Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thanks, but No Thanks

This week I did something that completely went against what I felt compelled to do. Even though it was was difficult, I know I did the right thing. I turned down a potential client because they refused to pay my quoted rate.

Okay, let me back up a bit – I HAVE turned clients away before for trying to convince me to practically do projects for nothing. I do have SOME pride. But I'll admit - I’ve been known to lower my rates because I believed a bird in the hand is better than no bird at all. Not any more.

I have taken a lot of time to set fair rates based on my experience, my knowledge, ability and desire to provide clients with real value. My services and skills are evolving as I continue to learn as much as I can about online marketing strategies, direct response, SEO and improve my writing skills. I have researched industry rates, the rates for my niche and settled on a very fair pricing structure for my services. And it has worth.

It’s tempting to cut your rates when you need work, but you send a message to your client that they shouldn’t be expected to pay well for response driven content that produces the results that will help them make more money. That doesn't make much sense.

There’s nothing wrong with giving out a special discount now and then, but you shouldn’t feel pressured into lowering your rates. I wouldn’t ask my ophthalmologist, dentist or local dry cleaning service to lower their prices. If I don’t believe I’m worth what I charge, who will?


Lori said...

Way to go, Kim! How's it feel? Sometimes a good business decision means making a tough choice to stand by your rates.

I've done it, too. I'm all for giving when I can and feel it's worth it, but lowering them too much sets a precedent I'm not willing to support.

Kimberly Ben said...

Thanks, Lori. Not knowing when to say "no" has definitely been a weakness of mine. I'm getting better about establishing limits in business and sticking to them.

Jean said...

Good for you, Kim. A new client of mine just yesterday asked me for a deep discount for bulk work. I told him -- fingers shaking from nervousness as I typed, because this would be a TON of work -- that my bulk rates were such and so. Firm.

Three hours later, he came back: We've had such bad luck with cheaper writers, your skills are way up there (I'd done one article for him at my usual rate). We'll go with you and your "high" rate.

A part of me wanted to cave and take the lower rate before I told him of my "high" bulk rate, but I stood my ground. So now I have a good client AND rates I'm happy with.

It feels great.

I know there will be someday I will need to walk away, just as you did. So far, each time I've said, well, actually, THIS is my rate, they've all gone with it (except for one smarmy guy, but he wanted $5 per and his attitude was amazingly snide.)

Keep it up! You ARE worth every single penny you charge. (I really liked your dentist/cleaners analogy.)


Kimberly Ben said...

Thanks, Jean! And congrats right back at cha for remaining firm about what you charge too! It really is nerve wracking when you first stand up for what you're charging and have to tell a prospect, "This is the rate. Take it or leave it." I've learned the hard way that every project that comes my way is not ideal.

I really appreciate your support and kind words. Wishing you much success.:-)

Designed by Lena