You got me more pricing options than I asked for? How unprofessional! No, the deal is off!
Said no client ever.
Charging for the time we spend on a project might have a ton of disadvantages, but it’s often what the client expects. That means that trying anything else will feel like swimming upstream unless you have a trick up your sleeve.
Well, here’s a trick I use – even when I’m only asked to offer one pricing option, I provide at least two. Even clients who I could never get to sit down and listen to a lecture on the evils of hourly pricing prick up their ears when they see an alternative route to getting what they want.
Let’s say I’m expected to give an hourly rate and an estimate. It’s a 10-hour guesstimate at $100, so $1000. But wait – they could instead pay me $1850 (185% of the estimate) in a lump sum manner, however this time it’s not an estimate – it’s a guarantee. Whatever happens, they never pay more – or less.
Even if they say no to that, the estimate turns out to be wrong and they end up paying $2500, they will have fewer grounds to resent paying more – they know they were offered better terms, and they declined. Next time we work together, they will know better.
Try pricing at 1.85x your hourly estimate as a fixed fee option. No one is going to resent getting a second pricing option, and you may get a chance for a fixed-fee collaboration you didn’t expect.