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Confidently share budget and timeline

You handled the entire discussion with decorum, and now there are just a few more details to discuss to finalize any sort of agreement. Many of the following topics can be “deal breakers” if you don’t have similar ideas, so be sure to tackle them on the call.

Talk about pricing

After you’ve both invested 20-25 minutes of your time together, strike while the iron’s hot and talk about – you guessed it – pricing. This is the section some people want to run and hide from, but you’ll face it with confidence and tact.‍

Why? Because without a baseline understanding of their budget, you’ll be heading into the proposal phase blind. This means you can either underbid and end up with scope creep because they were expecting this project to be more than what you had in mind or you could send them into cardiac arrest with sticker shock.

There are a few ways you can bring up budget.‍

A specific rate you charge

It looks like you need a X project which has a flat fee of $1900. It includes research, a strategy call, and copy. How does that sound?

General rates you charge

For something of this size, this project is looking to be around $4,200 for all the deliverables I mentioned. Was that about in your ballpark budget?

You need more info to scope budget

There really are quite a few components, so I’ll need to complete my calculations after this call. Did you have a budget in mind?

It’s important to fall silent after soliciting their thoughts. Backtracking or over-explaining can make you appear uncertain. State your price, pause, and let them reply. 

Talk about timeline

Besides budget, timing can also be a “make or break” deal.

Simply ask: “What is your timeline for the project?”

However, this is a tricky question because the majority of prospects will say “as soon as possible” or even something like “this week.” So, in reality, this question is just an opener to get an idea of what they need, but it is not a set-in-stone request from you.

It’s now up to you to explain the timeline, including:

  • Your next opening

  • How long projects can take 

  • Turnaround time expectations

  • Constraints on your end 

Head to your workbook and write down: 

  • When is the next available start date on your calendar

  • What the estimated first delivery date could be 

  • What your turnaround time for revisions looks like

  • Anything you need/holidays that could impede timeline 

For a boost of confidence, create a “cheat sheet of awesome” to win over the client in the case of pushback.

  • Authority: Write down results you’ve achieved for a client, where you studied your trade, how long you’ve been in business, etc.

  • Social proof: Write down similar companies you’ve already provided great work for, awards you’ve won, magazines you’ve been featured in, etc.

In this step, you learned to talk money on a phone call and negotiate your needs like a pro. Congrats – this is no easy feat! And now you are one step closer to turning your 30-minute discovery calls from an “omg-what-do-even-say” digital chat to a mega-client-closing machine.

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