It starts something like this: “I know what you do is worth it, but I just don’t have the money right now”
If you’re a service-based business owner, chances are you’ve heard this one before. You start thinking about how you can make yourself fit into their budget (usually not the best idea), crunch numbers to see what your break even would be, maybe even mention it to a business friend, only to remind yourself your prices are what they are for a reason.
It’s a tough one, I get it.
Especially for us creative entrepreneurs. Most of us have a heart for serving, and we truly want to help every single person we come in contact with; however, that’s truly not feasible.
Let me remind you of something:
Someone not being able to afford your services is not your problem.
So don’t make it one.
If you read last week’s post on how to confidently raise your rates, the topic of potential clients saying you’re too expensive might have your palms sweating even more.
Raising my rates, only to deal with even more people telling me I’m too expensive? Yeah, no thank you, right?
But what if you could raise your rates with confidence, and leave even the ones who can’t afford your services raving about you?
Yes, it really is possible. Let me show you exactly how to deal with people who say you’re too expensive!
Option 1: find an alternative solution
Clients come to us searching for a solution to a problem, and while the prime solution might be too expensive, there may be other ways we can help them reach a similar end result.
As a brand designer, I don’t always recommend or encourage businesses to invest in a full custom brand — especially if they think it’s too expensive. Instead, I offer them solutions like brand strategy prep work, semi-custom brand collections, or even some free resources that can help them set up a solid foundation.
For you, this might look like offering tiered package options (that still maintain the integrity of your hourly rate), removing some of the bells and whistles or listening to what solution your potential client is looking for, and thinking about how you can get them there.
Notice how I didn’t say discount your rates here because that’s not what we’re doing.
We’re providing options at different price points that also help price anchor our main service (the one they thought was too expensive) showing not just value, but also a desire to serve.
When providing different options at different price points, I love listing out what’s included in a simple checklist format that makes it super easy to compare the options so that they are consciously choosing the option that fits best for them (and know exactly what they opted out of!) This again, points out that you are not discounting your service, just providing less of it in a way that works with their budget!
If you’re not in a position where you’re able to provide a quality solution to their problem within their budget, I recommend sending these people on their way with some referrals, which leads into your second option!
Option 2: send them on their way (and offer some referrals)
You might think I’m crazy saying this — sending precious leads away during a time like this?! But I’ve seen first hand in my own business just how helpful this can be.
Think about the last time you went to a store and they didn’t have whatever it was that you were looking for. If you ask the associate if they’re able to find it, and they tell you something like “No, sorry, we don’t have it, but let me call this store and have one placed on hold for you” you are very likely to remember that as a positive experience, and may even head to that store first next time you need something, right?
On the contrary, if the associate just says “nope, we don’t have that. Bye,” you are now left to solve the problem on your own, which can be frustrating.
Serving people well, whether through our actual services or just through excellent customer service, can lead to repeat business down the road!
I’ve actually seen this first hand in my business, where someone I only worked with on smaller projects or even referred out due to budget and time constraints refers potential clients to me based on their experience with me in the inquiry process!
Pretty cool, right?
So if you know that you are not within someone’s price range, send them on their way to someone else that will serve them and their needs well, and you will usually see positive results from this down the road!
Curious what exactly to say to these people? I love something simple and to the point, like this:
Thank you so much for inquiring with me!
While my prices are outside of your range, I think XXX (hyperlink to the service provider) is more aligned with your budget, and it sounds like they would be a great fit for you!
Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you!
Wishing you all the best 🙂
Stay tuned next week where I’ll show you exactly how you can sell your services with ease through a pricing guide!