by SUSAN CRUTCHER, Life Empowerment Mentor

One of the single most powerful PRICING STRATEGY SECRETS you can possibly know and apply when quoting your fee or package investment to potential clients

This is the most likely place where small business entrepreneurs, especially women, make one of their BIGGEST MISTAKES.

It’s not our fault.

For whatever reason: nervousness, money mirror issues, lack of training or knowledge, or the need to want to help everyone, we have a tendency toward this mistake. Guys, luckily for them, don’t tend to slip up here nearly as much as women do. This is partly the way we are wired, our role in life, our environment and our perceptions.

Let’s set up an imaginary, but realistic, scenario…

You’re just winding down a wonderful, flowing conversation with a potential client where you’ve determined what they want and offered them whatever solution you have to their problem. The dreaded moment is upon you. It’s time to ‘close the sale’.

You start to feel a little jittery. You overcome and actually name your fee (out loud). Then, you almost immediately start to justify the fee to the client. In fact, you barely give them time to respond. In those few seconds the ‘loop’ starts to play in your mind – the loop that sounds something like this:

“I know she/he can’t afford it … (insert reason here: just had a baby; lost a job; health issues; etc.)”

“I can tell she’s freaking out about the price and probably trying to think of a polite way to let me down.”

“I sure hope this one buys — my rent’s due this week.”

“Maybe I way overpriced this product/service … what extra could I give to entice?”

All the while worrying about whether or not the client will ‘buy’ your product, service or package from you.

You start apologizing as soon as you say the number; you start trying to resell, justify or re-package it. It’s as though you’re embarrassed to say the number so you keep talking.

Most of us know this feeling.

It’s not pleasant.

Although it rarely happens for me anymore, I do remember how uncomfortable I was waiting (desperately) for their ‘yes’ answer.

In fact, you have absolutely NO IDEA what is going on in the other person’s head.  Perhaps, they’re deciding how to finance the offer you’ve made … one or two credit cards; part cash, part credit card; wondering if you take personal cheques or offer a discount for cash; what their partner will think … all sorts of fascinating (and not so fascinating) internal conversations are taking place for them– just as they are for you.

What’s the solution?

It’s actually simple, although it’s very difficult to put into practice.

Simply ‘let there be silence’.

Name your price/fee/offer and wait.

Don’t stare at them, no heavy sighing, definitely no justification.  Don’t try to make it OK for them when it’s possible nothing may be wrong in the first place.

Simply wait in an expectant and helpful manner. They may have more questions that need clarification. They may say ‘yes’ … they may say ‘no’.

Let all of this be OK with you. Do your best to detach from the outcome and be at peace in the moment.

The only way to get comfortable with this pricing strategy is to practice it. Practice. Practice. Practice. Be silent.

Remember, you have absolutely no idea what is going on in their mind. Don’t put yourself in the position of trying to make everything all OK for them – in fact, nothing may be wrong that you need to ‘fix’.  People need time to think things through. This may be the first time they have heard what you have to offer – it is reasonable to assume they need some time to process. It is perfectly normal for them to do so.  They have to think about it, compare it to other information they are aware of and/or to what price they had in mind. They also have to decide whether it is worthwhile, whether they think they can get a better deal, and formulate any questions they may have.

All this processing takes time. Give them the space and time to do so without pressure. They will respond. Simply wait until they do. Until then, simply be in connection with them and at peace with yourself and whatever outcome may occur.

To your successful silence!

Comments and/or feedback and/or suggestions welcome. Contact Susan directly.