It's a constant challenge. When should we stand firm on our rates, when should we compromise, and when (if ever) should we fold like a cheap suit?
Some of this is review from comments I've made in other blogs, but stay with me as I put it all into some perspective.
There are two most-common situations where we may be asked to compromise on our pricing.
Custom Offer Compromises
The first situation is a customer offer request. My rule of thumb on those is: never start out by assuming the buyer won't pay my full price. When they ask for a quote, I give it to them at my normal Fiverr gig rates. If they balk, it becomes a judgement call, based on the situation. But in all circumstances, a compromise needs justification:
Are they a first-time customer, justifying a special consideration?
Is it a big job, justifying a little wiggle room on price?
Is your buyer a hardship case? They do come up. Sometimes we can "have a heart"
Is business really slow for you, as a seller right now?
Are you just starting out on Fiverr, and need the sales numbers?
Unless one of those factors enters into it, my response is to take a firm stand on price, and explain why my experience level justifies (actually more than justifies) the asking price. This is done in a single brief sentence. Never "lecture" your buyer. A quick, kindly-worded sentence is adequate. Often, they'll accept! Sometimes they won't. But if you have a set of standards to guide you, which you use as a guide, it makes the occasional lost sale more palatable.
Compromises on Extras
When extras are due to you, is to respond quickly...immediately. It's unfair to the buyer to wait until an hour before delivery time and then say, "by the way, I need you to add this extra." Bad form. So within an hour of the order, if you can, sooner if you're able, thank them for the order...and consider the following wording: "Here's the required commercial rights extra (or whatever extra is needful)." The magic word is at some things are extra. I think that's a good assumption to proceed from, because that way, we don't enter into the situation feeling adversarial. That helps our tone, as well as sparing ourselves some agitation.W
When extras are due to you, respond quickly...immediately. It's unfair to the buyer to wait until an hour before delivery time and then say, "by the way, I need you to add this extra." Bad form. So within an hour of the order, if you can, sooner if you're able, thank them for the order. Consider the following wording: "Here's the required commercial rights extra (or whatever extra is needful)." The magic word is required. We're not asking them if they'd mind including it. We're stating flat out, in what sounds like rather official terms, that it is required. Again, no lecturing. Actually no other anything. Just thank them for the order and present them with the "required" extra. Can't stress that enough, because in my experience, it works like magic. The buyer sees you're making a clear stand. Not rudely, just matter of factly.
Sometimes, especially at the lowest $5 starting gig price, the buyer will simply refuse the extra. Now what? There are several choices.
You just fold, and do the order with no other comment made on it. That's undesirable, because it shouts to the buyer that your original offer of the extra was somehow a bluff, wasn't really expected...and in the future, they will never expect to have to pay it. That sets a terrible precedent.
You send the extra again, and very briefly and politely explain that it is required in your gig. You wait for their response. Here again, going back and forth quickly on this is very desirable, so the air can be cleared EARLY in the order.
You give in, but provisionally, based on one of the justifications I mentioned above.
You cancel the order. That's truly a last resort, because it hurts your "order completion rate." If you have had lots of other orders in the past 60 days, the effect will be negligible, but if you haven't, or you get into a slump for awhile afterwards, your average completion rate could slip below the 90% required to maintain your current level ranking on Fiverr, and that's very undesirable.
Winning is Winning, but...
My experience is that, most of the time when I hold out and stand my ground, I win. The fact is, often the buyer is just testing your mettle. When you hold firm, they'll go along with the price if the quality of what you offer is what they desire. That's a definite win. If you compromise based on a set of principles you've laid out for yourself as I've already described, where you still make a respectable amount of money for your work, that's also a win. If they turn you down, and you graciously reply and express the hope that they'll consider you for the future on projects that have more of a budget, that can be a win as well. But stay classy, be polite, and again, don't...don't...DON'T...lecture them. That's just venting your feelings, and it avails you nothing at all.
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