I learned a great lesson from a friend long ago. She said I need to be able to track each hour of my day and make sure I am paid for each hour. My time and your time is valuable, but many clients are “meeting happy”.
They want to have meetings for an introduction, then another meeting to see your proposal and review and then another with more staff members to possibly finalize. This is crazy. This is money lost (unless it is a 5-6 figure deal, possibly)!
If your company has meetings with several staff members often this applies to you as well. In-house meetings cost money and they often waste time and money.
If I could give any advice it would be to minimize your meetings and phone calls. You are losing money on both. I do believe talking to our clients is important, but how much is acceptable?
I am going to throw some numbers out as examples. Let’s say your hourly fee is $150 and you are doing a $5,000 SEO and website project. The client phone calls and meetings add up to 10.5 hours of your time (and you aren’t even thinking about all the emails you answer). Of the $5,000 you were suppose to get for your time and work you have now lost $1,575.
Ouch, and on what? Wasted time. You now need to make sure that you can pay your developers and cover all the work time with $3,425 and we all know this is not possible. You have just lost money on the deal. You can’t afford to lose money on any deal. If you lose on every deal you are putting yourself out of business.
Many meetings require transportation and this requires money spent. Typically beverages and snacks are bought at meetings and this costs more money. Your time is money. You then have to get back to work and that is more transportation money. Start calculating the costs of your meetings and you may be surprised.
Is the meeting worth it? Only you can decide, but you do need to carefully evaluate how much time you can afford to spend at meetings. Another option is when you are creating a proposal add in time you will spend on meetings so you are not losing money. Make sure you make it clear that your time is valuable and stick to the hours your have set up for the client in the proposal.
The infographic below, by Sales Crunch, offers a lot of facts and tips about meetings and money lost. I highly suggest you print and stick on your wall. Use it and think about it with each client.
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