why do people go quiet when it comes to talking money?

My daily commute takes a bit of a detour every Friday when I drop my kids off at school on the way to work.

Being very much a creature of habit, I tend to stand in near enough the same place in the playground every week. As it turns out, most of the other parents do the same and I've ended up befriending a couple of other Dads for no other reason than where we stand on a patch of concrete at 8.35am.

One of the guys (I call him 'mate') has just left the corporate world of banking and is in the process of setting up on his own as a mortgage broker. He's currently writing the copy for his website and was interested in my thoughts on how he should approach the subject of money - basically, does he mention how/how much he charges up front or not?

It's a tricky conundrum to get right for any business.

State how much he charges and people know where they stand but he risks putting them off before they even picked up the phone. Keep quiet about money and people could assume he has something to hide (I don't think he does).

Talking budgets with potential clients in the advertising game is often a game of cat and mouse. Clients have a predetermined budget they are prepared to invest for a given piece of work but are often reluctant to say what it actually is. They prefer to sniff out how much a piece of work might be, only revealing their budget when you come over what they had in mind. They will refuse to show their monetary hand in the first place on the off chance the agency comes in a few quid under!

Cat/mouse, chicken/egg or just mind games - they're all joys of agency life!!

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