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How the Hell do You Sell a Paid Initial Analysis

How do you even write a proposal for a job without knowing what you are in for? The client’s brief, even if it’s honest, can be as misleading as it can be helpful and it’s hard to tell those apart.

It would be objectively sensible for the client to pay you for an analysis that will help separate wants from needs, distractions from opportunities, and mere deliverables from value.

While that’s great in theory, it’s hard to actually pull off. “Could you pay me to tell you just how much would my other services cost?” is a hard sell

And people

I do have a couple of suggestions, all of which I have witnessed working:

1) Tell them a story of opportunities missed because a client insisted they can skip the initial analysis. This frames it as a proactive step to prevent future losses, triggering loss aversion.
2) Have two analysis packages – an extravagant and expensive decoy, and a standard one. Instead of the choice being whether to do the analysis or not, we make the standard option look like the sensible, frugal option.
3) Tell them the price of a complete project first as an anchor, then say it varies between + or – 30%, and that a paid initial analysis can keep the costs lower throughout the project.**

Fact: Paid analyses are sold every day, even in your industry. Try it, you can always choose to walk it back as a “special favor”. And once you get there, you will never want to go back.**

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