60 Second Snippet #6

“Can you do anything on the price?”

Price is the one thing that clients often try to chip away at. In the UK, we love a deal. We love to think we have managed to negotiate a few quid off and it makes us feel good when we do.

But it is never a win, win.

I was sat in front of a prospective client last week who had spent an hour telling me what was wrong with his business, what wasn’t working and what the consequences were in terms of team issues, cash struggles, sleepless nights and anxiety.

He had told me what he wanted, what utopia looked like and that he needed a plan and some guidance to help with the next few vital steps.  I explained how I could help, what results could be expected and offered contact details of clients for him to speak to for testimonials.

It then came to the inevitable question. “How much will this cost me?”  I took a deep breath and didn’t panic at the thought of losing the opportunity on price.  I told him what the investment would be to help him develop his business plan that he needed and to support him on those next steps towards a better place.

He was happy with that but asked “Can you do anything on the price?”.  I knew what my answer would be. I maintained eye contact.  “I can.” I said “But I am not going to be able to.”

You see:

  • It is not that I didn’t like him or I didn’t want to work with him
  • It is not because I don’t know my worth and what my offering should be charged at
  • It is not because I can fill that time with a client paying the correct fees

I explained that if I agreed to a lower investment, at some point the fact that it is lower is going to start to eat away at me. I then may start to look at ways to compensate, to cut corners perhaps and that may result in a lower than expected end result.  If he were to receive a lower than expected result, I wouldn’t be happy, because I have high delivery standards and I have a reputation to protect.

He wouldn’t be happy either because he wouldn’t have the desired results and that would lead to a challenging conversation and a lack of future business or referral opportunities.  I said I didn’t want him to receive less than the best results and that I didn’t want to have a difficult conversation for the sake of a few quid.

He accepted my reasoning and said he didn’t want less than expected results. We shook hands and scheduled dates to get started.

This is a win, win.

If you are a small business making a 10-15% net profit (at best for many) and offer a 10% discount to “win the business” there is a strong likelihood that you will finish up de-valuing your brand and working for next to nothing.

This is not a win, win.

Be confident in your pricing. Be confident in the results you deliver for the price you charge. Find a way to counter argue why you charge what you do when challenged.

Best of luck.