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Pre-Burned Clients

Thanks to the famous Dunning-Kruger effect, the clients who know a little about our field are often the most annoying to price for. They know enough to think that they know a lot but not enough to be less than sure about their own conclusions.

In some popular fields of expertise, like design or translation, fooled by a teeming mass of supply, clients act like all experts are the same just because they are unable to tell them apart.

It’s unfortunately exhausting to try and educate the clients one by one, and quite challenging to get their attention en masse.

However, hunting for bargain-priced expert work is a dangerous idea, it’s just that people don’t start by knowing that. Many people who wouldn’t hire a hairdresser out of Craigslist, would have no problem hiring a designer from 99 Designs because they don’t understand the risks.

And people

Several specialists I know have solved this problem by orienting their messaging toward clients who have already been burned by bargain-priced professional work in their field. Clients who went through a rough experience are usually much more inclined to listen to new information and receptive to assurances that their money is being invested, not just spent.

Even a small change in your message, from “Do you need X” to “Do you need guarantees for X” can make a big difference in who the characters in your sales story are, as well as how it ends.

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