How to deal with freelance clients who want discounts
Many of your clients will accept your rates, without asking for any discounts. But some clients will be very price-conscious, or just plain cheap. You can either haggle over prices and work for less than your usual rates, or you can stand firm. This short video shows a polite approach to standing your ground and denying discounts.
- Stay positive when possible. Be friendly and try to emphasise what you can offer, rather than what you can’t. So even if you need to say no to something, try to follow this up with an alternative offer – something to sweeten the bitter pill of disappointment!
- Offer to reduce your costs by doing less work. You and your client may be able to achieve the desired result in less time, or by using a different process. Be willing to discuss different options for meeting the client’s needs.
- Try to remind your clients that your costs relate to your experience. If they want to pay peanuts they can look forward to working with a monkey, or a student.
- Clients who demonstrate a negative or rude attitude in the early stages of the project are likely to be a right royal pain in the ass for the duration of the project. So if a client views your price as a barrier, you may be wise to let that barrier stand, and run the hell away.
- Consider a discount if there is a genuinely good reason for it (charities, payment-in-kind etc). And even then, resist agreeing to a discount on the spot. Ask for a day to consider if you can afford to accept the reduced price.
And that’s about it. The best thing about being freelance is the ‘free’ in freelance. The ‘lance’ just makes me think of boils. Because you’re freelance you can work for pennies if you please – or you can lock down your prices to maintain premium profit margins. You can work for magic beans if it makes you happy. So when you’re faced with a client who wants to haggle, just make sure the deal you agree is good for you.
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