Sometimes It’s Scary to Stand Your Ground

I taught a class on Whidbey Island yesterday – hence the picture above. I came across Deception Pass as the sun was setting, and it was so beautiful, I had to stop for a few moments to enjoy it.

Inevitably the question of commissions came up. I’m all for everyone being able to charge whatever they want, however, we run businesses, and consistency matters.

No matter what your fee is, invariably someone will ask you to do it for less, and in that moment, your answer will determine:

  • How you feel about the client
  • Whether your business is profitable
  • What future clients expect you to do

Notice, I did not include getting the client to say ‘yes’.

Because my core belief is that it’s the clients job to ask, but they actually want the answer to be no.

But the reality is that it can be difficult to say ‘no’ when someone asks you to reduce your fee. So how do you stand your ground?

  • First and foremost, you have to believe that you are worth your fee.
  • Let go of having to work with every client. Some aren’t meant for you. I realize that saying this is one thing, facing the risk of losing a client when you don’t have anything else going on can be terrifying. Be brave. Know that it will work out.
  • Change you belief on what you think they want the answer to be. As I mentioned, I believe to my core, that clients actually wants you to say no.
  • Stop hoping that they won’t ask. Just realize it’s part of the process. Doing so takes the angst out of it and allows you to be more relaxed in your presentation.
  • Stop trying to rationalize / justify it. Your income is not a topic for debate. No is an acceptable answer.

I realize sometimes this conversation is easier than others. We are all competitive when it comes to wanting to ‘win’ the business, but sometimes there is a cost, and you have to weigh the costs with how it will affect your business not only today, but long term.

Know that the Universe has your back. Whatever happens with this client, there will always be more.

To your success!

Leave a Comment