Never have two phrases strung together caused so much stress. When someone tells you that they love you, you feel you're about to land a new client. Then they ask you how much it costs and you instantly feel you could lose the business before it started. That feeling of "sure thing" instantly turns into a contorted mental gymnastics. Worse, what comes out of your mouth may be more damaging than simply answering the question.
"Here's the price, but we can negotiate based on your needs."
"We have many options."
"It sounds expensive, but this is why it's worth it."
"We'll give you the best price, guaranteed."
No matter how you try to couch it, saying anything more than the answer to the question sounds uncertain or defensive - not good things after you've worked so hard to get to this point.
The good news is, there's an alternative: Don't answer the question until they are ready to buy.
The interest expressed from your potential client may have increased the likelihood that they will buy from you, but it's not a sale yet. The goal is to have them decide to buy from you because they REALLY want to do business with you, not because you fall within their budget. Not to mention, the more they want to do business with you and no one else, price either becomes less of a concern or they will be able to make it work in some way shape or form. People are always willing to pay a premium, go out of their way or suffer inconvenience to do business with the person or company they love.
The next time someone says, "We love what you have to offer. How much does it cost?" answer with this:
"We haven't even decided we want to work together yet. Let's talk price after you've made a decision."
If they push back and say, "but I need to know the price to make my decision," you can reply:
"If you decide we're a good fit for you and we really want to do business together, I have no doubt we'll figure out a way to make it happen."
By avoiding the price discussion until they are ready to buy, two things happen:
1. You will come across much more confident about your services, which only increases their desire to work with you.
2. If they decide they do want to work with you, then the issue of cost becomes a discussion and not just a simple one word answer. It's no longer a make-or-break situation; it becomes something to negotiate. After all, the decision to do business together has already been made. The cost and the terms are now just the plumbing.
And one more thing - never do this over email. Value and the perception of worth is emotional, not rational. This conversation should never happen over email; only over the phone or in person...the way all emotional conversations should be had.