Discounting Your Fees Hurts Your Business Brand - Abby Locke

Discounting Your Fees Hurts Your Business Brand

We have all been there before. Yes, even with the best consultant, coach or solopreneur—probably more than once.

You have a great sales conversation with an excited prospect, only to hear, “That sounds great, but I can’t afford it. Can you offer me a one-time discount?

What do you do? For a lot of consultants, their first response is to lower their fees (which in most cases is already too low).

Why do they do that? Often, this is the conversation that goes on in their heads. This person really needs my help and if I do a great job, she/he will refer their friends and colleagues to me and I will end up getting great business.

Makes sense right? Well, it’s wrong…very wrong. This is what actually happens when you lower your fees just to land the client. The client realizes that you can be persuaded easily and will either push for more discounts and freebies or overstep boundaries on your time and availability.

You wind up resentful, your service delivery suffers and you are left wondering why you aren’t earning what you deserve

Avoid dropping your fees on a whim to appeal to a client. Doing so devalues your services, attracts clients who can be needy and less committed and worse, makes you feel terrible later.

Make the sale and protect your value proposition

Now, I’m not saying you can never offer special deals or quick decision savings (as I like to call them). But change your approach and explore how you can still provide value in a MODIFIED consulting package, program or solution.

Create value-based offerings that fit their budget

If your consulting package offers 4 things for a monthly fee of $1,000, but your prospect can only afford $800, decide together what a “slimmed down” package would look like for $800. It’s a true win-win for you and the client.

Maximize your expertise and input while leveraging your personal time 

The same approach is effective for coaching or service-based business as well. If you are strictly using an hourly fee (which I don’t recommend) see how you can cut back on your in-person/onsite hours while still providing value.

Next time you’re asked to lower your fees or offer big discounts, evaluate how you can provide value in a modified solution that makes financial sense for you and still keeps your clients happy.

It really works and in many cases, the client will not want a modified or “slimmed down” solution, so he/she ends up accepting your original offer.

Remember the final decision to purchase your consulting services lies with the clients…if they want what you bring to the table, they will make it happen.

  • When was the last time you offered a discount for your consulting services? What prompted you to do it?
  • Did you feel it was the only way to land the client or did you feel uncomfortable asking for what you’re worth?