Thursday, February 24, 2011

Turning Down Work – part 1 of 3

It’s tough to do, but it‘s fun.

I was asked to deliver training in Macintosh Excel; I’m good at Excel and I’ve taught people on Macs before. I returned the call, solicited some details.

The prospect wants to make the spreadsheets “work better”, so I spend time determining what is meant by “work better” and suggest a half-day's training.

No, comes the response, I need only 2 hours.

How does the prospect know that it is only 2 hours training to resolve the issues when they don’t know the magnitude of the issues.

We talk some more, then I fire off a short email suggesting a half-day of training at my standard half-day rates.

Remember, I’m walking into a minefield here, and the client thinks they can just siphon a wealth of information from my brain painlessly in 120 minutes.

Back comes the response: How about three-quarters of my stated fee for three hours? Three hours, in training circles, is a half-day of training – 3 hours before lunch and 3 hours after.

In other words, let’s play the game of Negotiation.

Let’s not.

This is a form which, by the prospects admission, sells $100,000 luxury packages.

This is NOT a fellow-colleague who may well return the favor.

(There’s no way I can book onto a $100,000 package if I chip 25% of my regular fees, is there?).

My response:

I'm sorry I can't do that. I bill out by the full day or 1/2 day only. I deliver quality training based on 20+ years experience in developing spreadsheet applications, all the way from Introduction and basics through to the establishment and use of VBA libraries. You can probably find a cheaper trainer offering an hourly rate through the Computer Trainers Network at Best wishes with your workbooks.

As stated above, it’s a tough decision to say goodbye to revenue, but it feels So Good to know that I have a set of standards.

Talk to Me !

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