Someone shared a hysterical video on Twitter recently about negotiating fees with clients. The facial expressions alone are priceless.
But the words and sentiment behind the comedy–frighteningly familiar!
Here it is if you haven’t seen it–then keep reading to see how you can avoid situations like this in the future!
I’ve written a whole series on pricing strategies for small businesses to help avoid situations like these.
But when you’re faced with a ridiculous request to reduce your fee, the best strategy is to follow Nancy Reagan’s advice and “Just say no…”
- No, you are not a taco stand
- No, you’re not interested in any “opportunity” where they pay you a fraction of your fee and and “make it up to you” later
- No, you won’t work for free until they decide if they like the results
I could share some doozies about the crazy proposals I’ve heard over 5+ years of being in business, but suffice to say they all shared one common theme…the only “opportunity” was for the prospect to get something for nearly nothing.
Good Copy Can Help You Avoid Negotiating Fees
But you can prevent inane conversations like these by learning how to maximize the perception of the value you provide…and communicate it in everything you do. Here are a few ways to do that…
Dare to be different. In our corporate white-washed world, personality can be a BIG differentiator because after all, people buy from people and not companies.
Dan Kennedy is a great example–whether you like him or not, his tough-love “tell it like it is” style attracts legions of members to “Planet Dan” who buy nearly everything he puts out. That kind of loyalty doesn’t come from merely delivering good products and services.
Specialize in a market. It’s simple, if you specialize in web sites for lawyers, it’s silly for any lawyer NOT to choose you–because you already have a good sense of what they’ll need as well as what works and doesn’t work for their market. That will save them both time and money, plus make the chore (in their eyes) of getting a new website much easier.
Compare apples to grapefruit. What could it cost them to get the same type of results? For example, you could point out that your teleseminar series is a fraction of the cost of a live workshop or working with you one-on-one. You can also compare your fees to what the gurus’ charge to do the same thing.
Either way, there’s certainly something more expensive you can use as a benchmark to highlight how reasonable the price tag is for the value they’re getting.
Inundate them with proof. What you say you can do for them is MUCH more believable when other people are saying it for you as well. That’s why testimonials and case studies are such powerful persuaders. Because the more confident prospects feel that they’ll get great results, the less prickly they are about.
Highlight your personal experience. If you’re a restaurant owner trying to drum up more business, who would you trust more–the consultant who’s been in the greasy trenches of owning a restaurant before or someone who hasn’t?
If you have experience in your market, be sure to tell your story on every marketing piece, every teleseminar, every everything you do–even if you think they’ve heard it before (you’d be surprised how quickly people forget)–because it tremendously ups the appeal and value of working with you.
Connect the dots for them. Most websites barely scratch the surface when it comes to talking about the benefits clients will receive. Don’t assume they’ll make the connection on their own–I can promise you they won’t!
Whenever you talk about what you offer or what they’ll get, keep mentally adding “which means that” to the end of the sentence until you get to the essence of how it will ultimately improve their life or business. Because those ultimate benefits are what they’re really hoping to achieve…and are very willing to pay for.
Taking the time now to brainstorm about the full value of what you provide and how to weave it throughout everything you do will go a long way in keeping prospects from negotiating fees and mistaking you for a taco stand later.