Do your new clients and potential clients consistently try to haggle your rates or ask for discounts? Do you give in? Or do you feel like you have to give them the discount to land their business?
If so, you’re not alone. Nearly every solo service provider or practice professional has faced this and wondered what to do about it. I’ve heard countless professionals say that even if they got the business, they ended up resenting that client and weren’t able to do their best work.
The next time that happens, try these tips instead. (These tips and the accompanying scripts come from Derek Halpern of SocialTriggers.com.)
1. Don’t get offended.
It’s a natural reaction to get offended. Don’t. Being offended and defensive weakens your position. Remember: people often ask for a discount as a matter of course. It’s not personal. It’s just business.
Just because someone is asking you to give them a discount doesn’t mean you have to do it.
2. Don’t try to work with everyone.
You are a professional and don’t work with everyone. Your skills and expertise serve only a very specific and select group of people.
Be selective and don’t be too available. I’m not suggesting that you play games with people, but let prospects know that you only work with a certain type of client.
Here’s a sample script for your website’s contact page courtesy of Derek Halpern. You can also adapt it for ads and one-on-one conversations with potential clients.
“If you know the value of [a great health coach] or [a great personal trainer], then fill out the form on this page. Maybe we can work together.
I only have room for 10 clients each month to ensure that I can do my best work for each and every client.
So contact me today and we can start the conversation.”
This script reinforces your value in a way that congratulates the prospective client for recognizing it. It also lets them know that your time is limited and you cherry-pick your clients so you can do your best work for them (which is what they want).
3. Be willing to lose a client.
You don’t need to work with someone who doesn’t value your work as much as you do. So be willing to walk away from these clients. It’s just not worth working with someone who will argue tooth and nail over every penny they spend with you.
These three tips will help deter people who chronically try to haggle down your rates.
However, there will always be a certain percentage of people looking for a deal. So how do you handle those people?
Don’t Know What to Say? Here’s Your Script
Here is a word-for-word script you can use to deal with these people:
“I know you know the value of (service). That’s why you’re looking to work with a professional.
But as you know, I’ve only got so much time in a day, and for me to make the price you’re offering work, I’d have to rush through this session.
And to be honest, I don’t like to rush through sessions because I only like to deliver my best work.
If your budget is a problem, I can offer to do something else at that price point, but at this price, for what you’re asking, I’m unable to do it.
I hope you understand.”
Again, this simple script reinforces the value of what you do. It also reinforces the fact that you are indeed a professional.
You’re making it clear that you won’t rush through any session and put forth anything less than your best work, which reinforces the value of what you do and your professionalism.
You’re giving the client an opportunity to still work with you, even if their budget is tight. This is great if you’re short on clients and you really can’t afford to say “No” to clients right now.
Secondly, you’re offering to still work with them on your terms. You can’t do what they’re asking for the price they’re offering, but you can still do something for them for the price they’re offering. By showing that you’re still willing to work with them, they’ll be more willing to accept your new terms.
And that’s it! It’s just that simple.
I hope you found this helpful. Please let us know how you’ll be using it in the comments below.
Supporting you for your success,
Founder & CEO