What’s your hourly rate?

I’m chatting to someone who does software consulting in a similar field to me.

“What’s your hourly rate?” they ask.

“I don’t have one” I reply.

I wait a moment and watch the look of surprise on their face.

“Umm, what do you charge then?” they ask.

“Well,” I start, “it depends on what you need. My prices are on my website.”

“But everyone else in this field pays hourly!” they splutter, not really comprehending what I’m saying.

“I tell you what you are going to be getting in advance. And the price is fixed. ” I explain, calmly, “If you don’t like it, you can go elsewhere. If you don’t like my work, it’s guaranteed.”

“You pay for my expertise, I guarantee you’re going to get results” I finish. Trying not to sound too smug.

“But what if the project overruns?” they ask.

“Then that’s my fault for sizing up the project incorrectly. Why should you, as the customer, pay the extra?” I reply. Definitely smug now.

“I still don’t get it. It’s way too risky”.

“Only if you’re not sure about what you’re doing”. Yeah, I’m a smug git.

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