How to Handle Price Objections
It’s not unexpected that individuals and businesses have tighter wallets in this economy. This, coupled with people who have been laid off and are now starting up their own companies, can be tricky. Little or no money creates a difficult situation for folks trying to promote themselves, thus raising the number of times we service providers hear “no, it’s just not in my budget right now.”
When I first started freelancing, I thought the conversation had to stop there. “They’re simply not interested,” would go through my head. However, I’ve come to realize that responses like these are actually great starters for conversation. There are essentially three things we can do when we hear such a response.
1. We can let the client go.
This may be an okay option if you’re too busy, not taking on more client work or just don’t care. However, the old cliche of “the best time to promote yourself and gain clients is when you’re busy” is true. Why ride the project roller coaster of ups and downs? Instead, spread your work deadlines out evenly and regularly. There’s sure to be room to add a new client.
2. Think about lowering your price.
If this is the route you want to go, make it clear to the client that you’re making an exception for them. Simply dropping your price because a prospective client says so devalues your service and effort. This can be a great option if the work is something you really want to do or if you’re slow and need the money.
When/if agreeing to the client’s price request, make sure you state why you’re dropping the price. Something such as, “Because I’d really like to fill out my portfolio with more brochure work, I’ve decided to create yours at the discounted rate of…” works well. Again, stress that this is an exception to the rule. Generally speaking, this will keep your new client from advertising this discount to their friends and colleagues.
3. Start a conversation.
When a prospect tells me my bid is too high, I immediately respond to them by asking what they were hoping to pay for design services. If the prospect feels comfortable responding, this offers me a ball-park figure. I then explain that while my prices may seem high up front, in comparison to other designers with a similar level of quality, I’m actually more affordable. Try offering reasons as to why you’re the more valuable choice. A client may agree to find a lower service provider, but could they spend less in the long run by getting their logo done right the first time around with you? These are points worth mentioning.
A good way to meet halfway is to also think about tailoring your service to the client’s needs. For example, if you really want to work with this client, could you offer them three logo options for the price of X-dollars opposed to your usual five for Y-dollars? Is there a way to turn a website that called for eight sections or links into four pages with simply more content? Your ability to adapt is usually appreciated by the client, plus, you may find a new service or package to offer.
Surely some will disagree and think pricing should be set in stone and that’s that. I, on the other hand, have found that a willingness to work with your clients usually creates a strong working relationship. You’re showing you appreciate their business and they’re a bit more likely to come back to you for more work in the future. Furthermore, a client who accepts a tailored service that meets their budget is a different breed than those who are just out to get work for cheap. Think of handling price objections as an opportunity to problem solve instead of simply writing off prospects.