If you’ve been in business longer than a minute, you’ve likely had a potential client or customer tell you that you charge too much. Or, you might be wondering yourself, “Is my price too high?” But not to worry – today we’re talking about two things you absolutely need to consider before you’re faced with that situation. So, if you aren’t sure how to respond when someone tells you that your prices are too high, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started.
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Price Too High? 2 Things to Consider When Pricing Your Business Services
So then, why is he still getting so push back on his prices? Well, you can bet it’s not from the people who work with him regularly. Nope. It’s from people outside of his sphere that have worked with others in the past, possibly not gotten the result they wanted, and are now looking for a new electrician to work with. They want it done within their budget and on their time frame.
And why am I discussing an electrician – that’s not even a mom – running his business? Well, because I wanted you to see that even a thriving business, one with a schedule of clients so full that it’s saying no more than it’s saying yes, will have outside opposition to the cost of services AND inside opposition in the form of feelings of inadequacy, etc, related to raising prices of existing services.
So, take a deep breath in and let it out slowly – because you aren’t the only one that struggles with this.
Now we are going to leave the topic of raising prices behind because that’s more than enough for a whole series of podcast episodes…and who knows, those might just surface in the near future. But for today, let’s go ahead and chat about two things I want YOU – in your business – to consider if someone is telling you your prices are too high.
Consideration #1: What’s Their Motivation?
The first thing you should consider if someone is telling you that your price is too high is whether they are coming at you from an “I can get this same service somewhere else for a lot less” mentality, or a legitimate “I want to work with you, but I just can’t afford it” mentality. Trust me, those are two very different things. Let’s dig into it a little deeper, starting with the, “I can get this same service somewhere else for a lot less” opposition.
No matter what industry you are in, unless you are legitimately charging rock bottom prices – which you shouldn’t be – then they are right. They can get a similar service for less than what you charge.
In my case, I design websites to help people attract more clients online. I’m not the least expensive option out there, but there are definitely ways to get a less expensive website should they want one.
So, if that’s the case, why should they work with me and pay the more expensive price tag? Well, when they work with me – they get ME. They get a website designer that knows the ins and outs of the website itself, coupled with someone who knows content marketing strategy – who understands how to use that website to get leads and convert them to paying clients. They pay for my knowledge and experience. Because it’s so much more than just HAVING a website – it’s about USING that website to achieve those business goals.
So, how do you respond when someone says they can get it cheaper elsewhere? My favorite way to approach this is to agree with them. That catches people off guard. Then, I make sure to lay out what they should expect from anyone else they interview for the job. Why? Because I know that if I’m running into this type of opposition, it’s likely they don’t understand that having the task completed is one thing, but getting a long term result is another. So, I want them to be very aware of what to look for as they are weighing their options.
…and it works. I can’t tell you how many people come back to me willing to engage my services after realizing that no one stacks up to the results that I told them they should have.
The second category of opposition is the, “I want to work with you, but I just can’t afford it”.
Before we jump too deep into this one – because it could be a full podcast episode all of it’s own, I just want you to know that it’s 100% okay that someone can’t afford your service.
“It’s okay that someone can’t afford my service.”
Repeat that with me: “It’s okay that someone can’t afford my service.”
So, before you get bent out of shape that you have “priced yourself over someone’s head”, just don’t. Because there will always be people who can’t afford what you are offering and that’s okay.
There is another group, though, that honestly wants to work with you. Because of that, they will make sacrifices to make it happen, if necessary. I’ve had this happen a lot over the past few years of business, and most recently with a mom who engaged my services at the beginning of the summer. She wanted to have a full website redesign, but money was tight and she asked if I offered a payment plan. I do, by the way, but it’s a pay ahead payment plan that allows people to essentially make payments for three months and then I complete the website for them. And, it works in my business. Because people want to save their spot for three months out – because I fill up fast.
So there are some options for you if someone says they can’t afford to work with you.
- You can offer them some sort of payment plan – whether that’s a before the work happens or after the work happens option.
- You can tell them you understand and look forward to working with them when they are able to make that commitment.
- You can point them to your free resources, if you have any, so they can learn in the meantime and you can stay front of mind until they are willing or able to make that commitment.
Now, a little caveat here. I never try to talk someone into spending money they don’t have on a service I offer. I know a lot of people use that tactic, but I don’t find it sits well with me when others use it on me, so I don’t do it to my potential clients either. Why? Because I respect them too much. I respect them if they need to run their financial decisions by their spouse. I respect them if they say no or no for now. I respect them if they say that they would like to engage my services but will need some time to get some money together. I respect that. Because we are all working to make the best decisions for our businesses AND our families. And sometimes a “best decision” is one that doesn’t look like the decision someone else would make. And that’s okay.
Offer the options you have and then respect their decision. They’ll appreciate you for it.
So the first thing to take into consideration when someone says you charge too much for your services is “What’s their motivation?”. Which brings us to the second consideration which is: “What’s the trade off for you?”.
Consideration #2: What’s the Trade Off For YOU?
A lot of times when someone attacks our pricing, we take it personally – especially as women who have put our all into growing a business that takes time away from our spouses, families, and friends. Then to have someone tell us that we charge TOO MUCH – the nerve of them!
I just want to take a couple of moments to encourage you right here right now. Because here’s the deal – you are charging money for your service. A service that takes your time, your energy, and likely takes your attention away from your family, home and friends at times. There’s a trade off. Yes, even if you are a stay-at-home mama with no childcare, there’s still a cost to your time. You are losing sleep, forgetting that load of laundry in the washer for the fifth time, and canceling on girls night out – all with the end goal in mind of creating an additional income that will benefit you and your family long-term.
So what’s your time worth?
For me, recognizing that trade off made a complete difference when it came to my confidence in my service pricing and in dealing with opposition. Why? Because, while I absolutely LOVE what I do, meetings with clients, website designs, consulting, all of the things takes time away from something else I could be doing. Knowing that, I’m 100% okay walking away from someone who doesn’t value my time or the result I can get them. Because my time is valuable. SO valuable.
…and so is yours. Just ask that little person that wants to read a book with you before nap time. Or the teenager that loves to see her mama in the bleachers at her game.
Your time is valuable. What are you willing to trade for it?
Take Action: Plan Ahead for Opposition
And that brings us to the action part of this episode and I don’t know about you – but I’m feeling like I got a little choked up at the end of that last consideration thinking about how much we can trade off without even thinking about it. Eeek. Anyways, you know me…I’m a huge proponent of taking action, because action is where the dreams turn into the reality.
TODAY’S ACTION STEP: While everything we chatted about today is important and I hope you’ll implement it all within your business, if you only do one thing today, I want you to create a plan for what you’ll say to someone on a client call if they say that they WANT to work with you, but can’t afford it at this time. How will you serve them? Will you offer a payment plan? Will you send them to your free resources until such time as they can come back and actually afford your service? How will you respond? Because even if that person can’t work with you right now, he or she will remember how you responded. They’ll share that with other people and, more than likely, they’ll be back to engage your services.
You can write that response briefly on a post it note and stick it to your computer or the outside of your planner or wherever you’ll be most likely to see it when you need it.
And then use it!
Now, I know from personal experience that I am more likely to accomplish what I set out to do if I am accountable to someone. So DM me on Instagram @ sarahlbrumley and let me know what you came up with so that I can cheer you on throughout the process. Because, mama, I am cheering you on.