About the time the client asks the dreaded “how much” question, you start to think about the options that would make sense.
a) Let’s see – a best-case scenario would cost 1000$, and that includes about 30 hours of work.
b) Of course, a normal-but-bumpy scenario would take at least 60 hours, so that would be… 1800$.
c( Now, if I was in charge of scope, I would use up at least 90 hours, but make sure to do things properly from start to finish. But that would require at least 2700, and… let’s call it 2500$.
However, there’s a snag.
Despite your actual choice of words, from their side your offer often sounds like this:
a) I’ll [solve] [your problem] in 30 hours for 1000.
b) I’ll [solve] [your problem] in 60 hours for 1800.
c) I’ll [solve] [your problem] in 90 hours for 2500.
You know that the words “solve” and “problem” carry significantly different meanings in a), b) and c), but to them, they sound about the same. Who in their right mind would not choose to spend less and still get the job done? It’s not even slightly tempting to go for b) or c) to get a “better deal per hour”, because your hours are not really what they want.
They want the job done, and it’s actually worth more to them if you spend less time doing it.
Pricing options are a great thing, but their differences should never be just a matter of quantity.