When a Client Asks If You Can Go Lower in Price, What Do You Do?
Questions from the Tank
By Fernando Camacho
We’ve all been there…a client or potential customer wants a discount, or they say they can’t afford your pricing and ask you to give them a lower price.
This probably seems like an easy one if you’re a veteran business owner with lots of clients and plenty of revenue; however, for the new or struggling business, it’s not so easy to know the right way to handle this. On the one hand, you need the business, but on the other hand, you don’t want to devalue your services. My advice is, no matter what the situation, never ever lower your prices for individual customers…ever.
First you need to understand who the customers are you’re trying to serve, then set your pricing and service offerings to reflect that part of the market. Once you have that set, you stick to it and don’t try to take care of people who fall outside of your ideal customer avatar.
If you get talked into lowering your price for one client, what does that say to your other clients who are paying more? That’s not fair to all your good, full-price-paying customers. Also, people who want discounts tend to be horrible long-term customers. Those are the people that will complain the most and nickel-and-dime you every step of the way. Those are not the customers you want.
If you lower your price for this one customer—just this one time—you’re opening yourself up to people haggling with you forever. Instead, be intentional about your services, the value they profile and the price of those services, then understand that you are worth it. You deserve to be paid for what you do, so don’t let any one customer make you feel like you don’t deserve to get paid for the services you provide.
I firmly believe that you are constantly training your customers how to treat your business. If you make exceptions and allow people to guilt you into undercutting your prices, you’ll be setting yourself up for lots more of that in the future. And we both know that you don’t want that.
Often we’re afraid to turn people away, not wanting to lose even one customer, but by turning away a customer who can’t really afford you is the best long-term business move you can make. Taking in customers who are not the right fit will only cause you lots of stress and issues in the future…just like taking in dogs that are not the right fit.
Create your service offerings, pick your price point and be consistent with it. If someone really needs a lower price, refer them to your lower-priced competitors. That’s the fairest thing you can do for everyone involved and the way to build a solid, long-term business.
Questions for this column come from the Facebook group “The Dog Daycare Business Think Tank” and are answered by Fernando Camacho (Fern). Fern runs Overdog Digital, a digital marketing agency specializing in working with dog daycare and boarding facilities. He does private business consulting, staff training and helps pet businesses utilize modern resources to expand their customer base and grow their businesses. Fern is also the author of six books and is a speaker at national conferences and private events. To join the group or ask a question, go to: www.facebook.com/groups/dogdaycarethinktank