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Explosive issue. I've thought about this, too.

The fact is, every phone call I get ends up being about price. Within the first 5 min I have to ballpark something in order to continue the conversation or weed someone out. Why not do that up front? Then maybe I'll get more calls since qualified prospects will feel more comfortable.

There are lots of people out there more expensive than I am. There are lots that are less. I can't pretend to be the former, and I don't want to be the latter. Maybe, let's just put our cards on the table.

Thanks for the comment, Josh. I'd guess most freelancers run into this, in some form or another. Sales experts suggest that you hold off in talking about price until the end, but we both know that it can be a waste of time to deal with someone who isn't qualified. A couple of other non-direct questions to help qualify clients would include:

Have you worked with a designer before?
What are your goals for the project?
Have you talked to other designers about this project?
How will you measure this project's success?

Based on her/his answers, you'll at least have a better idea if they are window shopping or not. Coupling these questions with a price range (not an exact quote), should help weed out the bargain hunters. Thanks again for your thoughts - come back and visit soon!

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  • BASAS - Freelancer Getting Strung Up by Client
    A very small sample of the actual illustrations drawn for the Being a Starving Artist Sucks, and Verbal Kung Fu for Freelancers book. The illustrations were done by: Matt Hein, Rich Arnold and Carlos Ponce - 3 outstanding designers.