11 Aug

3 Reasons Clients Try To Negotiate On Price & How To Avoid Unwise Price-Cutting During The Pandemic

Life coach contemplating price negotiations for client.

As a professional and business owner, it’s important that you know your worth and the worth of your services. Understand that what you are offering has the potential to transform the trajectory of someone’s life and such a transformation is worth every penny. So the wise business owner knows that it is important to price your services and products accordingly.

But doing so in a marketplace that feels fluid and ever-changing can be hard. Discounts or coupons, lowered prices, and payment plans are some of the many ways that anxious coaches and healers are addressing the COVID market.

Is it the right move to make for your business? That’s the important question on the table. Experts who reduce prices run the challenging gamut of needing more clients to pay their bills. In a winter economy that feels mired in scarcity, is this the wisest approach?

The answer is sometimes. But not all the time.

Knowing what you bring to the table in terms of expertise and services means not lowering your price to accommodate clients who are not a part of your target demographic or don’t see it’s value. You are not trying to sell to everyone. But you are trying to sell to the “right” few.

Regardless of COVID-19 and the complicated circumstances this global pandemic has brought to our lives, your business needs to remain committed to your “avatar” or your ideal client. Their needs and their motivation for change is the bedrock of your business.

When you lose sight of this and start adjusting your pricing, your business can experience a freefall. The clarity needed to stop this bleeding is hard to find when you lose sight of who your clients truly are.

Set your goal for the future wisely by committing to selling your services to a select few who will become loyal clients.

You know this, but let me remind you. Over time when the work is done right, these same clients will recommend you to their like-minded friends and family. Their success will become a marketing referral source for you because they are living examples of what it is like to work with you and to benefit from your expertise.

When a client inquires about your services, remember that they are not only getting your product or a consultation. They are receiving your years of experience and knowledge for a fraction of the amount of time it took you to acquire it. That is why the price is so important. Because your price is a statement of your worth.  It is a statement of your brand’s promise to your clients and what they will gain from working with you.

But, pricing has to be managed thoughtfully or you can lose precious time trying to negotiate with every client.

And in life, the one thing you do not have enough of is time.

Remember that the extraordinary benefits you bring to your clients include the shortcut to healing that they learn through your coaching, counseling, or programs. They don’t have to go through the training you did to learn it. They get to experience it through the lens of their own life, leveraging your wisdom and knowledge about how things work in the real world.

They learn from you the pitfalls to success, the barriers to freedom and personal expression, and the wise path to success. That is the value you bring to the table in any client relationship. And, it’s often not discussed in a consultation or sales exchange.

So why discount your offers?

The only truly good reason to do so is because your values tell you that it’s the right thing to do.

When you work with a client who is struggling and needs your services but cannot afford it the way it is priced, that client will tell you. Price is the last thing that should stop anyone from saying yes. If the financial challenge is truly there, clients will push you to figure out how they can work with you. The sales exchange is different than you trying to convince someone you’re right for them.

In all other circumstances, price is just one more item on the negotiating table.

If you’re wondering why potential clients are trying to negotiate the price with you, consider the reasons below:

  1. Your marketing strategy is ineffective.

One of the main reasons clients try to negotiate pricing is because what you offer them is being poorly marketed. Marketing is key for any expert or business owner to establish both their brand and credibility. It manages your perception among them which helps generate sales. You have to give a client a reason to want to pay your fees and provide them with tangible details why working with you is a smart investment.

That doesn’t mean you have to have 5-star ratings on Google My Business, but it doesn’t hurt. Some industries, healing fields are certainly included here, do not lend themselves easily to getting reviews, ratings, or testimonials. So you have to give this information in a different way. This is where carefully crafted marketing copy, program details, and the connection to “why this product and why now” comes in.

If a client does not fully understand what your services or products are meant to do, they will be reluctant to pay the full price. Good marketing keeps them from having these questions or reservations and bring them to the table to work with you regardless of price or fee. The desire for the “results” motivates their actions.

  1. Your prices aren’t within the range of your market.

Another reason clients aren’t willing to pay full price is that your services are overpriced. To keep this from occurring, it’s important that you do your research on how your competitors are pricing their services so you have a proper estimate of what people are paying for the services you offer.

You may have done an exercise like this when you first launched your business, but because of COVID-19, it’s wise to do this again. Ask around and see what colleagues are charging. How have they approached discounts? Where are their client inquiries coming from? What details are they sharing in their ads, or other marketing to reach clients that create opportunities for connection, discovery calls, or intake calls?

As an Expert, it’s important that your price is competitive and within the range of your market to understand where the necessary “wiggle room” is for your clients. This will help deepen your understanding of how your overall marketing needs to adjust due to the times.  Another big part of this equation…

  1. Finally, you’re being tested to see if you’re willing to bargain.

Some clients are more than capable of paying the full price of your services twice over, but they won’t if they can get it cheaper. If the perception is in the marketplace that you are willing to lower your prices, potential clients will ask you to do so. No one wants to pay full price. There is nothing wrong with this basic human fact, but, it’s up to you to be clear about what you’re willing to do and where your pricing boundaries lie.

The simple exercise here is to write out your pricing and ask yourself under what circumstances you would lower the rate? What can you afford to do the work for and for how long? What does a prospect have to share with you to get this reduced rate? In other words, what qualifies them to get this reduction? Get clear about the “terms” and then practice saying this to someone. For many people, saying no is the hard part. And you’ll never be comfortable with it without practice.

Finally, be clear with yourself what consequences you’re OK accepting. Sometimes, telling someone, “I’m sorry but that’s as low as I can go” means they say no. If that were to happen, would you be OK with it? If not, then you have more “wiggle room” than you previously thought.

Sales, sales negotiation, and pricing are tough for many people. But like all things in life, it begins with a simple assessment of your worth and the value you bring to your client relationships.

The next time a client wants to negotiate prices, don’t shy away from the discussion. Just as they have a right to ask for a cheaper price, you have the right to decline that offer. Not everyone is meant to be your client, but when you do this right, even the no’s start to feel like wins.

Related articles to help your business during COVID-19:

How To Market Your Business With A Sensitive Hand & Stay Afloat (COVID-19 Times & Beyond)

5 Strategies High-Performance Execs Use To Manage The Impact COVID-19 Is Having On Their Business That You Should Emulate Right Now

3 Reasons Your SEO Strategy For Articles Is Falling Flat & How To Reinvigorate It Today

Best Work-Life Balance Tips For Working From Home During COVID-19 (Because You Need A Weekend)

25 Quotes To Help You Overcome COVID-19 Fears By Remembering How People Have Thrived Through Tough Times Before

If you struggle with sales, either closing them or the marketing, branding, or lead acquisition to find the right clients, we can help you. YourTango Experts is the only marketing consulting service exclusively for healers, counselors, and heart-centered businesses. We can help you find your balance and equilibrium with sales so your pricing reflects your worth and attracts clients who truly need your help. Let us help you by reaching out for a private consultation about your business today.