Rod Aparicio

Jun 28, 2022

Pricing Fuck Ups. Hard-(L)earned lessons from the wrong side of pricing. Ep 09. 50% at the start, 50% at sign off.

Waiting forever to get fully paid after the job's finished.

New gig. Project seems not too complex. Estimated the delivery time in four weeks, asked for 50% upfront, final 50% at sign off, max 4 rounds of revisions.

Each revision took 2 weeks. Client was full of other important things. 10 weeks passed by and we finally signed off.

"Oh, yeah. We need to send it to the CFO to approve the final instalment. But it'll only take 2 weeks max."


Used what we've been always taught:

Negotiate the price→ Talk 50-50→ Negotiate a discount→ Talk about delivery date→ Send proposal→ Pray→ Get green light→ Start prepping→ Wait for the money→ Pray some more they don't back down→ Get the money→ Work→ Deliver→ Wait for final payment→ Pray→ Wait some more.

Been there?

What would have done different

Charge 100% upfront.

Gets them in the right mind space to start working and get things done. Lets you know in which phase of the buying journey they're in: consideration or intent. Intent being having decided and allocated resources. It's an expensive problem they need to solve**now**.

More focus on the outcome, less kicking tires.

More motivation to get things done faster (and be more profitable), look for better solutions

If they need it, they'll have it. Instead of waiting for a check to be cleared in 15-21 days.

What did happen

Waited longer than expected to get the final payment. And got those uncomfortable moments when calling to know if it was "authorized".

What didn't happen

Got frustrated about not being able to fully move on to another project.


Charge 100% upfront.

You get to focus on the outcome, know if the project is really needed and urgent.

You get to talk and negotiate on payment terms, rather on price terms.

Try it, you'll be surprised.

Rod Aparicio

Brand Strategy Advisor for Indie Consulting Firms.