When the prospect doesn’t have enough money…

I can tell, from the many messages I've received from CFC attendees since the conference ended on August 28, that the high of inspiration has started to dissipate and what has followed is a sense of overwhelm — not knowing where to begin or what to do first with all the information and new ideas they've brought back.

That's why, in the bonus wrap-up webcast I gave yesterday, my goal was to calm everyone down and help put the focus on the most important tasks, which I broke out into 4 areas: Follow up, Marketing, Pricing and Running Your Business.

I especially wanted to make sure no one had forgotten one of the golden nuggets that came from Petrula Vrontikis' presentation, "What Will Your Freelance Business Be When It Grows Up."

Petrula told us exactly what to say when your client's budget is too low. Instead of slashing your prices, you say to them, "I'm sorry but you haven't allocated enough resources to this project." This implies quite clearly that the reason you can't do it for that price is not because of your high prices but because of their budget.

Has anyone tried using this yet? And if so, how's it going?

4 thoughts on “When the prospect doesn’t have enough money…

  1. Jerry Ross

    I didn’t attend the CFC, but heard this recommendation before. When we face this situation and use this response we have had good success. One time a check and signed contract arrived in the mail a year after we provided an estimate. The client had saved the money and was ready to do the project.
    Other times we have setup payment plans for the client and we release the final product once the final payment is made.
    Jerry Ross
    Fabian | Ross Creative

  2. Carlos Castellanos

    Great approach to a very common problem, Thanks for sharing.
    Web Design Agency,
    That’s a really good question and I hear that quite a bit from a lot of creative freelancers that I speak to.
    I’m sure Ilise has some very valuable insights to add here and I look forward to her response.
    An approach I’ve used with much success is to ask a few additional questions that help me and my client identify what’s of most value and importance to them. For example:
    • How will you benefit from having this project done…
    • What’s most important to you about this project…
    • What’s the end result you most want to accomplish…
    These types of questions do several things. It helps you identify where the client places value and gets them to verbalize those values and benefits. You can then move forward addressing how working with you will accomplish each of those objectives most important to them.
    While it’s true many clients are more price sensitive in today’s economy, they are also more value conscious. BTW- value does not = lowest price. There are many clients out there that are ready, willing and able to pay higher fees for products and services if shown the value and benefits most important to THEM will be addressed and achieved by working with you.
    Though, at the core, I think the bigger issue is one of “message to market ” and business positioning. That is to say, how you are presenting your marketing message combined with the market you’re delivering it to and where that positions you in relationship to your competition. I know, I know, it’s a bunch of marketing speak, however…
    If ALL of my clients were trying to low ball me, it would seem to me that perhaps there is something in my marketing material (my message) that is responsible for attracting these people to me. Wrong message to market.
    Conversely, I may have the right message, but addressing the wrong market.
    Ilise has a whole slew of very useful and actionable resources here that will help in achieving your objectives.
    I apologize for the long post. I sincerely hope it helps.
    Carlos Castellanos