when to say no

When to say NO to a business proposition

It took me my whole life…

Hi there

Have you ever been proposed to work for a client

And they started questioning your fee ?

I bet you have.

Unless your prices are way too low.

And even then, people should question your fees.

Be it for another reason.


Anyway, last week a friend of mine asked me whether I could deliver a training on Networking.

I’ve been a networker my whole professional life.

And I have delivered multiple workshops and trainings on Networking.

In a lot of different settings.

So my answer was : “Yes, I could”.

But I admit, I hesitated a little.


Because the conditions were not optimal.

Let me explain.


Reason #1:

The friend, who I value a lot (so thanks Pierre) is not the client.

My friend is just doing somebody else a favor.

And that somebody else has a training company working for multinationals.

So I’d be a subcontractor.

I do not like working as a subcontractor.

Nothing wrong with people who do.

But for me: been there, seen that, done that.

I moved away from that business model.

In my opinion: it is not the best business model for entrepreneurs.

But that’s another topic.

>>>Still … ask yourself: is your actual business model the best one you can think of?<<<


Reason #2:

It is not my core business.

It is my mission to help entrepreneurs build their personal brand and grow their business.

I really like working with entrepreneurs, 1 on 1 and in group settings.

And I have a full-booked agenda.

So if I have the choice, I prefer working on my core business.

That is called FOCUS.

And you should focus too.


Reason #3:

The fee. Ah, the fee.

Let’s talk about pricing.

Delivering training in-company has become a commodity.

There are a lot of trainers out there.

A lot of them are having difficulties making ends meet.

A lot of them are having difficulties standing out from the competition.

A lot of them deliver more or less the same training in more or less the same way.

Thus, training has become a commodity.

Result: the trainers tend to lower their fees/prices.

So unless, you have a strong Personal Brand as a trainer, and/or deliver a remarkable product/service, you are probably suffering.


Now back to me, I don’t feel like being a commodity.

And I surely don’t feel like lowering my prices because other trainers do.

I know I can deliver great value (sorry if I come across as a bragger).

So my fees are not the lowest in the market.  And never will be.

>>>How about you? Are you being paid for the value you deliver?

Or are you being a commodity?<<<


The reaction of my friend when he heard about my fee structure was:

“I respect your fee. However, delivering a training on Networking is easy for you, that’s what you’ve been doing your whole life…”

What he meant was: “it is easy, won’t take you a lot of time to prepare, so lower your fee…”

And that made me think of the following story:

Picasso is sketching at a park. A woman walks by, recognizes him, and begs for her portrait. Somehow, he agrees. A few minutes later, he hands her the sketch. She is elated, excited about how wonderfully it captures the very essence of her character, what beautiful work it is, and asks how much she owes him. “5000 francs, madam,” says Picasso. The woman is incredulous, outraged, and asks how that’s even possible given it only took him 5 minutes. Picasso looks up and, without missing a beat, says: “No, madam, it took me my whole life.”

I rest my case…


Do you have experience in people questioning your price/fee? How did you tackle that?


love to hear your thoughts, questions, worries, ideas… contact me +32.478.39.02.69 or leave a reply below

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