When a client says you are too expensive, they aren’t saying, “No.”
Not necessarily. And if you haven’t been told that you’re too expensive, it might be time to reconsider your prices. That might indicate that they are too low.
In most fields, professionals are finding that many people are getting their niece/nephew/cousin-once-removed to snap some photos or design a website, and the list goes on indefinitely. There will always be a cheaper option for the client.
The line between cost of goods/services and value is a fine one. From entrepreneurs to freelancers, knowing what to charge (and what people will pay) may be one of the hardest ships to navigate.
Here are a few tips for navigating the “You’re too expensive” conversations.
5 Responses for Clients Who Say You’re Too Expensive
1) Compared to what?
You should already know where you rank in the competition both in cost and in how your services differ from the competition. Maybe you offer a bigger package or a higher quality. This is a great occasion for finding out how much research they’ve done and to narrow down what is really important to them. Doing so will help you discern if they are a good match for your services or not.
2) Ask them about their budget.
If they give you a number or a range, you can tell them what you can do for that price. This tactic is a great option for finding a win/win and is advisable over offering a discounted price. Offering a discount right off the bat undermines your prices (and value) in a customer’s eye. You can also be ready with your second or third-range package, if relevant. Know your baseline and stand by it.
3) Explain the value.
The reason this isn’t listed first is because jumping into a defense of your product or service isn’t necessarily the first thing you should do. You can’t change anyone else’s prices, but you can help a potential client understand why your services are of higher value. Back up your prices with results that you’ve provided other clients. Numbers, ROI, all that good stuff. Well, don’t list it all, just hit on some of the big numbers.
If you feel you are well-established and that your prices are on point, then you may not feel the need to convince this client that you’re worth it. This is easier to do when you have plenty of work or demand, but it isn’t wrong if you don’t. If they are looking for the cheapest option, then they probably aren’t the client for you. Nothing saps energy and resources like someone who constantly haggles the price; someone who wants everything for nothing doesn’t deserve your explanation.
Saying nothing is definitely better than a snappy or edgy comeback. Thank them for their feedback and move on.
5) Let’s stay in contact.
Sometimes the potential client sees your value, but simply cannot afford it, right now. Check in on them every so often–maybe once or twice a year. Ask (genuinely) about their business and let them know that you would love to do business with them in the future.