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It’s How You Use It

This may be controversial, but I love the educational effect of surcharges on client behavior.

Do clients always leave everything until the last minute? Slap on a “rush hour fee” and they will magically stop dragging their feet.

Do people keep canceling meetings? Mention “cancellation surcharge” for each cancellation after the first and watch them do a 180 turn in mid-air.

The problem: many see surcharges as unfair, as the value of the provided solution usually doesn’t change, while the total price does.

And people

**However, with enough creativity, you can apply surcharges in a way that (correctly) suggests higher value for the client as well, just don’t call them “extra fees”.

**For example, you can offer special rates for your “creative energy slots”, where clients can buy the prime time of your creative flow, ensuring that their projects get the best of your brainwaves. You are not charging for their timing issues, it’s about investing in getting your best work, including top speed. For extra points, have a limited amount of them per year.

Instead of cancellation fees, have clients pre-pay for “flex-credits” that allow them to reschedule within a timeframe without additional cost, or gain several after-hour access to your services because “crisis knows no business hours”.

Despite what classical economists say, it’s not just about the size of the invoice, it’s about how you use it:)

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