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How many times has this happened to you:
You sweat and slave over a copywriting proposal. Finally, you get an email from the client. Success! They want to work with you!
And then you read, “Your copywriting rates are too high. We were planning to spend about half that amount. Can you bring your price down?”
Now, you’ve got a dilemma. Should you discount your copywriting rates and get money in the door? Or should you hold fast to your price and possibly lose the gig?
It’s easy to get in panic mode and immediately offer the discount. But that may not be the best idea. Here’s why:
– Reducing your copywriting rates reduces the value. Let’s say that you charge $250 per page – and the client wants to pay $150 per page. If you meet your prospect’s price, you’re telling them, “I was padding my bid by $100 a page. $150 is the true value.” Not the best first impression.
– An initial rate reduction makes it hard to charge full price later. After all, if the client got you for $150 a page, why would they pay $250? Would YOU pay an additional $100 a page if you knew that you didn’t have to? Yeah. I didn’t think so.
– It’s easy to resent your low-paying clients. And by “resent,” I mean “flake out because you have bigger, better-paying jobs.” The client feels burned because they know that they aren’t a priority — and you feel burned because you’re doing the work for less money. Think this won’t happen to you? It can (and probably will.)
Fortunately, there’s a way to handle this situation so your client feels heard – and you get paid what you’re worth. Here’s how:
– Are you bidding on a large project? Offer a small discount if the client pays the contract up front. This solution is a nice win/win for all. The prospect gets the discount they want – and you get a big check before you start!
(You DO get a deposit before you start work, right? If not, you’ll want to check out this video.)
– Offer to eliminate a deliverable from the agreement. Rather than reducing your copywriting rates, you could slice a page from the agreement, or reduce the consultation time. This strategy brings down the cost without having to slice your rates.
– Just say no. Sometimes, the only thing you can do is explain to the client, “Because of the time it would take to complete your project – and the experience I bring to the table – I have to keep the cost as-is. Are you sure that we can’t work something out? I have had many prospects come back with, “We want to work with you, so I guess your rate is OK.” Whew!
And if you do need to walk away, that’s fine. You know you’ll land another client soon – plus, get paid your full rate!
What about you? How do you handle it when a prospect requests a discount? Is there any time when you will offer a price reduction?