You send a great proposal, but now the client says your costs are too high. Should you reduce your rates to win the job, or should you stick to your guns and risk losing the project altogether?

Changing your rates on a client-by-client basis can be a dangerous game, so here are few things to think about before you take the plunge.

Times are tough

OK, so it's been a while since you've had a bite. The sales pipeline is looking a little empty, and just this once you feel you could drop your price just to get some money in the bank. Fair enough, but remember that business is a gamble and a full-fee paying client could be just around the corner.

First impressions count

If you quoted $1,000 but the client can pay only $800, then by reducing your rate at the drop of a hat you're basically saying that your first quote was excessive. You've just devalued your business in the eyes of your client. Not good.

Reduction breeds resentment

Feeling forced to drop your rates is not the best way to start a project. You may end up resenting your new reduced-rate client, grumbling every time they call, rushing their work, and prioritizing better-paying clients. If you do decide to reduce your rate, be sure to do it with a genuine smile on your face.

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Kate Toon is an award-winning SEO and advertising copywriter with over 18 years' experience. She's also a well-respected SEO consultant, information architect, strategist, hula hooper, and CremeEgg-lover based in Sydney, Australia.

Twitter: @katetooncopy

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