post by Stephanie Nelson
This week, as I’ve been sorting through the mess that my Facebook feed has become, I’ve seen a few calls for vendors or requests for recommendations for a certain type of service provider. As I was reading through these, something jumped out at me.
In many of the requests, there was some sort of caveat along the lines of “this shouldn’t take too long”, “must have decent prices”, “needs to be affordable”, and so on. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m about as frugal as they come. I don’t want to pay a penny more for anything than necessary. But in saying “this shouldn’t take too long”, the requester is basically saying “I don’t intend to pay much.” In requesting “decent prices” or affordability, they’re basically saying the same thing.
As an entrepreneur that gets paid more for her time and expertise, when I hear someone say “it shouldn’t take too long”, I have to ask why aren’t they doing it themselves, if that’s the case? And if someone is asking for help – whether it’s because they don’t know how to do something or don’t have time to do it – why are they automatically looking to devalue the person they’re looking to hire?
When I see or hear these types of caveats in requests for help, I very rarely comment, even if I know someone who could do the job in a spot-on fashion. Why would I put my connections on the line when I get the sense right off the bat that “my person’s” expertise and skill aren’t going to be appreciated?
My request to you is simple. If you’re looking for help in a certain area, ask. But in the ask, rather than devaluing potential vendors, be honest about your budget. Give numbers. If you have no clue what the product or service should cost, ask that first so you know what’s realistic. I’d be willing to bet you’ll get much more help that way.