What if a single, underlying factor drove every objection to consulting fees … and it was one you could address? There is, and you can.
The issue will become clearer when we separate out faux objections that are really clarifications of parameters, not push-back on the consulting fees.
Parameters clarifications—budgets, signing authority, and so forth aren’t challenges to your rates, they’re simply a refined definition of what consulting fee is allowable or feasible.
After setting aside those clarifications, you’re left with honest-to-goodness dissatisfaction with your requested payments. And your prospects’ real objection to your consulting fees boils down to the exact same, underlying issue that drives every single complaint about pretty much everything:
When a client considers whether to accept or reject your fee, he’s evaluating whether he thinks it’s fair for the consulting work you’re proposing.
Fairness is all about comparison. Comparisons to expectations or benchmarks or alternatives.
That’s why clients issue tightly written (often inane) RFPs, and why they ask for hourly rates and day rates—because those are concrete, easy-to-read measures clients can use to compare consultants to each other or internal staff or expectations.
You win the fairness game—and overcome fee objections—by controlling the comparator.
When you determine the basis for your prospects’ comparisons and you directly call out the fairness issue, objections to your cookie consulting fees crumble away.
For instance, when you shift the discussion from fees-for-tasks to fees-for-outcomes, the client’s sense of what’s fair is reconsidered.
To make this even more tactical, next week I’ll share a script that builds on fairness to support premium fees.
Think of an instance when a prospect objected to your fees, and share in the comments whether you think underlying the objection was a fairness issue or not.
Text and images are © 2018 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.