BIZ: Dealing with price resistance?

Subject: BIZ: Dealing with price resistance?
From: Chris Morton <salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2017 09:34:47 -0400


*SCENARIO*: Jeannie is the marketing director of Blue Supply, a smallish,
high-tech industrial supplier in the hinterland. Through a LinkedIn
ProFinder feeler placed almost a year ago by her digital marketing guy,
I've been courting Blue on and off ever since.

To date, Blue has OEMed widgets from others, stuffed them in their own
boxes, and sold the latter to global industrial concerns. Blue only ever
shipped the destructions, er, user manuals furnished by its OEMs.

Now Blue has developed its own widget. Jeannieânever having entered this
realm before (and not knowing much about project management and realistic
timelines)âbegan looking for a freelancer to magically whip up a ~50 page
technical user manual over a two-week period.

Yours truly has done this many times over and has the chopsâalong with a
rock-solid portfolio and written recommendations singing my praises. Its
apparent that Jeannie only looked at the sample manuals I provided, never
bothering with the recommendations nor taking a few moments to look at my
extended LinkedIn profile that tells the whole story.

Jeannie kept me hanging for several weeksâtime I could have used to create
her manual, which will ultimately form the basis, it appears, of others to
come. Anyone who knows InDesign knows that it's critical to set up the
first go-round (that will become a template) correctly. This is all Greek
to Jeannie.

She wanted me to give her an estimate as to the number of hours I thought
it would take me to complete her project. I told her a reasonable number of
hours, perhaps less, but that it's near impossible to estimate never having
seen the widget (nor having any notion of Blue's culture, expectations,
etc.). Much also depended on the ready availability of subject matter
experts to assist my when I got stuck documenting the widget's
hypergymballic mode when exposed to sulfur-induced cryptonium at 2000

Although I offered to meet in person or speak by phone, Jeannie has always
kept me at arms length, only communicating via email. I've only had the
opportunity to speak by phone with AJ, the project manager; it sounded like
he was firmly in favor of me.

Although I kept trying to get the engagement commitment, Jeannie put me off
for yet another week. Attempting to meet her absurd deadline now meant
working exclusively on her assignment around 24 x 7, putting off all of my
regular clients, not sleeping, nor having any downtime to do anything else.
All the while, Jeannie doesn't know what Jeannie doesn't know, and her
initial whack at a newly-designed user manual incorporating Blue's branding
is already set to miss the mark.

Finally Jeannie sent me the inevitable email late yesterday:

*Thank you so much for your interest in working with us and for your
patience as we reviewed candidates. We have decided to go with another
writer for this particular project due to timeline and budget. It was nice
connecting with you and I am happy to keep you in mind for future projects
if that is of interest to you.*

*Thank you,*

Because of her hemming and hawing, coupled with my multi-year sales
experience, I'd seen it coming. I wasn't surprisedâjust really POed to have
spent so much time courting her and the company only to be treated like
this. I know full well that Blue Supply isn't going to be well represented
by the "other writer" (likely a chainsaw repairman) who agreed to both the
ridiculous deadline and gave her some absurd cost estimate.

To add to my head-spinning, after sending me this kiss-off note, she
finally accepted my invitation to connect on LinkedIn and also viewed my

*QUERY*: If I even elect to pursue Blue Supply, how would you go about
standing firm with your hourly rate and, more importantly, politely and
professionally convey the notion that, "When you finally realize you've set
the project up for failure and also determine that the person you hired
doesn't know Jack (if she ever wakes up to that), you'll know where to find

Are there any good books you can think of that address this issue in a
similar context? That is, Jeannie can have any two of the following: Cheap,
Fast, Good. And to quote a friend:

"She can have it fast and good, but it won't be cheap, and that's what
you're willing to promise. If she insists on cheap and fast, you're not the
right fit because you won't do anything that doesn't include good. Or she
can have it cheap (relatively) and good, but there's no way in hell she's
getting it before Thanksgiving, from you or anyone else."

Apparently Mr. All-Too-Eager Woodrow the Woodsman has promised Jeannie all

Chris Morton
(click logo â for details)

â Substantive Editing â Technical Writing â Proofreading
â B2B/B2C â Marketing Expertise â Mentoring
Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy and content development |


You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @


Previous by Author: Re: Quoting a user manual
Next by Author: Re: Dealing with price resistance?
Previous by Thread: Re: Thank you all!
Next by Thread: RE: Dealing with price resistance?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads