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Perfecting Your Pricing Strategies

You're no blue-light special. Throw in the extras, play to the customer's needs, and get the price you deserve.

This story appears in the March 2000 issue of

Again and again, I've seen incompetent people earn more than competent people. One reason: They know how to charge. Charge $500 when the customer would have paid $1,000, and you've just tossed $500 down the toilet. Charge $1,000 when the customer's puking point is $500, and you've tossed a customer down the toilet.

Sometimes, it's not how much you charge--it's how you ask. Should you charge by the hour or a flat fee? Go for the big sale or start 'em out with a small one? When's the right time to spring the price on them? What if a customer tries to bargain with you? Should you offer a sliding scale and risk being taken advantage of by fat cats who plead poverty?

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