June 3, 2022

Success story from reader Ben Schmucker

Fellow list member Ben Schmucker wrote in to share a success story using my 5-page proposal template to lock in his first non-hourly retainer client (shared with permission, bold mine):

Hi Jonathan –

I’m a long time listener/reader and I just wanted to send a thank you for all your work and material. I just locked in my first retainer client by using your 3 option retainer proposal template.

I was nervous about trying this because I bill my other clients by the hour and this was almost a done deal when they asked me for my billable rate. I have priced things poorly in the past (sometimes giving clients sticker shock) and was worried about sabotaging the deal where hourly would most definitely be easier.

I figured it was worth the risk and sent over the proposal with the different options. They loved having the options and didn’t blink an eye at the prices which makes me think I should bump them a bit next time. It was also a way for me to dictate the scope by showing which things I would (and would not) supply at each option. They took the first option which I’m more than happy with and thrilled to be locking in my first non-hourly engagement! Now I just need to deliver 😊

So thank you!


Fabulous! Congrats to Ben for getting over his nerves and giving it a try 👏

Ditching hourly doesn’t always work on the first try but if you keep at it you’ll eventually escape the hourly trap.