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Do You Deserve to Win That Job You're Pitching For?

Not knowing how to price things is totally cool.

Here's the thing. I'm seeing hundreds of proposals sent to me on a weekly basis either via support asking about how to make Better Proposals pricing tables work for them or because they want to be on Proposal Breakdown.

There's no "How to price your products and services" class when you're 12 years old in school. How on earth are you supposed to know? As we start and grow in business that's when we pick up the basics and expand that skillset. What is a real shame is when people are straight up lazy instead of understanding the simple fact that it's your job to find out what your client needs. When did it become a thing to try selling several thousand dollars worth of services without bothering to actually learn what your potential client wants? Better Proposals was not built to be a shopping cart and stop you having to talk to your customers. Sure, you can use it for that but it's lazy and doesn't work very well. This sounds harsh but this practice should hopefully lead you to a lack of success, or the desire to fix it. I'm going to try and do that second thing right now.

Pricing is hard, I get it.

Too high and you're going to lose the job. Too low and you're cheating yourself. How are you supposed to know what's right? It just seems easier to get your client to choose instead. Fuck it, just put the decision making on them instead. Set your proposal out like a shopping cart so they can pick and choose what they want. That way you don't have to stand by anything you say and can just do what you're told. What a perfect life right? If that's truly what you want then maybe business isn't for you and maybe you'd be better off working 9-5 doing the thing you're good at. Listen, that's not what they're hiring an expert for. They're hiring YOU because they don't understand your world and they need YOUR help. They don't just need help with your skills, they need help making a decision and choosing a direction. Putting that decision on them when they're not capable of making it is a shitty thing to do in my opinion. Win More Business

You're supposed to help them and that means making some decisions for them.

Look, you don't walk into the Doctors and tell them what's wrong with you, they ask no questions then open up the medicine cabinet and go "Help yourself" do they? In what world are you qualified to make a decision about what prescription is best for you? You're not. They are. That is their job. In that same way, it's your job to do the work it's also your job to give the prescription. So with that said, please stop giving too many options and just own your recommendation. If you get it wrong and they go with someone else, fine, learn from it and get better. There was a guy that came through a few days ago that was an IT guy. He wanted to set out his pricing so the customer chose about 15 different things. When I pressed him for what some of these things were, these were the kinds of things he responded with. Version of Windows, version of Office, how much memory the workstations should have and CPU. Seriously. How in the blue fuck is the poor client supposed to know?! That IS YOUR JOB to tell them. That is not something they should be deciding. You can choose metallic paint on a car but you can't decide if it has brakes. You ask the question "You're an architects firm so do you find your senior architects are complaining about the computers being slow?" When they say yes, you find out what memory they have currently and simply tell them a suitable amount for the upgrade. It's not difficult guys. It's not their job to work out what they should have, it's yours. You can't get paid like an expert if you're only going to do half a job. Ask the questions, make the recommendations, price it appropriately and stick with it. THEN you do the work. That's how you'll have a client for life. Now start working on your proposal and skyrocket your business here.

Adam Hempenstall's profile image
Adam Hempenstall is the CEO and Founder of Better Proposals. He started his first web design business at 14 and has since written four books and built an international movement around sending better proposals. Having helped his customers win $500,000,000 in the last 12 months alone, he’s launched the first ever Proposal University where he shares best practices on writing and designing proposals. He co-runs a once-a-year festival called UltraMeet and is a massive FC Barcelona fan.