Money is a funny thing. We’re all working hard to have it, but when it comes to discussing it in business women tend to have difficulty. Whether it is quoting for work, pricing products or outlining payment terms, women are prone to shy away from firmly stating what they want to be paid.
Money makes the (business) world go around. If we weren’t interested in it, would we be in business?
This avoidance comes across as a lack of confidence in one’s ability and, in some cases, a lack of an understanding or respect for the business world. Men in particular perceive women as weak and not as experienced if they don’t believe in their pricing — or if they are too cheap.
For example, I was negotiating a price with a potential client who wanted to pay me one-third of my rate. He even laughed at my rate (which was reasonable) hoping to intimidate me or scare me into discounting. I stood my ground with ease, as I know my worth and what I deliver.
He hired me and was a client for over a year — and he mentioned in passing that if I’d dropped my rate he wouldn’t have respected me as much. This is the world in which we live. Best be prepared and ready for battle at all times.
Now, when you have to discuss money in business, consider trying the following to ensure you are valuing yourself enough and in return being taken seriously in business (oh, and of course ensuring you are making a profit).
Have a calculated price sheet for the products/services you offer (base price and what you need to make a profit). Have a rough idea of the price you would charge someone before getting into a discussion with them.
Try to have a phone discussion before meeting someone. A phone call can quickly tell you whether the interested party really needs your services and also if they are in a situation to pay for it.
Make note that women will expect you to do things for free or cheaply because you are also a woman, whereas men will try to bargain down anyone and anything.
If someone wants your advice, don’t feel guilty in specifying your rates before offering them any of that advice. You can refer them to a previous client as a testimonial if they want proof of your results.
If you feel the person only wants to milk you for free advice, then connect them to your blog to access your free information openly shared with the world. Save the bespoke advice for the paying clients.
Once someone agrees to become a client, have a signed agreement and a deposit or full payment before meeting with them. This is a great way to see whether they are genuinely interested and had every intention of paying in the first place.
Money is not evil and asking for it is what business is all about.
You don’t want to look back and realise you have lost money on a client or a product solely because you didn’t have enough confidence to simply price yourself at the right rate. ❐


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