Last week I received an email from my friend Randy. Over time I've been helping Randy with his business:
I got a call from a potential client yesterday. He had been referred by someone I didn't recognize. That person must have known of me thanks to my blog.
After the conversation, I sent a proposal.
The potential client called back with (as he put it) ‘just a few quick questions.'
He told me he had worked on Wall Street and had been trained that it was never good negotiating to take the first number. He asked if my fee was a typo. He told me that my price was 40% higher than all the other consultants he'd spoken with.
Then he asked me for free advice to solve the problem he clearly wasn't willing to pay me to solve.
Not only wasn't this guy going to pay my fee, but he wanted me to solve his problem.
Over the phone.
Suddenly I remembered what you taught me: ‘When you're explaining, you're losing.'
And by applying the good lessons you've taught me over time, I saved myself needless suffering.
Instead of telling him how to solve his problem, I confirmed my price for the project, told him I had a client meeting to attend, politely excused myself, and ended the conversation.
I doubt he'll call back, but that's not the point.
One proposal, one short follow-up conversation. That's the end of it.
I didn't give anything away, I didn't waste my time, I didn't beat myself up. I simply went on with my life and used my time productively.
Following that simple adage reminds you to be intentional and focus on what matters most.
In fact, “When you're explaining, you're losing” is such an important reminder, that I'll take my own advice and stop writing…