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Scarecrow Pricing

It’s always nice to talk about good-fitting clients, when you know working with them will be a breeze. However, despite your best efforts, there’s bound to be at least some really bad-fitting ones.

Now, let me be clear, I’m not talking about people that you know you cannot help, those are best served by referring them to someone who can. I’m talking about clients that you could help, but it’s going to be painful for you to do so. Either they don’t really know enough, or think they know everything, or are simply used to yes-men and you know you cannot help them while playing that role.

You know, the _headache-with-a-wallet_kind of a client.

Conventional wisdom says “ask for too much to scare them away” and I agree, it’s just that I think most people rarely go far enough. A 30% surcharge is not nearly enough. Go for broke and use the highest number you can say with a straight face. 2x, 4x, 8x the price, then grit your teeth and wait.

If they walk away, you are going to be relieved—no point in regretting the loss of a client you never wanted to have, right?

The worst thing is, many times they will say “yes” even after your best efforts to drive them away. It’s a strange feeling, a mix of victory and defeat, it’s hard to describe. But, as you take a deep breath to deal with their problem, at least you will have a lot of extra money to keep you company. Next time, aim higher.

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