Discussing Hourly Rates with Clients

When asked your hourly rate, make sure you do this:

  • Respond with confidence, “We bill $150 per hour.”

  • Use as an opportunity to build value for your services by following that up with: “But I find hourly rates misleading. I help you [value proposition, example: find customers using the internet] and typically work within a fixed-­price fee structure. The only time I bill by the hour is for small work after our initial large project. In my experience, as long as I am delivering value that far outweighs my rate, my customers seem pretty happy.”

  •  You can also follow up with a question, “Which is more important, hourly rate or return on investment?”
  • Finally, get back to what’s important, “As long as my rate isn’t a showstopper for you, I’d like to dive deeper into your business. What did you say [pickup back in discovery, example: your clients number one pain point] was?

Remember: Don’t let your client get hung up on price. Be sure of your price, your hourly, and why you believe you are so valuable. Confidence sells!

What NOT to say:

  • “I don’t have an hourly price because that’s not how I bill.” This is very mushy and misleading.
  • “It depends on the type of work I’m doing.”
    This means you do not believe your time is always as valuable as other times. not good for confidence.
  •  “I don’t tell people my rate unless I work with them.”
    Hiding information or beating around the bush is a terrible way to build trust and credibility. If you think your potential client can’t afford you, then you shouldn’t be working with them. But let them make that decision.