Potential clients haggling on price.... How do you approach this?

almost 4 years ago from , Designer

I know its a norm in our industry for clients to always try to knock the price down and get a deal.

Does anyone have any interesting ways of approaching this? Or do you stand firm and refuse to negotiate?


  • Marcel Wichmann Marcel Wichmann , almost 4 years ago

    "Sure, let's see how we can bring the price down. This is the list of tasks you need. Which ones do you need the least? Let's see what we can cut! :)"

    4 points
  • Mark Louie Espedido, almost 4 years ago

    Here are a few key ideas I read from the ebook linked below: Ask a lot of questions before the proposal. Ask even why they are bargaining the price afterwards. Make them trust you by building a relationship first. Give them packaged bundles and anchored pricing in your quotes so your solutions are not treated as costs that they can leave off. For example:

    • Option 1: Design UI/UX for new website
    • Option 2: Design UI/UX for new website based on in-depth interviews with users
    • Option 3: Design UI/UX for new website based on in-depth interviews with users plus 1 design optimization cycle based on 3 months of usage data after the initial design is deployed.

    These are explained better in Nathan Powell's book, Creative Professionals Guide to Better Proposals http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Professionals-Guide-Better-Proposals-ebook/dp/B013ESTNDY/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

    3 points
    • Michael AleoMichael Aleo, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

      I haven't read the book, but positioning and anchoring are exactly what you need to do. I'll commonly do something like:

      • Website they asked for (low on revisions): $20k
      • Website they asked for (more revisions plus some user testing) plus complete rebranding: $35k
      • Website they asked for (even more revisions with lots of user testing) plus complete rebranding and original photography shoots: $55k

      Suddenly that $20k feels much less expensive. Oh, your maximum budget is $20k? Perfect. Often they'll bite on the higher packages if you can sell the value even.

      2 points
    • Jason YehJason Yeh, almost 4 years ago

      Very useful

      0 points
  • John JacksonJohn Jackson, almost 4 years ago

    There are a few variables that can determine your course of action.

    1. Are you in dire need of work? There have been times in my career when I have dropped my rate significantly to pick up a project due to financial hardship.

    2. Does the project sound like something you would really love to do? If you aren't backed up with work and you find this project to be super interesting, counter the individual. Don't necessarily come down to their asking rate, but offer to lower your rate by X amount and explain to them what work and hours are going to be put into the project; explaining your process to the client may help him understand your original rate and the rate you are now offering.

    3. How has the individual approached you? If he's being rude or disrespectful, then don't worry about it (unless #1 applies to you). If they genuinely seem like they need help and aren't absolutely insulting you with their counter rate, then perhaps you could consider it.

    I'm at the point in my career where I can tell someone "No" when they counter my rate, but I've been on the other side of the spectrum, too. I hope I've helped!

    0 points
  • Pete WilkinsonPete Wilkinson, almost 4 years ago

    Counter-offer. If they want to spend less, talk to them about what they could remove from the project to get a lower price.

    0 points