The dreaded discount
By Tricia Scott
One of topics I hear about from our readers time and time again is charging for their work.
How do you feel about it? Are you happy to price match, does it make you feel uncomfortable when someone ask you to reduce your prices so much so that you feel you can't say no or do you instantly feel affronted and say no way?
Everyone is different and so too is every marketplace. There may be situations where lowering your price is entirely appropriate, that decision has to be yours however, a word of warning.
If you immediately agree to a discount what does that say about your business? Often, an immediate agreement to a lower price encourages mistrust from your client.
Yes, thats right.
They get what they want and then they don't trust you.
Why? Because at the point where you give the immediate yes (out of fear, embarrassment or just lack of effort) it looks like the price you we're offering was not the 'real' price. It can appear that you were trying to trick the customer into thinking it was of higher perceived value than it is actually worth and in the end, you lose out.
Also, by dropping your prices without question it appears that (and more importantly) you don't value your product. What value can it have if you're prepared to drop so readily?
Dont get me wrong here, I totally get it. Its cringeworthy and downright embarrassing when someone asks you to drop your prices. Hands up, I used to be one of those people.
'wow that's expensive!'
PANIC! Everything went through my brain. Am I too expensive? They won't like me if I don't discount, Crap, now I'm hesitating and she'll think I don't know what I'm talking about! IM ABOUT TO LOSE A FREAKING SALE AND I NEED TO PAY MY RENT IN TWO DAYS!
The issue here is not about the product. You know its worth, you know what it takes to produce it and see it through. You're well aware of the hours spent to put your business together. Their request isn't about your personal worth although it can well feel that way, and you do have options.
Option 1 - all of the no
Theres nothing wrong with that. It's your business and you get to decide. If you feel the client is taking the proverbial then you are more than allowed to tell them to bike it. Your call.
Option 2 - go for a win/ win
What does the client actually need? Could the service be reduced in some way to accommodate the request? Perhaps they just need part of what you're offering? Could your time and effort be reduced to fit in line with the clients needs?
Offering a discount on this basis shows the prospective client that you value your work and you're not prepared to give it away. However, it also shows that you are listening to their needs and are prepared to offer a bespoke option suited to them.
Client trust remains in tact and they think you're great for working with them.
Option 3 - what can you do for me?
Can this person help you? Do they in turn, offer a service that you need?
If so, you could approach the discount on a reciprocal basis. You discount your service to them in return for a deal.
They work for you and you work for them. Maybe they're a whiz at Social Media and you hate it. Or perhaps they can offer you a referral to another client base? Its always worth keeping this in mind when dealing with discounting.
A final word
Overall, if you do decide to discount, communicate to the client why you are offering such. Make sure they know that you are trying for a solution to suit everyone and don't be afraid to drive a hard bargain. This is your precious time, your work and your effort and that is not for anyone else to decide upon it's worth.
What does your time mean to you? Does it mean time away from your family or friends? Away from home? Away from the classes and things you love to do? Can you really discount on all of that?
There's more to think about here than just the product or service you offer to the world and what the client wants to pay for.
No one will value you if you sell yourself short.
I believe in you,
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