The Truth About Setting Affordable Rates

setting affordable rates

If I had a dime for every time someone complained that people won’t pay their rates, I’d be rich. Well, not rich exactly, but I’d have a few bucks for Starbucks instead of Dunkin’ Donuts.  What do I tell them? The truth about setting affordable rates.

I tell them it’s because they are focusing on the money. Never, ever focus on the money.

The truth is that people will pay what you’re charging and more to get what they want.  They’ll pay even more to get what they need. What they won’t pay for is something they think they can get cheaper somewhere else.  The minute you start focusing on cost, their brains start thinking about low prices.  It’s not their fault, we’ve been trained to do it.  Sales, discounted prices, going out of business sales, etc. have made us all think about lowering our bottom line when we get ready to buy.

Except for when we don’t.

When is the last time you saw a sale on Amazon?  Ok, forget Prime Day. I already have.  Seriously though, why do we buy from Amazon even when they aren’t necessarily the lowest price out there.  It’s generally one of two reasons:

  1. They have exactly what you need and/or
  2. You get it fast. 2-day shipping for free for Prime members.

Saving a couple of bucks is less important than getting what you need and getting it fast.

Amazon isn’t the only example of course.  Why do people buy luxury automobiles or pay big money for a trip to Disney World?  With the automobile it’s either prestige, quality workmanship, reliability or a combination of all of them.  Disney?  Come on. It’s the magic. It doesn’t get more magical does it. And that smile on your child’s face when they meet their favorite character?  Yeah, it might be expensive but you’d pay it again wouldn’t you?

[bctt tweet=”The cold, hard truth is that selling your services as ‘affordable’ cheapens them immediately. ” username=”TMarieHilton”] After all, what you think is affordable might not be what a potential client or customer thinks is affordable at all.  Selling your services on cost makes getting clients a long, uphill battle that never ends.

Focusing on providing people with something they want and need on the other hand will draw in the kind of folks you truly want to deal with. The kind that are willing to pay for what they need, without a thought as to what kind of deal might be out there somewhere else.

How do you switch gears and go from selling on cost to selling on results?

First, find something that you do that answers a need.  For example, one of the selling points of my website services is that I work hard to make sure the experience of having their website built is as smooth and enjoyable as I can possibly make it.  I’ve always done so, but after hearing time after time from clients how their past experiences were rather nightmarish, I realized that particular detail was something people were willing to pay for.  They wanted someone who communicated promptly without using tons of geek speak. They wanted someone who listened to their needs and didn’t just write them off.  They wanted someone who would take the time to explain why certain color combos didn’t work or why a dancing banana on the sales page wasn’t such a good idea instead of just saying ‘No’.   If you think about it, I bet there is something you do that sets your services apart too.  Find it, and sell it.

Now that you know the truth about setting affordable rates, kick that mindset to the curb. Set yourself apart, show how you are different and most of all, show people how what you offer fits their needs.  You won’t miss the bargain hunters. I promise.

One of my most popular coaching subjects is now available in a self-study course!

The frustration level associated with setting rates is what has made my system for setting prices based on value the most popular topic in my coaching business.  So much so, that I began offering it as a stand-alone session.  It’s also what has led me to offer the same system in this self-study coaching course. 

This is a six-week course that will take you step by step through finding exactly what your value is, teaching you how to set your rates and prices accordingly.  Each lesson is delivered weekly right to your email inbox with access to worksheets and a private chat group where you’ll have direct access to me.


Tina Marie Hilton provides online technology services to forward thinking businesses. She writes on her Tips from T.Marie business blog to share insight and information with other small businesses and entrepreneurs. It also makes her feel like that certificate in creative writing isn't going to waste completely.