Captain’s log, stardate 20220409

Why don’t you do hourly billing? (devil’s advocate reply)

Fellow list member Ludovic Mornand wrote in with some devil’s advocate responses to a message where I provided sample answers to the question: “Why don’t you do hourly billing?”

Here’s our thread (shared with permission, minor edits for clarity):

Ludovic

Hi Jonathan,

I’ve tried to play the devil advocate with client-side answers below, for fun 😉

“I don’t feel that clients should have to make an investment decision every time my assistance is required”

Client: “Well, I just need you once”

“I believe that clients should know in advance how much an engagement will cost.”

Client: “Right, but I value time. And time is money. The more you will work on this the better the result!”

“As a professional, I take responsibility for my estimates. Why should a client pay more because I underestimated the level of effort?”

Client: “If you’re a professional, then you won’t underestimate your level of effort...”

Best!

Ludovic

Jonathan

Thanks LM!

Back atcha...

“I don’t feel that clients should have to make an investment decision every time my assistance is required”

Client: “Well, I just need you once”

”Sure, but for how long?”

“I believe that clients should know in advance how much an engagement will cost.”

Client: “Right, but I value time. And time is money. The more you will work on this the better the result!”

“Yep, everyone values their OWN time, but why would you care how much of MY time it takes to deliver the results you want?”

“As a professional, I take responsibility for my estimates. Why should a client pay more because I underestimated the level of effort?”

Client: “If you’re a professional, then you won’t underestimate your level of effort...”

“My estimates would be perfect if I could just do the work in a vacuum, but a project is a collaborative effort. No one - no even you as the CEO - can control all the inputs required or when they are delivered.”

😎👍

Here’s the thing...

Billing by the hour makes no more sense than billing by the calorie.

If a prospective client is obsessing over “how much time it is going to take”, there is always a way to pivot the conversation away from your hours to the business outcome that they desire.

Sure, it takes practice, and maybe some humor but it’s ALWAYS possible.

Yours,

—J

P.S. Do you spend hours writing proposals, only to have them fall through after endless negotiations? Or worse, the client never even responds?

You’re not alone – and you can do something about it.

This coming Monday, I’m launching a brand new 5-day challenge called Automatic Proposals to teach you how write better proposals in half the time it takes you now.

Topics include:

If you’d like to be part of the initial cohort, don’t delay... lessons start on Monday!

ENROLL NOW »

I hope to see you there :-)

share this page on twitterbrowse the archive