by Amy Harrison
If you’re just starting out in business it can take a lot of confidence to decide what you’re worth. It can then take even more confidence to tell your customers. If your customers are telling you that they can’t afford what you’re offering, it’s too easy to fall into the trap of “some work is better than no work” and be beaten down on price. However, what tends to happen is that once a client has accepted super low rates, it’s incredibly difficult to put those rates up for that person and you work for cut-price for far too because you are afraid of losing them.
So how can you stop hearing “I just can’t afford that, can you do it for…?”
1. Write down your value to a customer
When you’re thinking of pricing your service, think about how valuable what you do is to your ideal customer. For example, if you are a career coach, do you help people get unstuck so that they can find the job of their dreams and sky-rocket their earning potential? That is the value of what you are selling, and not simply an hour of your time.
Consider these questions when thinking about how valuable you are:
What are the ramifications to your customer of not using your service?
Could your customer do what you do?
If so, how long would it take them to do that and would they want to do it?
What is your customer able to do after using your service that they couldn’t do before?
2. Don’t cut your price on request
If you give a quotation to your customer and they come back asking for a cheaper quotation, don’t just cut the price. If you go back with a cheaper quotation for the same job, it makes them feel like the original price must have been inflated in the first place. Instead modify what you can do for a lower cost. Perhaps they get less consultation time, or only 3 web pages designed instead of 4. This shows that you are flexible, but serious about your worth.
3. Rethink your target market.
If you are getting a lot of resistance on price, it might be that you need to find a new customer base to present your offer to. What you offer will be more valuable to some people over others. For example, someone starting out in business wanting a website will not appreciate the value of having a website re-design compared to someone who has had an online business for a couple of years and makes a steady income from the traffic that comes to their website. It might be that you need to revisit your customer profile and consider whether your target market includes people who are willing to invest in themselves and their business and also have the money to do so.
This article was first posted on Women Unlimited, a learning and support site for women entrepreneurs