When a potential client comes to you, they have a budget in mind. If you want to bring them on as a client, it’s up to you to provide your services within their budget.
Sometimes a client expects first-class service on a penny budget. But, you can do things to work within their budget while still raking in a profit.
How to work with your client’s hiring budget
When you bring on a new client, it’s important to establish their budget and what you can provide within that budget. Use the tips below to communicate with clients, make them happy, and get your payout.
Determining your client’s budget
When you ask a client what their budget is, they might say something like, “I’m not sure,” or, “I want to see what you offer before setting a budget.” Even though the client says they don’t have a budget, they probably have an idea in mind.
Try to get a rough idea of what your client is expecting to pay. You might tell them standard recruiting fees or ranges of what other people pay you. Or, you might list recruiting packages and costs to help them narrow down what they are comfortable spending.
When determining what the client’s budget it, make sure you talk to the person who has the power to set and adjust the budget. Often, this is a hiring manager or an accounting department manager. Find out if this person has approved the budget. If you are talking to someone who isn’t in charge of the budget, they might give you inaccurate information, such as promising you a bigger budget than possible.
Establishing the project
As you’re determining how much the client will spend, you should also figure out what services the client expects you to perform.
Have the client name everything they want you to do. You might need to list your services and let the client say, “yes” or, “no” to each one.
Ask the client what their non-negotiable items are. What are they not willing to give up? You also should figure out what the client is willing to give up. Cutting the negotiable items can help you reduce costs and get the project within the client’s budget.
Giving an estimate
After you know what the client wants you to do and what they are willing to spend, it’s time for you to create an estimate. The estimate should tell the client approximately how much the project will cost.
Be honest about the price. Don’t give a low number simply to get the customer. Everyone will be unhappy later when the price is much more than the estimate. Tell the client how much you really think it’ll cost to do everything they want. If the estimate is more than what your client wants to spend, you can start a conversation about what’s actually possible within their budget. This might convince the client to scale back or offer a bigger budget.
Navigating project changes
At some point, a client might decide to change the project after you’ve started work. Depending on the change, the total project cost might increase.
Some clients are also more demanding. For example, a client might want extra communication. You might need to charge more to accommodate extra time and hiring expenses.
As things occur that drive up how much the client owes you, make sure you explain the recruitment costs. The client should be aware of how their demands influence the cost. Talk to the client about increasing their hiring budget, if necessary.
Don’t wait to tell the client about the increased charges until you send a bill. By maintaining open communication, you have a better chance of keeping them as a repeat client. You can use your recruiting software to track what you do and justify the expenses.
Working with long-term clients
When you repeatedly work with a client, budgets will undoubtedly change over time. You and the client will have to work together to choose services that fit into the budget.
You might also raise your prices. If you do start to charge more, the client might have to reduce the services they purchase to stay within their hiring budget. However, you may be able to sell the value of your services to the client. If the client increases their hiring budget, they can keep the same services while you make more.