When I picked up the phone, my bubble busted. The harsh tone of the individual on the other line was short and curt. Without hearing a word from me, he seemed convinced I was going to dupe him. He asked my billable rate. I told him, and he suggested I think about it and call him back.
I called him back and again detailed costs and requirements of his project. He wanted a guarantee he would win government work. And a 50% price discount. And for me to cover his company’s risk as a contingency to getting paid. He admitted it appeared he was getting a better deal, but said there was no way he would work with me any other way.
As a new business owner, I want to put my best foot forward and help other small businesses. I do not want my clients to feel taken advantage of, and I seek the same for myself.
With a smile and well wishes, I let this prospect know I was sorry but unable to accept his proposal.
Although I’m one client and one project less, I am proud for having the courage to defend the value of myself and my company. It wasn’t a paycheck, but it definitely feels worth something.