Monday, March 28, 2011

What Your Client is Thinking

You run the city’s top Animal Medical Hospital, a 24-hour emergency clinic. Vets refer their own clients to you on the weekends. Pristine, efficient, modern equipment, the entire staff fully qualified and they care about humans more than they care about their passion in life – the well-being of pets.

The client arrives with a cat-basket from which emit pitiful howls. Agony for everyone, especially the articulate.

After a 5-minute examination you present the printed estimate for $2,100 which is a fair and honest estimate; you are in business and it costs a whack to set this place up and maintain a near-100% success rate. The client knows this.

Now if the client has $2,100 (or more – say $5,000) cash sitting in their personal account, they will pay. If they have less than $2,100, say $500, they will come to a (literally for you all) painful decision.

Let’s introduce a factor of 10. Suppose the estimate came to $210. The client would pay. Suppose the estimate came to $21,000 (some do come to that!). The client would walk away.

It’s not the absolute amount of the estimate that counts – you arrived at the factor after due diligence and a flawless addition of detailed and documented components. It’s where the estimate sits on the client’s number-line.

Now let’s suppose that the client has unlimited funds (for example, $5,000,000 sitting in their personal account) and make the estimate $210,000 or even $2,100,000. Still the client walks away. Only this time it’s not about where the estimate sits on their number line (anyone with $5,000,000 in their personal account can liquidate a downtown office tower tomorrow morning and raise an additional billion or so), this time it’s about the client’s sense of reality.

No matter how much you love your cat, no pet cat is worth $210,000 (unless you are buying life insurance, of course).

In every case your estimate is fair and accurate.

In all cases the client has a number line.

The one redeeming feature that might let you cover your absolutely basic costs is that the client expects at the very least to pay a basic consultation fee just for walking in the door, say $150. You’ll get your $150.

And if the client decides to terminate the pet relationship (a most difficult decision by the way), you’ll make a small profit on the $390 euthanasia service.

Talk to Me !

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