A Simple Way To Stop Clients From Rejecting Your Proposals
Posted October 21, 2008 in Business, Marketing
Just lost a potential client because they can’t afford you?
You’re not alone — we’ve all been there. But in these troubled times, letting a potential client slip through your fingers isn’t something you want to risk again, let alone experience.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep a window-shopping prospect looking at your services and (more importantly) get them to sign on the dotted line.
Read more to find out how.
The Secret: Remove The Prospect’s Price Objections
Taking the time to work up a quote, only to have it rejected immediately as out of budget, is frustrating to say the least. This emotion-draining event isn’t something you want happening to you, so you’re going to take control of the situation by giving the prospect choices — specifically, three choices.
Those choices will be service level options (different price points that represent different levels of professional services) that your prospect can weigh and consider. When you do this, you take conversation away from “Can I afford this?” and redirect it towards “How much can I afford?” Remember, the prospect wants to spend some level of money, and you would prefer they spend it with you.
How To Lay Out Your Service Level Options
When asked for a quote, you want to request that the client give you little bit of information about what they are looking for. They may start out by saying “I need a logo” but after a little bit of conversation reveal that what they really need is a tagline, a press kit, and stationary/business card. The task they are sourcing may be only part of a larger project, and that information can help you frame your offer.
Once you have that information, you can begin working on your three tier quote, which will ultimately look something like this:
- Basic Package: Include the bare minimum here, at the lowest price point you can comfortably stomach. Don’t reduce your rates — rather, reduce the service you are providing so that the client’s minimum base needs are met. For example, a basic package may have a very limited number of revisions to reflect the lower price.
- Professional Package: Here’s where you’ll give your quote for what you think the client really wants, at the price which feels good for you. Include information on the heightened level of services included, but don’t go overboard. This package reflects the level of service you prefer to give to a typical customer.
- Premium Package: In this package, you’ll throw in the additional services and premium-level perks that you’re willing to charge more for. Perhaps this might include additional revisions, or two hours of pre-project consultation, or a follow-up package. Whatever services you want to throw in to boost the total package price, include it here.
Why This Takes The Stress Off Of Both Of You
Tiered packaging makes life easier for both you and the prospect. You don’t have to stress about whether you’ll be rejected outright, and they have choices to select from, rather than a take-it-or-leave-it scenario. In fact, a prospect may have an elevated view of you based on the fact that most other freelancers will simply give a price quote, while you show a greater understanding of their potential needs.
Tiered Pricing Protects Your Rates (And Professional Dignity)
You don’t want to have to lower your rates just to land a gig — that smacks of desperation, and once a client gets a taste of that, they move in for the kill. Forcing your prospect to have to choose a service level — rather than haggling on rates — lets you preserve your professional self-image while still giving them options to pay more or less depending on their budget.
How To Make Money Even When Your Quote Is Rejected
At some point, you will find clients who simply have to pass on your services because your minimum is still more than they can pay — but that doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on the party. Keep a list of trusted freelancers on hand who charge substantially less than you do and offer to manage a contract for the prospect. They may be willing to provide you with a firm budget at this point (since they were told you were outside it) and be interested in handing off this time-consuming search to you. Outsource the project to your contacts, and take a well-deserved percentage from the now-satisfied client.
The economy may be taking a hit — but you don’t have to take one for the team. Use tiered pricing to land more clients, and outsourcing to handle the ones you can’t afford to work on directly. This will create a win-win situation that keeps your freelance income flowing, no matter what the financial weather brings.
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