Do you think your porridge is the perfect temperature? That’s what you are betting on when the very first thing you tell someone is how much you charge.
It happens to us all the time. We meet someone and, right after they ask what we do, they ask what we charge. Don’t answer that question at that time. It’s a trap. What they are unconsciously doing is distracting themselves from actually finding out about you and your services. And you are helping them succeed at the distraction.
Once you answer the question of what you charge they are no longer present. They are in that part of their brain that is analyzing what you just said. And what they are thinking is most likely either: “Wow, that’s a lot!” or “Gee, that seems too cheap”. The likelihood of your number being perfect “porridge” is pretty slim. Remember, unless it is perfect, in their mind, you have lost their attention by giving them the number.
Instead, wait until you know more about them, and they know more about you, before you talk price. Here’s how that works. By all means, acknowledge the question. If you don’t, they will be wondering why you skipped over it, and again be somewhere else other than with you. But instead of giving them the number, steer them back to talking about what they might find valuable in what you do. It could sound something like this: “I get that you are interested in knowing how much working with me would cost…and…before we go there, tell me more about you. How might I be able to help you?”
Create rapport and relationship. Present to them some positives, be they actions that could be taken or results that could be achieved, so that when and if the money part gets stated, there is a context for it. They will have value to judge the number by. The money won’t be the only thing they are thinking of. They will also be aware of what the result of the expense will really be. The will see the value they get for their money.
That way they much more likely to want your porridge!