Many of my clients express a fear about charging more and the ability to still attract clients. They worry people will not want to pay more, especially if they know what others have paid. Also, for business owners who provide estimates, many wonder if they should lower the price when the prospect doesn’t immediately accept the bid.
As you might expect, I don’t advise lowering your fee to attract clients or get the job for two reasons.
– It’s not worth it because here’s what happens – you will resent the people you are working with and then yourself for the entire length of the project. As a result, the energy drains out of the project and the relationship.
– You don’t actually know until you talk about price, that they won’t work with you. You may be assuming this is the reason, but it could be something else.
Here’s what I do recommend for handling pricing concerns:
- Have a get acquainted session with prospects so they understand what you do.
- Show them the value of your service and what you offer.
- If you feel strongly that the fee is the issue, especially for prospects who know what others
have paid, then say, “This is our new fee structure” in a matter of fact way. Confidently request a meeting to discuss working together. Then continue to show confidence in your services without bringing unnecessary focus to your fees.
I have noticed that price brings up a lot of black and white thinking. Clients say things to me like,“If I don’t give them this price, they won’t want to work with me.” But, that is not necessarily true at all. That’s why you need to speak with them to get a better understanding of their reaction and needs. Don’t just assume their hesitation is only about price.
When you act as if this is not going to be a big deal and move forward, you show prospects you believe in yourself and your work. This confident way of interacting will help you attract clients and get the project. If they do say, “No, we cannot afford that” be okay with that and do not lower your fee. What you can do is modify the project offering or service so it includes less work on your part. This is how you can feel more comfortable with the lower price they want to pay and they can get what they need.
Negotiating like this does take a little practice, but you will definitely get better at it. Most of all, you will not build resentment and will feel so much better being paid at an appropriate level for the value you deliver.
Your Client Attraction Assignment
Have you been thinking about a price increase? If you haven’t adjusted your fee in a few years, it’s probably time to do so. You don’t need to charge current clients the new fee if you are very worried about a negative reaction. But, absolutely charge new clients the higher rate.