👉 Step 2.
Give a reason why you need to know the budget. Robert Cialdini showed in his book 'Influence' that in most cases people react more positively to questions when they are given a reason.
So give your clients a reason why you need to know their available budget and they will be more likely to share with you.
You can explain that the information will help you to tailor your services so they fit the needs of the project (and the budget) more closely.
👉 Step 3. Ask directly.
Once your clients understand why you want to know their budget, it’s time to directly ask for it.
If you’ve done the previous steps well, you will get an answer to this question 90% of the time.
Don’t be pushy though, it’s their right not to tell you.
👉 Step 4. Give a range.
If they do put the ball back in your court or ask you to give a quote first, then try giving them a range – so £5,000 - £10,000 for example.
You can then ask if this sounds right for their budget.
This gives you a lot of leeway, and opens up a discussion rather than a take it or leave it offer.
Simply plucking one figure out of the air can make it seem like there is nowhere to go if it’s not what the client was expecting.
👉 Step 5. Be confident.
If you're uncomfortable about pricing then you will communicate that, whether you want to or not.
Working on your confidence is essential here - you are the expert, so you should not be afraid to set out terms and control the interaction.
It will feel uncomfortable at first, but you'll quickly realise that most clients actually appreciate this. If you are direct and upfront about pricing, you will come off as calm, confident and competent.
→ To learn more about pricing and negotiations, check out our Masterclass: Pricing & Negotiations for Freelancers.