What do you say to someone who asks for your help, but you’re not sure if they expect a favor or a contract? Whether the person is one you’d be happy to donate services to, or someone you hope will become a new paying client, I’ve collected several scripts that will help you get what you want.
- The Best All-Time Comeback is when Mad Men’s Don Draper tells Conrad Hilton no. (The whole scene’s great; catch the punch line at 1:10.)
- Marie Forleo’s vlog post turns a friend’s request for help into a paid engagement.
- I like some of my own one-liners about as much: “That’s information for which I charge,” or “Let me tell you how I work.” Then explain your protocol and accompanying fees.
- Or try, “Are you asking for a favor or to hire me? My volunteer time is super limited right now, but I’d make space for a paying gig.” (This one works well when not-for-profit organizations contact you but aren’t clear about whether it’s an inquiry for pro bono work or a proposal.)