Let’s face it, often the people who need your services the most are the ones that can least afford to pay you.
I encounter this over and over again, and I’ll bet you have, too. I was reminded of that this morning while looking at Facebook. Someone had posted a picture of a T-shirt that said, “Yes, I am a Web Designer. No, I won’t make you a website for free.” (shirt courtesy of zazzle.com)
When you are in this situation, what are some reasonable options?
- You could consider doing a trade for services. This works nicely in some scenarios if both of you have something the other person wants. New business owners often participate in trades in order to get what they want and not have to dole out cash.
- You could donate a portion of your annual work to deserving businesses. Set a philanthropic goal of 5% as give-away. (or whatever amount suits your goals) This is a really cool idea and can fulfill that inner need to do good. It could be giving away a set number of services/products, or a set dollar volume that you would honor for non-profits or other worthy organizations of your choice. Don’t forget to get something in return, though. This is the ideal client that needs to do a testimony and send some paid referrals your way.
- You COULD lower your price for certain extenuating circumstances, although you’ve got to be really careful here. It is so tempting to do that when you know that for just an hour (day, week) of your time, you could save their business (make the pain go away, set them on the right path, solve all of their problems.) This is basically not a good option. Your pricing should not be low enough that everyone can afford you. Having said that, there may be times when it seems okay to reduce your rates for a good friend or in a situation where this was a first level solution and the follow on business could be huge.
- You could offer fewer services as a starter solution for a lower price. When you go for the close and the response is, “I can’t afford it,” then your response could be, “I can create a smaller solution for a smaller fee. Which services are the most important for you to start with?” Then rip out some of the things you were going to do and reprice a smaller package.
- You can refer this prospect to someone else who has a lower price point (and does good work). That way everyone wins. As you move up the food chain, your exposure will be greater and everyone will want to hire you (or buy your products.) Give a hand to someone else that needs the work and is more in alignment with the pricing structure your prospect is after.
What are some other ways that you can think of?