I always jam up when it comes to quoting my hourly rate. I don’t know how to actually ask for what I want. I’m talking about the actual words.
Can you help?
Assuming you’ve set a reasonable rate, one that your comfortable with and that reflects what your worth, it may be more a matter of practice than anything else. I find myself matching the tone of the person I’m talking with.
For example, a possible new client called this morning and we started off laughing because somehow I had gotten the volume on my headset so high I had to ask him to stop while I adjusted it downward. When he initiall told me what he wanted, I said something like, “I think you’d probably be paying me more than you need to.”
Of course, he asked how much and I told him my hourly rate. He actually said something like, “that’s not too bad.” We may actually come to terms.
Sometimes, when client asks how much I charge I say “oh, never more than a million dollars a day plus expenses.” There’s always a pause and then we both laugh. That breaks the ice. Usually I want to know more about the project before I quote, and that’s one way I get there.
And sometimes I’ll say “I don’t know what this will cost you yet. I need more information first.”
The point is the price you change is a normal part of the conversation. People who are thinking about hiring you want and need to know pretty quickly first if they can afford you, and then if they believe you’re worth what you charge. So practice telling people how much you charge. You can practice on friends and family and you’ll soon be comfortable enough when you’re talking with a client.
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