December 9, 2022

One way to be meaningfully different

Being “just one of the crowd” (i.e., a commodity) makes it hard to charge higher fees than your competitors.


Because if all the options look the same to the buyer, they’ll generally pick the cheapest (or close to it).

To avoid this downward pressure on your prices, you need to stand out from the crowd in a way that is meaningfully different to your ideal buyers.

Assuming that your competitors bill for their work on an hourly basis, one effective way to differentiate yourself is to present fixed prices in your proposals.

Then, if a prospective client asks:

“Why are you twice as much as the next highest quote?”

You can ask:

“Was it an estimate or a fixed price?”

And they’ll probably say:

“An estimate.”

So you can say:

“That’s why mine’s higher. My proposal is a fixed-price quote. You won’t pay a dime more than your selected option. If you want to pick a firm that isn’t willing to stand behind their prices, that’s fine with me.”

You’d be surprised how many buyers who have been burned by over-budget projects in the past will gladly pay a premium to prevent painful surprises like that in the future.