How to Be Seen as More Than Just a Cost

By on August 20, 2014

No matter what you do, when approaching clients, you’ve no-doubt been asked for your rates from the get-go, or even been simply asked, “How Much?”

You may believe that hiring you is as simple as buying some product where price is the only thing that matters. Where actually, it’s closer to buying a car. There are a ton of options to choose from, and price reflects quality and reliability. The thing is, that most clients simply don’t understand, especially a lot of smaller businesses.



Don’t Compete on Price


In most cases, when potential clients ask you for your rates, they haven’t even seen your work or learned how your services can help companies like theirs make more money. If you simply give them your rate, they’ll simply see you at that number and go with whoever gives them the lowest number. Price will be the only differentiator between and your competition. Your rates or pricing should never be the first thing you discuss with your clients.

Let me repeat that. Your prices should never be the first thing you discuss with your clients.

(However, if you do get a lot of cold leads calling you, you can put a ball-park of your prices on your website and marketing materials to filter out tire-kickers).


Listen First

The biggest thing you can do when being looked a is show that you understand exactly where the client is coming from and that you can perfectly execute a solution to their problem. Ask them questions about their project. Make sure they are questions NOBODY would ask them! This mean questions such as: “What are your short-term/long-term goals with this project”, “Have you outsourced a project like this before” How did it go”? , as well as technical questions if it applies in your case. This not only helps you create a better bid for them, it shows them that this isn’t your first rodeo. Showing them that you know what you’re talking about lets them be comfortable with you and your work. Furthermore, any young kid coming in at a quarter of your rate that simply states his/her pricing instantly gets overlooked.


Invest in Them

If it’s a job worth your while, you not only have to show that you’re qualified in terms of skill and experience, but you have to work for it. By this I mean that you have to do your homework and spend time on an awe-inspiring proposal. Take note of what you learned when you were asking them questions, and write how you’re going to address every single problem/desire in your proposal. The proposal doesn’t have to be super fancy, but it does have to address your clients’ needs and problems head on and state how you’ll be solving and fulfilling them. If don’e right, the proposal itself will be closing the sale for you. If you usually have a lot of unique projects that you need at least a few hours to write up, consider offering road-mapping sessions that help cover the cost of your time.


Wow Them

If you have any work to show, have it be one of the first things they see. I have a link to my site in my email signature, so the first point of contact I make usually lets them check out my work (About 75% of the people that open my emails click on the link to my site). This is a bit off-topic, but as I’ve mentioned numerous times on this website, make sure you serve a specific niche. If you normally work with, say dentists offices,  make sure your website is full of stuff regarding dentists’ offices. That way when a new office opening up checks out your work, they’ll see that you’re a MASTER at helping businesses exactly like theirs, and Joe Schmo, a local web designer who does clothing lines, mom-and-pop bakeries, his neighbor’s new landscaping business, has no freaking chance compared with you. I’ll say it again, the more you can niche down, the more you can pin-point your marketing and WOW your potential clients.


Have them LOVE your prices

freelancers coffee

After all this, when they see your proposal, or you bring up your bid during your road-mapping session, your pricing will be a fraction of how they measure you up. After wowing them by hitting their core problem right in the head, the chance of them hiring you will have infinitely gone up. I really hope this post has helped shine some light on some areas you may not have been sure about. Let me know in the comments below!


Adam Rasheed

About Adam Rasheed

Adam is a Web designer and professional photographer based in Corona, CA. He loves drinking chai and watching British comedies.