What are the 5 words no one wants to hear?
Well…here’s the truth: “your prices are too high”
Raise your hand if you’ve experienced rejection because your prices are too high. How many times have you had a prospective client turn down your proposal because “your prices are too high”?
How many times have you had to negotiate until the price isn’t even worth it to you? But maybe you’ll get some great feedback to feature on your website?
I’ve gone through this time and time again. I’ve even had people say the price wasn’t crazy, it just did not fit into their budget, which I can understand. Not everything fits into my budget either.
So what do you do when you need the funds in your bank account, but the prospective client you’re pitching clearly devalues your work and your worth? Is it worth your while to negotiate down? Will the time you spent make that payday worth it?
When I first started freelancing, back in 2013, my prices were much lower. I was new to the game (yes, entrepreneurship is like a game for me) and it was a period of experimenting, testing and figuring out what I loved doing and what I hated.
No one ever questioned my prices, and I started off averaging $20/hour. Yep, there was 3 years ago. A lot of what I was doing was closer to virtual assistant tasks even though I got to be the leader on some projects. However, as I gained more experience in my full-time job, I realized I could start charging my clients more. Every 6 months or so, I would increase my prices a few dollars. I kept hiking it up and people kept wanting to work with me…but I started getting the people who claimed I was “too expensive.”
Here what I did and here are a few tactics you can apply when you get told “your prices are too high”.
List your prices on your website
I go back and forth about this, but I believe it is helpful for the industry I’m in. Some of my services, like website development, require a more customized quote. But by listing prices on my website, I give people who are looking for help a starting point.
Some prices, like Marketing Coaching, are non-negotiable. It is what it is.
Some fees change depending on the scope, like Marketing Campaign Management. For that service, I put a “starting at” price point so people feel like they can negotiate.
Ask your client what their budget is
You can get a better idea for your client’s budget by asking for it.
If you require them to fill out a questionnaire before contacting you, make sure you put that question in there. Is there budget $250-$500? Maybe it’s $500-$1000. Either way, you should give them a range.
Be clear about exactly what they are getting
Last week, I pitched a client on Upwork who had a low budget. Much lower than what I normally work with. I sent him a quote that was 3x his budget, and we ended up negotiating to a final project price point that was twice the amount of his original budget. Why?
Even though he had someone else who was willing to complete his project as his requested budget, I offered him something more. I gave him my honest opinion on his work, told him what improvements I could make, and went beyond the items he had listed. At the end of the day, he decided to work with me because the value he’s getting is worth the cost.
Keep making a difference with your current clients
I’ve heard it time and time again, your current clients are also the best people to go to for additional work. Why?
Well, they already know, like and trust you. They know the value of your work, and since you’ve been excellent with the small stuff, they can continue to turn more and more over to you.
Know when to say no
There will always be people who take a look at your prices and think they are “too high” and that’s fine. You may not be able to bring everyone around and that’s a good thing. There’s plenty of work for us all, but you shouldn’t devalue your work just to get money in your account.
How do you handle it when people tell you your prices are too high?