It has happened to me several times. I’m pretty sure it has happened to every coach and service provider at one time or another too!
After a lengthy discussion with your prospective client, you offer a proposal or contract, only to have your potential client respond with, “That sounds great, but I can’t afford it. Your rates are too high!
What do you do?
For a lot of entrepreneurs, their first response is to lower their rate. After all, they reason, she really does need my help and I need clients. Plus it is good karma, and she’ll talk about me with her friends, and refer business to me later.
Maybe she will … and if she does, that is wonderful! More likely than not, what you end up with is a client who takes far too much of your time, for less money than you deserve. You wind up resentful, and wondering why you aren’t earning the living you know you’re capable of.
Sound familiar? (I know we’ve all had clients/customers like this!)
The bottom line is that your expenses will still be the same, the time you spend working for her will be the same, however, your client income will be less.
I want you to make a promise to yourself right now that you will never again lower your rates to appeal to a client. It is not a good business practice. Doing so devalues your services, makes the client less likely to follow through, and worse, makes you feel terrible later.
Now, I’m not saying you can never offer special deals for your clients. I do want you to change how those offers are made.
Here is what you do:
Let’s just say that your coaching package includes:
- 1 45-minute call per month
- 1 email per day
- 1 in-person meeting per quarter
- 1 mastermind retreat per year
So your potential client claims she can’t afford your asking price of $1,000 per month, rather than offering to reduce the price, you offer to reduce the price and the package.
So the offer you make to her now includes everything BUT the mastermind retreat. Or everything BUT the in-person meeting every quarter.
You have not lowered your rates so far that you feel used, but at the same time, you’ve worked with her to create a plan she can afford. It’s a true win-win for both of you.
The same technique can be used for any type of coach or service provider unless you’re charging strictly by the hour. If that’s the case, take a look at how you can reduce the number of hours you need to invest while still providing value.
For example, rather than offering four one-hour calls, change your plan to just two calls, with email follow-ups. She’ll still get plenty of value, and you’ll free up some time by inviting email questions rather than blocks of time on the phone.
Next time you’re asked to reduce your rates for anything, take a close look at how you can also reduce the work you’ll be doing. That way you’ll never feel as if you’ve been taken advantage of, and your clients will still get great service.
If you have specific questions on how to do this or what to say, please leave a comment below.