Reframing The Conversation – What Professionals Can Learn From A Cement Lorry


The other day I was driving into work when I got stuck behind a cement lorry. On the back there was an advert, which read – only pay for what you use.

It got me thinking…

Accountants and lawyers were once famous for charging by the minute. And clients bloody hated it. The idea that this thieving wanker would hit a clock and the pounds immediately started leaking was just too much and one of the key drivers behind professionals productising their offerings so they could decouple time from revenue, at least in the minds of their customer.

But is paying by the minute really that awful. Isn’t that exactly what our friends in the cement lorry were doing? When they say you only pay for what you use, what they’re really saying is that you won’t get so much as a single atom of cement for free. But it doesn’t sound like that does it?

This is an example of reframing. Same proposition, alternative messaging, profoundly different emotions elicited.

So, the next time a client asks how you charge, why not tell them – I’m £400 an hour, but the good news is you only pay for what you need. So if we can contain the chat to 10 minutes, it’s gonna cost you less than a tank of petrol.

Then by all means hit that timer and milk the poor bastard dry.

See you next time,


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