I’m headed to speak at an event where one of the other speakers hired a videographer to record her. Very smart.
That videographer offered to record each individual speaker while he was going to be there anyway. Also very smart.
Because I’m always up for more video of me on stage, I called him to find out the scoop. I really only need 3-4 minutes of footage and the opening would be just fine. But he insisted that he has to record the entire 45 minutes to get that 3-4 minutes and then edit it and deliver it on DVD. Ok. Whatever.
Then I asked him how much it’d be. $100. Beyond reasonable. I immediately said thank you and I’d get back to him if I wanted him. That’s when he made a mistake, I think, that too many of us tend to make.
Because we were talking about money, he presumed that I wasn’t ready to hire him on the spot because the price was too high (really?!). He shot back sounding as if I’d offended him, “Well, how much did you think it’d be for a video and editing?” I replied that his rate was very fair and I just needed to decide if I wanted him to do the recording.
What I really needed to do was check with my regular videographer and great friend to be sure he wouldn’t feel slighted that I had someone else do the work that he usually does for me. I was pretty sure that my friend would be fine with it because he wasn’t going to that event, but I take care of my relationships and wanted to double check before saying yes. Plus, unless there is some incentive to saying yes on the spot, I always wait a little while before making a decision – to be sure that’s what I really wanted.
I think many of us when discussing our pricing with potential clients fall into that trap of thinking any hesitation is because our prices are too high.
In my opinion, that tends to be from a lack of confidence in your skills, abilities and deliverables. If you *know* for sure your products or services or speeches will be AMAZING and those you serve will LOVE them and their lives will be improved in some small (or large) way by investing in you, then charging what you think that is worth to receive that product or service is fair. It’s called doing business and making a living. And you deserve that.
The better way to handle any conversation in selling is to keep asking questions. That videographer could have asked, “What’s holding you back from saying yes while we’re on the phone now?” And I would have told him. But he immediately jumped to the conclusion that I thought his price was too high and became defensive and almost insulted me with his tone and the way he asked the question (had I taken insult, which I don’t because I know it’s not about me 🙂 ). It’s an easy, knee-jerk response. But I didn’t know him from anyone… there could have been 100 different reasons why I wasn’t ready to say yes then and there. Maybe I wanted to see if I could find some of his work online to make sure I’d be getting decent quality audio and video. Maybe I didn’t want it delivered by DVD (which in my experience has always been a hassle to deal with). Maybe I just needed to take a few minutes to think about what I might do with the extra footage. He could have helped with any of those potential questions had he asked.
In the end, my amazing regular videographer is fine with seeing me on video that he didn’t take and I was able to email this new service provider and let him know the situation and hire him. Plus when I see him I’ll be able to start the relationship again in person so he doesn’t feel like I was slighting him for $100.
Look for new footage soon!
And I’d love to hear in the comments what you do when a potential client is hesitant to say yes. Do you assume it’s about money? Do you have a set of questions to ask? Please share!