This is a great video from Derek Halpern of Social Triggers talking about how to prevent new clients from haggling your rates. He also offers a great script of a response to client requests negotiating your rates down.
We often find ourselves struggling with getting better-paying clients and say ‘Yes’ to those who don’t really appreciate our time, talent and skills. It is hard to let a client go when you’re a freelancer and always need money (who doesn’t?!). However, it makes sense to invest your time into finding better-paying clients, instead of juggling a million of cheap jobs.
Check our my Fstoppers article Choose Your Clients Wisely and watch Derek’s video below.
Don’t get offended if someone tries to get a discount from you – every business deal comes with negotiations. But because your clients try to bargain it does not mean that you have to lower your rates for them.
2. Be Selective
Don’t try to work with everyone. Be selective. Don’t be too available. Derek suggests to put something in these lines on the contact page of your website:
“If you know the value of great retouching, please fill out my contact form – maybe we can work together.
I only have room for 10 clients each month to ensure that I can do my best work for each and every client. So contact me today and we can start the conversation.”
By saying this you’re demonstrating that you will only provide your best job to your clients and because of that you can only take a few new clients each month.
3. Walk Away
Don’t be afraid to lose a client. If someone treats you like you’re a clueless beginner, you should be willing to walk away from such a client. There’s no reason to stay and sacrifice your sanity and time to please someone who doesn’t value your work.
But even if you deter new hagglers from your website, there still will always be someone who will try to get a deal. It is totally alright. Sometimes you may want to do it, and sometimes you may want to use this great response Derek shares with us:
“I know you know the value of good retouching. That’s why you’re looking to work with a professional.
But as you know, I’ve only got so much time in a day and for me to make the price you’re offering work, I’d have to rush through this job. And to be honest, I don’t like to rush through jobs, because the quality of my work may suffer (OR … because I only like to deliver my best work).
If your budget is a problem, I can offer to do something else in that price point, but at this price for what you’re asking, I am unable to do it.
I hope you understand.“
This kind of response reinforces the value of what you do and helps you to re-establishing yourself as a professional. You’re making it clear that you won’t rush through any jobs, and will only offer your best service. But you’re also allowing them to re-visit the volume of the work they are asking you to do for their budget, without having to say just a ‘No’.
Thanks so much, Derek Halpern! Priceless advice for all of us creative professionals.