lengths to be truly excellent, then forget to tell their prospects and clients. Steve Chichester

>> >> >> >> >>> George Morgan wrote: >>> Hi Hillary, >>> >>>I don't understand why anyone would get upset if the bill came in under the estimate. Have you thought about charging on a flat fee basis or on a quoted fee basis? Many clients prefer this method, though the drawback is that you could end up working for free, as it were, if the project exceeds the cap. >>> >>>Personally, I find that many service providers charge too little for their services, especially when it isn't a cookie cutter type of enterprise. >>> >>>George >>> >>> >>>> - Hilary Baumann - Fascination Design wrote: >>>> > Eric Sohn wrote: >>>>>What part of the Sales process is the most intimidating to you... and why? >>>> >>>>-- Talking money/pricing with new clients. >>>> >>>>I literally have clients who think my pricing is way too high and then I have others who think my pricing is way too low. I've had people curse me out when they get the bill (even with it under the estimated cost I quoted before the project) and I've also been told bluntly to raise my prices because my pricing is too low for the value. >>>> >>>>With new clients you don't know what their mentality is on money which makes it intimidating. >>>> >>>>I've done a lot to "ease the pain" of talking about pricing with people but I don't think there's a "perfect cure" for it as long as so many people think about money so differently from one another. >>>> >>>>Hilary Baumann >>>>Owner, Fascination Design

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