post by Stephanie Nelson
Lately, as I’ve been scrolling through my Facebook news feed, I’ve seen a lot requests for recommendations for different types of service providers. As I was reading through these, something really stood out to 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. Please believe. 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 seems to have an idea in mind of the work involved. In requesting “decent prices” or affordability, they’re basically saying upfront they don’t want to pay for the service.
As an entrepreneur that gets paid mostly for her time and expertise, when I hear someone say “it shouldn’t take too long”, I have to as: if that’s the case and you know what’s involved, why aren’t you doing it yourself? 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 perfect for the job. Why would I put my connections – and my rep with those 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.