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.
“When you’re explaining, you’re losing” works in business, politics, advertising, brand building, and relationships.
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…
can you explain this post please? jajajaja, lol – just kidding
Very funny Michael. By the way, when are we going to get together for that cup of coffee and catching up?
Loved it. This is assertiveness at full work.
“No” is a powerful word that is hard to say sometimes but is a necessary tool for business success.
Bruce, This is, yet again, so helpful. I caught myself explaining my fee the other day. Lost the client. Next call I just said what it is, left it at that, won the gig. Why is this so tough to remember? I think it comes down to the current state of our emotions when an opportunity is on the line. If in a state of clarity and abundance we are precise and non-negotiable; when in a state of dissonance and scarcity we try to talk them into it. Perhaps that’s why having a 3rd party agent is beneficial so often, as they are removed from the emotion of the sale, and when I think in that frame of mind on a call/sales opp, I truly win the gig every time. Thank you for making me think so much better than I normally do.
Such an effective reminder on how to have appropriate boundaries with prospect and client interactions.