[Special thanks to The Gritty VA for making me aware of this great video that I think all business owners should watch.]
Did you watch the video on the right? If not, this post will make a lot more sense if you do.
If you’re like me, after watching, you sat back and thought, “Wow.” Wow what?
Wow, I never realized what I was saying about my business, my services and my value by allowing ‘negotiating’ of my rates and policies. And I’m sure I’m not the only business to business service that finds themselves doing the same thing. In fact, I’m sure that even some of my fantastic clients have found themselves in situations where a potential client has tried to renegotiate their rates. Or had a current client voice concern over charges or the length of time it took to complete something in an attempt to lower the bottom line.
As you watch the people in the video trying to lower the price of a dinner they already consumed, a DVD they want to purchase and my favorite, getting highlights that they don’t have to pay for until they figure out if they like them or want them again, you know that it’s highly unlikely these particular scenarios would ever occur. People would realize it was ridiculous to even think of. Yet these same people think nothing of asking a service provider for a free trial period, special ‘deals’ where they only pay a portion of the invoice with the rest due the next time they use you (if that ever happens) or a reduction in rates because they don’t think the work is ‘that’ difficult to warrant what you’re asking for.
What really made me sit up and notice is the fact that at times when I’ve had potential clients approach me with these type of ‘deals’, instead of reacting like the business people in the video and insisting upon the payment due, I’ve actually negotiated and made special exceptions. And I called it good customer service.
The funny thing is, none of the folks I made special arrangements for ended up becoming regular clients. And I think now I know why. By allowing them to negotiate, I ended up de-valuing my services and the worth of what I do. Maybe it was unfair of them to think they could talk me into lowering my price, yet I made the ultimate choice to agree to them. I allowed their words to make me doubt what I know to be a fair market price on my services, skills and experience.
Are you doing the same in your business? We are always going to come across people who think we charge too much or took to much time to do that ‘simple’ project. But if you think about, the reason they are looking for someone to do the job is because they can’t or don’t want to do it themselves. How much is that worth to them?
These same people don’t blink at paying $20 or more for delivery of a pizza that will be consumed with nothing but the possibility of heartburn and a few extra pounds in return. How much more valuable are the services that we provide to them? Don’t let these ‘negotiators’ make you doubt the value of what you provide. Remember, they are coming to you for a reason, and if they aren’t willing to pay you what you’re worth, they aren’t the right type of clients for your business.
I’m sure someone is going to say, “Well isn’t that just good customer service?” That’s what I used to tell myself too. Good customer service is providing your clients with great service, going above and beyond at times when you need to, not letting clients determine what your rates are.