Information Technology Professionals: How to Charge Higher Fees

Written by Andrew Neitlich

Continued from page 1

5. Let them know that you do not accept all assignments or clients, only those that fit your specific target market and capabilities. Let prospects know that you choose a relatively small, select roster of clients. That way, you are accessible to them, and can provide services that your busier competitors cannot. Promise them (and mean it) that you will return phone calls and emails instantly. Give examples of assignments you have turned down.

6. Be willing to say "no." If an engagement appears to be outside your capabilities, a high risk, with a client that will not want a long-term relationship, or that is undesirable to you, say no. Even if you needrepparttar revenue, it is better to spend your time establishing trust and credibility with a more desirable set of prospects.

7. Stop selling and hawking your services. Instead, become skilled at educating prospects and letting them makerepparttar 133535 decision to hire you on their own. If you use salesmanship, you will put prospects onrepparttar 133536 defensive and they will be more likely to negotiate price with you.

8. Prepare a set of responses to objections about your fees. These include:

- You get what you pay for, or less. For instance, inexperienced professionals looking to get a foot inrepparttar 133537 door often charge low fees. So do consultants who don't have many clients and needrepparttar 133538 work; they don't have many clients for a reason. Why would a consultant with true expertise and credentials charge fees that low?

- Tell stories about clients who have hired low-priced consultants, and ended up paying much more inrepparttar 133539 long run to correct their mistakes. If you can, talk about clients that called you in to fix this sort of situation after hiring another consultant first.

- Talk aboutrepparttar 133540 rules of "scope." Scope include cost, time, and quality. If a consultant is reducing cost, something else inrepparttar 133541 scope has to go, too.

- Remind them that, with your limited roster of clients, you can be much more accessible than consultants who need to fill their pipeline with many lower-paying clients.

- Remindrepparttar 133542 client aboutrepparttar 133543 stakes involved in his or her project, and what it might cost if it goes awry.

- Show that you are completely committed torepparttar 133544 prospect's personal success and satisfaction.

- Offer other terms besides price: payment terms, additional services, a guarantee, reduced scope, or free support or training.

- Ifrepparttar 133545 client promises future work in exchange for low fees up front, explain that you appreciaterepparttar 133546 offer, but have been burned by this approach before and promised not to accept it again. Agree only ifrepparttar 133547 client agrees to a contract for that work up front.

- Be willing to turn down assignments in whichrepparttar 133548 prospect will not budge on fees, or in which you see little chance of forming a profitable long-term relationship withrepparttar 133549 prospect.

Charging higher fees, and attracting better clients, is all about trust and credibility. As your trust and credibility rises, so will your fees andrepparttar 133550 quality of your clients.

Andrew Neitlich is the Senior Editor of The IT Accelerator, the newsletter that helps information technology professionals and consultants to attract more clients and projects. Subscribe at

13-Point Business Development Plan for IT Professionals

Written by Andrew Neitlich

Continued from page 1

6. Educate your audience with these informational messages, in any or all ofrepparttar following ways:

- Articles

- Interviews

- Written guides, papers, and manuals

- E-mail newsletters

- Your web site

- Seminars

- Speaking

- CD audios

7. Continue to follow up with prospects by offering more education and information. Each time you do, you build more trust and credibility. Soon your marketplace will trust and know you well enough to consider yourepparttar 133534 expert inrepparttar 133535 field.

8. Be responsive when prospects and clients call. Make it hassle free for clients and prospects to reach you, and get right back to them.

9. When prospects meet with you live to get your advice, don't sell. Instead, ask about their situation, problems, goals, and what they want to achieve by meeting with you. Listen carefully, and check withrepparttar 133536 prospect to confirm that you understand their priorities. Offer your experience aboutrepparttar 133537 prospect's problems and, after you are sure you understandrepparttar 133538 prospect's situation clearly, suggest potential solutions. At this point, assumingrepparttar 133539 prospect is intrigued, you can talk about your background and how you have helped others with similar problems. Finally, letrepparttar 133540 prospect choose what they want to do next, without any pressure.

10. Deliver outstanding results when you are hired.

11. Get testimonials that you can include with your marketing materials from clients, influential people, and colleagues attesting to your expertise and capabilities.

12. Ask for referrals.

13. Keep in touch with clients so that they call you FIRST when they need help. Do this not by selling but by offering valuable support, information, and follow up.

This simple plan will attract loyal clients to you, generate referrals, and establish your reputation asrepparttar 133541 expert in your niche.

Andrew Neitlich is the Senior Editor of The IT Accelerator, a newsletter that helps IT consultants and professionals attract more clients and projects. Subscribe at

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