One of my clients, the chief of an ad agency, was wary of offering ‘guesstimates’ on projects before he could actually run the numbers. (The projects typically ranged from 50K to 100K.)
When clients insisted, when they pressed him for a ‘ballpark’, he would laugh it off with:
“Less than a million. For sure.”
That cheeky answer deflected the question well enough. But it also shifted the context just a bit.
When he came back with his actual budget of $79,000 or whatever, it seemed smaller. Almost a bargain.
It worked so well that he started quoting “Less than a million”, even before clients asked.
I swiped this idea when writing copy for my friend Constantin’s firm:
We do not charge a million dollars
You will always know the fee in advance. And it will be less than a million, guaranteed.
And it will not be suspiciously cheap, either.
You should have no problem getting approvals if required.
Oh, and just for context: My own fees are always under 100K.