I present to you a method of pricing, which looks like the most stupid mistake noob.
Call it "fill in an empty account". Or "pay as you see fit."
The idea is that first you complete the order, and then you allow the customer to decide how much to pay for it.
I understand, it seems that in the end will have to work for pennies and food. I thought so too.
But in reality, this is a rather original tactic that any freelancer should be able to use when the wind blows in the right direction. (Note that I said “when the wind blows in the right direction.” We will come back to this later.)
It is done this way.
Instead of calling the price in advance, you say to the client:
“This is what I offer you. Come on, I will do the work that we have discussed. I will apply all my knowledge and do it as well as possible.
When we finish, pay as much as you think is fair, based on how important it is for your entire project.
I agree with any decision you make without asking questions. Pay any amount over sixty five dollars. ”
Fearfully? Already horror.
Is it risky? Little.
Stupid and stupid? Not at all.
I sometimes used this tactic on small random projects.
“I have no idea how much to ask for it,” I said. "Pay what you think is fair." Sometimes I was paid a hundred or two more than I expected, sometimes less. But it was always interesting to see how the client appreciates what I did. And a little humiliating too, sometimes.
But about a year ago I gathered my courage to try this approach on large projects of large customers. (Partly because while I was writing “Let's talk about money,” I thought a lot about pricing. I was eager to understand how it works.)
This is what I will tell you: the “pay as you like” method can be, to your surprise and delight, very profitable.
Moreover, I guarantee that he will change your ideas about pricing and tariffs. It will help to abandon some established views. And God sees we need it; most of us are very short-sighted, defective and cowardly in matters of pricing.
And as a bonus, you are likely to get the best job in your life and complete the order with astonishingly amazing quality. (Mostly because it will be scary to do it differently.)
Make it pay. More.
Naturally, the main reason for using the “empty account” is the desire to get more for the project than you could using traditional pricing.
The idea is that you will be paid for the “value” of your work for the client, and not for the hours you spend on it. Or its complexity. Or how much you thought of her. Or something else, for which usually take money.
By “value” I mean not only economic value, such as profits, cost reduction, or a new business line. (Which estimate in most cases is still impossible.)
I also realized that people are more than paying for the implementation of a blood-from-the-nose-needed-yesterday project to look like geniuses in the eyes of their boss and show presentations in which their sales people broke the British flag. To end up on the video were sold training with the speeches of the boss. To complete a project that someone else has flunked.
This value has nothing to do with how much time you spend on its implementation. It is intangible, intangible. And it’s very hard to guess from our bell tower what such a value is. Therefore, providing the customer with the opportunity to determine the value can pay off.
My customer sewed up with the reorganization of the content on her company's website. From all divisions, she collected raw materials that came to her in a terrible, illegible and difficult to process form. Approaching the launch date. She called me to figure out how to handle it all.
But she had no idea how many sections to do, how many pages, how bad the source material would be; it was impossible to guess how much this work would cost.
I said: “Let me try to solve this problem, and we will talk about payment later. I believe in your honesty. ” She agreed.
I coped with the work for a couple of weeks, checking, rewriting and rearranging the content. We have come to a clear and coherent presentation, uniform sound, bright headlines. Everyone liked the site.
And then I asked the customer to determine the project price acceptable for her. It was completely her decision.
In the meantime, I calculated how much I would request based on hourly rates. If I had calculated the price traditionally, it would have turned out from 3800 to 4200 bucks, depending on the method.
The next day I received a letter from her. She said: “I think $ 9,500. How do you? "
I wrote: “Great. Sales".
So you do not think that I tell you only good stories, here's another one for you.
My friend the designer worked on the site of a financial company consisting of two partners. He recommended me for writing content. We talked on the phone several times. Everything seemed pretty simple. Not that tons of content, understandable tasks. Customers are not very versed in marketing and all sorts of web pieces.
I said, “You know what. I will write everything for you, and when everything suits you, send me a check for the amount you consider worthy. ”
Usually, I would have requested $ 2500 for such a project, but I did not say that.
I made some sketches. They commented on them, something I corrected. Vernyak. The site starts. Calculation time And I already imagined how the Wall Street guys would send me a payment with many zeros.
They sent a check for $ 1200. And they said, "Thank you for the excellent work."
Damn, less than half.
What works and what doesn't
After I burned myself several times and got rich, I will summarize.
The method works only in the following cases:
- You already have a long-term relationship with a client. You have already worked with him at your usual rates. He trusts you. He knows how you work. And most likely, he needs to continue to work with you.
Do not try to turn this thing with disposable clients, with clients who will not often use the result, or with clients who have not come to you. You will try to behave with them in this way, you will be left without pants.
- The client has a deep personal interest in the project. He risks his skin. If the project burns out, he will ascend, get a lot of points, become a hero, and everyone will praise him. The method does not work with non-critical projects on the outskirts of the company, to which no one cares. (So it was with my customers on Wall Street; for them the site was some kind of crap that you just needed to have. They did not consider it something important.)
- The project should seem complicated, impracticable, difficult to formulate. (My customers on Wall Street thought they needed to just write a few pages of a blizzard and paid accordingly. My client tried to figure out the content for the site and was horrified. It seemed unreal to her.)
How does the customer respond? Does he like this approach?
Some will refuse. They will not want to take responsibility for determining the price. They do not want to be tormented by thoughts. This is normal. Give them a price.
Most will be shocked by your offer. After all, it demonstrates your confidence in them. What do you value their opinion. What are you not afraid to offer. Many advantages in karma are transformed into many dollars.
Sometimes (as one client told me) they will reflexively inflate the price by filling out a check.
Just as we reflexively and fearfully lower the price when a customer asks, "How much does it cost?"
I am not the only psycho using the described method. Matt Homann
, a consultant working with law firms, offers the “decide for yourself” price to all your clients. His experience in this approach fully reflects mine. You can read more about his method in “ The Non-Billable Hour
”. (Generally, this is about lawyers, but the ideas themselves will suit us, I think.)
See the “Payment at the exit” series from the 1936 classic “Shoot”. The gang makes a presentation in the barn, but other children do not want to pay a penny, because suspect that the presentation they do not like.
Despite Spanki’s objections, Alphafa decides to let everyone in for free, allowing him to pay on exit, if he liked the show.
In the end, the gang had a terrible performance, but it ended so merrily that all the children were rolling with laughter.
Filling the Alphafy box with coins.
Excerpts from “Talking money”, prepared by WaltKania for The Freelancery
, which calls for nothing, except to discuss such an approach.
Of particular interest would be stories from personal experience.UPD
: A day after the publication of the topic, I discovered that the author is a woman. I had to incline everything to the feminine.