In today’s economy, it’s tempting to lower your fees to win business. But doing so will bring you more trouble and heartache than it’s worth. Read on to learn three reasons why you don’t want to be the lowest price, and what you can do instead to win clients you love.
1. It sets a precedent for a dissatisfied and demanding client. When you’re the lowest price designer, or if you discount to win the business, you’re setting an expectation with your client that you’ll always charge this price. Even if you feel the rate is lower than they could possibly get anywhere else, your client will feel differently. You’ve set the bar for what you charge, and if you try to change it in the future, be prepared for a backlash from a very dissatisfied client. And remember, dissatisfied clients will tell four times more people about you than satisfied clients.
2. It teaches your client to de-value you. The less something costs, the less value people perceive. Conversely, the more something costs, the more value people perceive. Would you prefer your clients to place a high value on your services or a low value?
3. It attracts Nightmare Clients. People who select a designer because they’re the lowest price are penny pinchers, and more often than not, turn out to be nightmare clients. In other words, they are not your Ideal Client. Moreover, when you take on penny pinchers, you attract more of them. Is this how you want to build your business…attracting clients who don’t value what you do? The clients you take on today are like the bricks you use to build your business of tomorrow.
So what should you do? Here are five things you can do instead to win your Ideal Clients:
1. Know what makes you different. First and foremost, you need to know what makes you different. Why should your client hire you over everyone else? What is your Unique Value, or how can you uniquely solve your client’s problem? If everyone sounds the same, your client has no choice but to choose the lowest price…it only makes sense, right? When you can answer these questions and use the right words, your Ideal Clients will HEAR you and HIRE you.
2. Build value. Your goal as a designer needs to be to maximize your value to your client, because the more value they perceive, the more they’ll pay for your services – period. When you demonstrate that you truly understand them and their goals, how you are uniquely qualified to help them achieve their goals, and help them picture themselves experiencing the finished result, you’ve won yourself a client.
3. Work on your mindset. There is nothing else that will contribute more to your success than having the right mindset. Oftentimes, designers charge less than they’re worth because they don’t have confidence in themselves; they were raised with beliefs like money doesn’t grow on trees, and other limiting thoughts. You need to identify the beliefs that are not supporting your goals and re-frame them, and I teach my clients to re-frame them by using what I call Magic Mindset Shifters.
4. Give them a unique experience. There’s been a distinct shift in consumer behavior from paying for ‘things’ to paying for ‘experiences’. So if you make working with you a unique experience for your client, they will perceive more value and not only choose you over other designers, but they’ll pay you more for it, too.
5. Give them more value that they pay for. The best way to not only win but serve clients is to strive to give them more value than you charge, so your client feels they’re getting more value from you than from anyone else. You do that by applying the four suggestions above.
For more information, attend a free presentation, “Discover the Secret Formula to STAND OUT from Other Designers & Communicate Your Value So Your Prospects Are Willing To Pay TOP DOLLAR For Your Services!” from Design Success University. Click here for more information.
Maria Bayer, the Authentic Sales Coach for Design Success University, shows interior designers how to take charge of their clients and make more money without being salesy.
Gail Doby, ASID co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of Design Success University