(This post first appeared on my blog, Content is Queen Blogger)
Who doesn’t love a good bargain?
I think most people enjoy the idea of a great deal. But what is a bargain worth?
It depends which side you are on.
If you are the one seeking a bargain, is a bargain worth losing out on quality and reputation?
If you are the one providing a bargain, it is worth selling yourself short, is it worth lowering your price, making your service/product appear cheaper?
The answer is a simple no, regardless of which side you are on.
I always believe in quality over quantity. And a low price does not necessarily equate to a great product or a great service.
An acquaintance provided my number to someone she knew who was looking for social media services and for SEO services along with a website overhaul.
He contacted me right away, asking for a quote for services. He emphasized that he wanted to use me in particular because I have a B.A. in English and I write. He was interested in a content writer and someone who has great writing skills. Of course, this was very flattering.
I explained that I can provide a proposal with my business associate who provides SEO services, website designs and we can bundle our monthly services together and provide a competitive price. He gave me a very generic overview of his business and very little to work with. One website was down, the other website was poorly constructed, missing information and the content was sparse.
We decided to contact this potential client to clarify what was needed. It turns out the first site was designed and is managed by the son of one of his biggest clients (Red Flag #1: low price alert!). We were able to pull out the information we needed from that conversation eventually…but we did of course receive the greatest comment of all – ” I am not looking for a bargain- I have never negotiated a day in my life” (Red Flag #2- serious bargain hunter!).
We let that comment slip by and came up with a proposal nevertheless to see if we could come up with competitive prices.
The proposal we came up with was for a new website for one of the domains, SEO services for both sites, social media for both sites and I provided prices for content reviewing and content writing on a per page basis. It was very clearly laid out (each page even had its own title).
Or so we thought. The potential client didn’t quite understand why I charged separate prices for content reviewing/editing and for content writing (writing “fresh content”, developing new content) or why my price wasn’t simply $60 for content, which I apparently quoted him (Red Flag #3- putting words in my mouth).
Note- I did not quote him any specific price, neither did my colleague. My colleague taught me a lesson in managing client expectations and we were reluctant to even put prices in the proposal because we had concerns with the “negotiation” comment, but we figured we’d give it a try, and the experience is always worth a lesson- or a good story to tell.
The best part of the email response to the proposal was the comparison of our services to “HP selling a printer for a low cost and selling the cartridges for a really high price” or something to that extent – apparently, this is called theModern Marketing Strategy (Red Flag#4- Rude Comments).
That was it for me- I was positive I did not want to take this client on and my colleague felt the same way. We suspected he was out for a bargain and this confirmed it.
This printer comparison was rude, ignorant and, really, modern marketing strategy? Come on!!!!
(I really do have the best potential client stories don’t I?)
I wrote back and said that I found this comment to be inappropriate, explained our prices are competitive and essentially, “Thank you for your interest, but no thanks” (In a really nice and professional way). I also cautioned him and said if you are receiving services for such a low price, consider what you are getting for that price, how many hours per month he is receiving from that service provider and the quality of work/quality of services performed.
His response was that he had no reason to switch from his current provider has no compelling reason to use us.
My question is, why waste our time? I think he wanted validation of his great bargain with his current provider!
Another great lesson learned- don’t sell yourself short- not worth the hassle!
Your prices are your prices are your prices.
If someone doesn’t want to pay your prices, then he or she clearly doesn’t understand the service you are providing, the amount of work it takes to do what you do and doesn’t appreciate you.
And if you sell yourself short- you aren’t appreciating you!