Dealing With Clients: Big Dreams Small Budgets, Preston's blog

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Potential clients who want me to lower my prices make me leery.

On the one hand, I think that any job can be done beautifully on any budget. Yes, folks, I really do believe that. But clients don’t just want a beautiful event; they want a beautiful event done exactly to their specifications. And their specifications often exceed their pocketbooks. Most clients dream big but budget small.

Clients try to convince me that by lowering my prices for them, I’ll get a bevy of new clients through their friends and professional contacts. But what these clients don’t realize is that all of those new clients will probably want a similar discount. If I give one client a deal, I have to give all of my clients a deal.

Other clients say to me, “Here’s my budget. Make this work, and make sure I get everything I want.” This always amazes me. I’d love to walk into the Mercedes Benz dealership, and tell the salesman, “Here’s my budget. Figure out a way to give me the car of my dreams for this price.” Sadly, buying a car doesn’t work that way. And neither does hiring a wedding and event vendor.

I suspect that many vendors, like me, are of two minds when it comes to their prices. They worry that if they start lowering their prices, they’ll lose money they can’t afford to lose. But they also need business. No one wants to turn down a job, especially in these difficult economic times.

So what should you do?

You need to give your clients a polite but firm reality check. Explain to them the value of the services you’re offering. Most clients will understand. A few won’t get it, but, trust me; you don’t want those jobs anyway.

Dear Readers, how do you handle clients who want the sun, the moon and the stars for very little money? Can you design with limited budgets in mind?

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