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Exactly What to Say When Asked, "How Much Do You Charge?"

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A client with a creative business called me one day and asked the following question.  It's a question I get asked frequently, so rather than write an entire article, I decided just to tell you exactly what I told her.

Kirstin,

"I never know what to say when a potential customer calls and asks 'How much do you charge? What are your fees?'
I don't want to shoot myself in the foot by quoting something too low, but also don't want the caller to hear a number that they think is too high and hang up.  
What do I say to them so I don't put them off, but also don't immediately take myself out of the running to get their business?"

-Ann P., Philadelphia, PA
 
Ann,

Don't feel compelled to blurt out a number or hand over a price sheet. Calmly and confidently tell the prospect, "It depends." Follow up with, "Let me ask you a few questions...." Then proceed to ask the prospect questions that will help you learn about her needs, uncover her concerns, understand her methods of measuring success, and determine how to show the value of your services.

Without knowing the basic information above, you are not in any position to be quoting prices and fees. Do yourself and your potential client a favor and don't rush into discussing pricing until you have all the facts, m'am.

-Kirstin Carey

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