Alright, I'll take that back, you're not wasting your time if your last name is Walton.
Anyone else, you need to listen. Please, please, and another side of please, don't get into the world of discounts. It's a vicious, vicious cycle, and I would hate to see you not be able to get out of it.
When I started my first company, I made this mistake. It was the very first person who asked me if they could step outside of my standard pricing for something special just for them. I was so eager to get business, that I didn't think twice, and I did it. What ended up happening that I had a hard time raising the price. Then, when I hired employees to take care of this client, it actually ended up costing me money. So either I had to do it myself or lose money. That's just not a scalable business.
So let me just break down the different thought process on this type of client.
So here was my mindset: I'm going to do this at a discount now, and they're going to think I'm so awesome, and so incredible that once they've been a client for a while, they're going to be throwing extra money my way.
Here was the client's mindset: Yes, I got a discount, now I'll never pay more, and she better go above and beyond for me.
I might be a little harsh on their mindset, but in a lot of cases, I'm afraid I'm kind of right. Do you see the difference? There's a huge delta in the measure of value from what I thinking to what they're thinking.
I hate to tell you this but by moving to that business model, you're picking up clients who are going to be a pain in your butt. This is totally not true statistical data, but these clients usually expect more for much less. They've been trained by the likes of the Wal-Mart on value, and they demand that they get the 'most' from everyone that they work with.
There's also another way to look at this, and what made me stop jumping on discount offers from potential clients: It's not fair to my clients who do value me, and think my worth is so high that they wouldn't even dare to ask for the discount.
I love being to the point where I am in my business because people will usually tell me that 'so and so business can do it for much less'. My response is simple, 'then go to that business'. You get what you pay for, and I've learned to understand and respect that more than I ever imagined I would. Yes, you may lose those clients, but often times, they'll come crawling back to you with even a bigger respect for what you offer them.
You have to respect who is in whatever business you are in. When you set your prices, you need to 100% believe in that price. And whatever, no matter the circumstances, please don't budge from that. You deserve what you feel you should be paid, and you deserve clients who share that belief, period.
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