If you're in the consulting business, you're all too familiar with this question: "What do you charge; what's your day rate?" How you answer often determines whether you make the sale, and it affects your overall success. The price you set is not just a financial issue. It's a marketing issue that determines how you position yourself and how the market perceives you.
Name a price at the outset and "you're dead," says Tom McNeil, president of Executive Career Resource Group, a Wellesley, Mass., firm that advises executives and consultants. "You'll only get talked down and never talk yourself up." Here's what else can happen:
- Your price is too high, and you knock yourself out of the game.
- Your price is much less than the client was prepared to pay, and you lose money.
- Your price is much less than that of your competitors, and you are perceived as offering less value.
- The client accepts your price but then decides that your services aren't worth it, because you haven't convinced him or her of your value.
Copyright 1998 G+J USA Publishing