Boss Responses

#38: What to Say When Clients Question Your Rates, with Michelle Garrett

June 05, 2024 Treasa Edmond
#38: What to Say When Clients Question Your Rates, with Michelle Garrett
Boss Responses
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Boss Responses
#38: What to Say When Clients Question Your Rates, with Michelle Garrett
Jun 05, 2024
Treasa Edmond

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In this episode of the Boss Responses podcast, host Treasa Edmond is joined by guest co-host Michelle Garrett to discuss how to handle potential clients questioning your rates. They delve into strategies for explaining the value of your services, vetting clients, and adjusting project scopes instead of lowering rates. This episode provides essential advice for freelancers and business owners on maintaining confidence in their pricing and managing client expectations.

About our Guest

Michelle Garrett is a public relations consultant, writer, and speaker who helps B2B companies create content, earn media coverage, and position themselves as thought leaders in their industries. 

After working in various PR and marketing communications roles, including time spent in Silicon Valley with technology companies such as HP, Adobe, and numerous startups, she launched her consulting business to provide down-to-earth advice and a practical approach to public relations for her clients. 

Repeatedly ranked among the industry’s most influential PR professionals, Michelle has written a book, B2B PR That Gets Results. She also launched her own YouTube show, PR Explored, where she interviews trusted industry experts about public relations trends and topics. 

Michelle has written hundreds of articles that have been featured in business publications including Entrepreneur, Muck Rack, and Ragan’s PR Daily. She’s a frequent podcast guest, often quoted as an expert source on public relations, and regularly speaks at events like Content Marketing World, the largest gathering of content marketing professionals in the world. 

In 2018, she founded a weekly Twitter chat called #FreelanceChat to help support freelancers in what can be a lonely journey. Since then, it’s grown to attract dozens of new participants and has been featured in Entrepreneur, MSN Money, and the Houston Chronicle. In 2024, the chat moved to YouTube

Connect with Michelle on LinkedIn

Grab your copy of Michelle's Book: B2B PR That Gets Results 

Support the Show.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to listen to Boss Responses. Have a question you'd like answered? Send it to info@bossresponses.com

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

In this episode of the Boss Responses podcast, host Treasa Edmond is joined by guest co-host Michelle Garrett to discuss how to handle potential clients questioning your rates. They delve into strategies for explaining the value of your services, vetting clients, and adjusting project scopes instead of lowering rates. This episode provides essential advice for freelancers and business owners on maintaining confidence in their pricing and managing client expectations.

About our Guest

Michelle Garrett is a public relations consultant, writer, and speaker who helps B2B companies create content, earn media coverage, and position themselves as thought leaders in their industries. 

After working in various PR and marketing communications roles, including time spent in Silicon Valley with technology companies such as HP, Adobe, and numerous startups, she launched her consulting business to provide down-to-earth advice and a practical approach to public relations for her clients. 

Repeatedly ranked among the industry’s most influential PR professionals, Michelle has written a book, B2B PR That Gets Results. She also launched her own YouTube show, PR Explored, where she interviews trusted industry experts about public relations trends and topics. 

Michelle has written hundreds of articles that have been featured in business publications including Entrepreneur, Muck Rack, and Ragan’s PR Daily. She’s a frequent podcast guest, often quoted as an expert source on public relations, and regularly speaks at events like Content Marketing World, the largest gathering of content marketing professionals in the world. 

In 2018, she founded a weekly Twitter chat called #FreelanceChat to help support freelancers in what can be a lonely journey. Since then, it’s grown to attract dozens of new participants and has been featured in Entrepreneur, MSN Money, and the Houston Chronicle. In 2024, the chat moved to YouTube

Connect with Michelle on LinkedIn

Grab your copy of Michelle's Book: B2B PR That Gets Results 

Support the Show.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to listen to Boss Responses. Have a question you'd like answered? Send it to info@bossresponses.com

Treasa Edmond:

Welcome back to the Boss Responses podcast. Have you ever had a potential client ask you about your rates Not what they are, but why they're so high or said something along the lines of, yeah, I can get that cheaper elsewhere? If you've ever experienced that, you know how frustrating it is. In this episode of the podcast, guest co-host Michelle Garrett and I are going to give our feedback to a question that deals with this very topic. If you're a freelancer, business owner or anyone who deals with clients, you're in the right place.

Treasa Edmond:

I'm your host, teresa Edmond. I've been dealing with clients and running my business for nearly two decades and in that time, I've dealt with my share of doubt, imposter syndrome and not knowing what to say when a client asked a question I wasn't ready for. I created this podcast to empower you with the boss responses you need to grow your business. Each week, my guest co-host and I will bring you five episodes packed with practical insights. Monday through Thursday, we answer your questions, and Fridays we dive deep to explore how our co-hosts embrace their role as the boss of their business. Welcome to Boss Responses, michelle. What is the question for today?

Michelle Garrett:

Today, the question is I was on a discovery call with a potential client and I got that dreaded question why is your rate higher than other people I've looked at, I found a website offering the same service for a fraction of the price. I'm never sure how to respond to this. I know the value of my services and I have the experience and the portfolio to back it up, but the question always throws me what do you recommend?

Treasa Edmond:

This is a great question, and it's one that I think you struggle with more earlier in your career, because eventually you get that confidence in your rates. Hopefully you get that confidence in your rates where there is no stutter, there is no questioning. When people ask a question like this, I try to figure out what their motivation is. Are they honestly wanting to know why my fees are higher than someone else? Or are they wanting me to charge, say, content mill prices because they found a content mill website that offers writing for three cents a word, which should never happen? So if their motivation is the first one, if they really truly want to know why my rates are higher, then I will explain the value that my projects bring. So the value that they are going to get from the project. It's not about me and it's not about the work that I do. It's about the finished project and the value that they're getting from that project. So I always flip that back at them because that's how I price my projects. It's the value my clients are getting from the project. With ghostwriting, especially if you charge per word, you're going to undersell yourself every time anyway. If they are just looking for content mail prices, then I ask them why are you asking Is there someone else you found that you would rather work with? Because if so, that's fine. I give them the out immediately so that I don't even have to waste time on that call.

Treasa Edmond:

One thing I do here. This is part of my client management process. I vet my clients before I talk to them, and part of that vetting process is asking them what their budget is for the project at least a range and if they come in with a high budget range but they ask this question, then they're probably asking a value question. If they lied about their budget range, then this is a really good time to find out about it. So I just I do my diligence ahead of time and I'm hardly ever asked this question anymore. I can't remember the last time I was asked this question, actually because my rates are high, I give great value, my clients know that and I have the testimonials and the portfolio to back it up. What do you do, michelle? Because in PR I know that's a thing. You do something that has immense value, something that has immense value.

Michelle Garrett:

Yeah, I mean, it's always an issue because I feel like, well, you know, the advice that I have heard and that I kind of try to live by is that you get what you pay for, and some people are not going to bat an eye about pricing.

Michelle Garrett:

And then other people will be really sensitive about it, I guess, for lack of a better word and if they are, they're probably not going to be a great client to work with Usually, even if you end up like negotiating and maybe you suggest, okay, well, we talked about package A, but maybe package B is better, or like we could take away something and maybe fit your budget this way or try to work it out. I figure if they're already talking about money in that way, it's probably not going to be a real fun experience, because I don't know about that, I don't necessarily enjoy talking about money, but in the beginning we have to agree and if they're going to be picky about, I don't, that doesn't bode well, I don't think true, every client I've ever had who was a problem, it almost always started with them questioning my rate, and I quickly learned just to not accept those clients.

Treasa Edmond:

One thing that you pointed out that I think is really valuable for people to know is when they are questioning the rate, if what they want is technically out of their budget. They want is technically out of their budget. I do not. I do not lower my rates for my clients. I will scale back the work. So I never negotiate rates. I negotiate project scope, and I think that's incredibly valuable. If you discount yourself, your client sees you as a discount commodity. If you instead scale back the work and offer them the same high value, high quality work at your high value, high quality prices, they're going to value that more. They're going to respect you more in the long run and they're still getting work. It's just not as much. So that's the way I go about that. Yeah, I agree. All right, that was day three. Tomorrow, michelle is going to be answering the question, so make sure you tune in for that.

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