Do you get fearful when you need to quote your design fee because it seems like a crazy big number?
Do you find yourself in a panic when you are presenting a project that is way more expensive than you have ever done before? Like $100,000.00 more…
Do you hear a little voice in yourself saying “I wouldn’t pay her that much.”
Don’t worry, you are not alone in this feeling, it is a very common problem that we all deal with. Most of this can be traced back to our family money histories. The majority of designers that I coach come from comfortable middle class families where often they were praised and lauded for creating a great “look” for next to nothing. This is indeed a talent… but it causes big problems in design jobs.
One, it is often not what their upscale client is asking for.
Two, if they do it “on the cheap” it would take so much of their billable design time it would not be a bargain for the client anymore. Besides, HGTV is full of that stuff, we don’t need any more.
You need to know that you are not alone; ‘Pricing Panic’ has happened to every designer, at one time or another. A little edgy case of the nerves is not a problem, you can work through that, but watch out for becoming so terrified that you completely avoid talking about your fees or what this product will cost. Not talking about money will severely damage your business and your cash flow.
Another challenge happens when the cost of the project you are working on is so high that you sabotage your success by listening to your inner voice telling you “this room costs more than my house. This is crazy, my client isn’t going to go for this.” So you diminish the job, make it less, so that you are more comfortable with the number. Never mind that it used to be exactly what the client asked us for…
You do not have to be stuck here; there are ways to solve this problem.
Here are 3 great tips to help you conquer “Pricing Panic” and learn how to present your fees and pricing with grace and ease.
Tip#1 – Practice saying the “big number” out loud, over and over again until you can say it with conviction and total comfort. Practice while you are driving your car, while you are in the shower, anywhere you can you can speak out loud and people won’t think you are crazy. Practice until saying that number is no big deal. Remember when you are totally comfortable with that number your clients will be too.
Tip#2 – Try to remember that your own values and family history about money don’t belong in your clients design job. Our clients are often very wealthy and their ideas of value and price are very different from ours.
For example, just because you would probably not spend $400.00 per square foot for tile in your home, doesn’t mean that the client feels that way. If they are asking you for something special, exclusive and expensive, let them have it! They will be happy with their purchase and you will be happy with the profit.
Tip#3 – When you are speaking to potential clients about your design fees, emphasize the result of the service you have to offer rather than the process that you use. People buy results, not process.
Take the time to understand what the real design problem that they are trying to solve. Remember, they would not have called you if they could fix it themselves and affluent people are used to spending money to fix a problem. When you become the valuable solution to resolving this problem, you become the hero and are paid accordingly.
Remember, the more you get clear about the value you bring to a design job and talk about this on a regular basis the more you begin to realize and believe in what you are really worth.