The “Inexpensive, Reasonable Bargain”
If you are a business owner these words probably make you cringe… I’m looking for a product or service that is “reasonably priced”, “inexpensive”, “affordable” or heaven forbid “cheap” … OR “I don’t want to spend too much, can you change your price?” Um What!?!? Am I right? We all hear these words and phrases “too many” times in our careers. Some come back with the cliché, “You get what you pay for”, but that one isn’t often welcomed as often as, “I want a deal!”
I have a dear friend who is a phenomenal baker… and when I say phenomenal, I mean it! (Seriously if you want her number let me know!) But I digress… Recently this fabulous baker posted her frustration on social media about this very subject. She was shocked that again, someone was trying to negotiate her set price. At first, I was relieved that someone else feels that way too and I’m not the only one! She got DOZENS of comments commiserating and a few bringing up similar atrocities (but that’s another blog post for another day!) I sat with it for a few days and couldn’t let it slide… this isn’t right! Do the people know how rude it is when they question pricing or come right out and ask for a discount? Every entrepreneur and business owner struggles over providing fair pricing for what it really takes to provide the service or product expected. Pricing is by far something we most question and re-evaluate, then question again. It’s enough to drive you insane! The bottom line is… If what we offer was “easy” you wouldn’t need to HIRE someone else to do it for you. Therefore, there is talent and skill involved, not to mention time consumed to provide the product.
It makes me wonder, is it that they don’t value what we are offering, or is it that they want to make sure they aren’t taken advantage of? Or maybe they’re just jerks and want everything free or at a discount?
High Quality – Low Price??
As a service provider, I sometimes get insulted when someone questions my price. Heck, I am literally one of the least expensive coaches I know! I have been told I should raise my prices by colleague many times. I offer a lot of value, customized and precise information that can help my clients drastically change their business (and their life) for the better… isn’t that worth paying for? The best one is, when I offer exactly what they are looking for, but they “have to think about it”. Sometimes I ask… What do you think a fair price is? I rarely get an answer.
I don’t have a magic secret to keep this from ever happening, but I do have some tips to include in your sales conversation to reduce the chances of a “misunderstanding”.
If you sense there is an issue with price, here are a few questions you can ask to determine if you want to continue to try to work with this client…
- On a Scale of 1-10 how important is this to you and/or your business?
This is a great question to determine how serious they are in looking to buy your product or service. If they are a 9 or a 10, then ask more questions to see if you can get them to the buying stage. If they are an 8 or below ask them why they are that low.
- How would it feel to reach your goal through my services? Or How would it feel to have my product solve the problem or fill the need for you?
Here we are trying to help them see the value in what you are offering. You can discuss why you are so talented and skilled in your field and reassure that you believe they will be in great hands with you!
- Would you be open to help finding the money in your budget for (Product or Service)?
Sometimes they just need help problem solving. They may not have considered other ways to find the money to pay for your excellent product or service. If they agree, you can offer suggestions and brainstorm in where they can free up some funds to take part in your services or purchase your product.
- What would it cost you to remain in the same place or not accept my product/services? Cost in Time? Cost in Money? Cost in Stress?
There are more costs than money in some cases. Sometimes you offer a peace of mind that it is taken care of. Sometimes you save the client tons of time in the process. Ask them why they thought to hire someone in the first place and how much the savings in time, money and stress is worth to them.
- What do you think is a “fair” price?
I mentioned earlier I sometimes ask this. This is kind of a loaded question. I find I get to this point when I have gone through several other questions and feel I am not getting anywhere. This can help you determine if they are being realistic or just plain unreasonable. If they don’t have an answer, I usually follow up with how I came to set my pricing, I explain my training and my level of expertise. At that point either they will purchase, or it is time to move on as they don’t see your value. You could go so far to give them a scenario to consider… ask if their boss didn’t pay them or took some money out of their paycheck because they wanted a “deal” or they didn’t have the budget for the time they put in at work… how would that feel? Well, maybe that is too far. LOL, but I’d love to know how they answer. Sometimes I think people forget this is our livelihood… we can’t pay our bills with “thank you’s” and positive reviews.
- Tell me why you believe can’t afford it at this price… Spouse doesn’t see the value? No $ in Account? Paying for other things? Business not making enough?
Getting to understand their hesitation can be eye opening. Maybe it isn’t about the money after all. Maybe they need more information to decide. Maybe it is the money and they are not able to afford your caliber of service. If that is the case, try to help with another solution… refer them to a lesser expensive provider… they will not get your quality, but you will leave a positive impression by trying to be helpful without compromising your standards.
- What is your WHY? Why are you doing this?
Why did they seek you out in the first place? What problem are they trying to solve? Reminding them why they need help can sometimes help them see the value.
The bottom line is… Don’t compromise your pricing or your value to land a client… 9 times out of 10 they will be more hassle than it is worth. You are Talented, you are Skilled, you bring VALUE, and you Deserve to be paid! Entrepreneurs and small business owners unite! Each situation and business model is unique. Keep providing high quality products and services and stand behind your pricing! The clients you are meant to work with will come!