How do you deal with a blagger?

We’ve all been there. A potential client turns around to you and queries your fee quote because so-and-so has quoted significantly lower than you.

You realise that so-and-so is a blagger – an amateur trying to do a professional’s job. You have a significant dilemma on your hands: expose the blagger for what they really are, lower your fee quote, or stick to your guns.

As a professionally qualified business and executive coach, who has spent the last ten years working within learning and development, I see this happening all the time. Pretty much anyone thinks they can be a coach or a trainer.

Firstly, lowering your fee quote is never the way forward. It devalues your expertise, and takes the sale into something based on price rather than value. Is that the type of client you want, or want to educate, that thinks it is acceptable to request a price reduction?

Next, exposing the blagger for who they really are, just looks like professional jealousy. Another no-no.

So, what should you do?

Actually, the only thing you can do is re-emphasise your credentials for the job, and why you are uniquely positioned to work for them. Do take the time to show how much value you are offering the client. Where have you worked with similar problems and produced exceptional results for your clients?

You can ask the potential client some questions which will get them thinking about the comparative quotes, such as “Have you compared the difference between the services being offered?” OR “Do you know why the quotes are so different?”

How do you cope with this situation?

Heather Townsend, Britain’s queen of networking, is the founder of The Efficiency Coach, a company that helps professionals achieve better business results for less effort. Follow her Joined Up Networking blog for more useful tips and tricks. She has just been commissioned to write the FT Guide to Business Networking.

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