“You’re too expensive.”
OOF. Hearing this common objection from prospective wedding clients is always a punch to the stomach, no matter how many times you’ve been there before (and we all have!). In fact, one of the worst parts of marketing your own small business is that half the time you feel like you’re shouting into the void, while the other half you’re fielding enquiries from those whose vision and budget don’t align with yours. Being on the other end of the haggling mentality can be heartbreaking and confusing. Should you take the business and end up working twice as hard for half the reward? Or should you turn it down, and wonder if maybe you could have done more to make the sale? It’s enough to make you feel like giving up.
Well, don’t! The good news is that when you hear “I can’t afford you” from a couple, you’re usually only a few steps away from getting it right. After all, your marketing is reaching potential clients and they want to work with you! The key to moving forward and actually booking more weddings is to get really clear on WHO you want to work with and HOW you can help them. Knowing this information will allow you to refine your marketing messages so that you’re not just attracting any clients, but finding IDEAL clients who don’t argue on price because they know that you (and only you!) are the person they want to work with.
Pricing objections usually come from one of two problem areas:
YOU’RE ATTRACTING CLIENTS WHO CAN’T AFFORD YOU
If you’re a high end wedding business attracting clients planning low-budget weddings, this means the visual and verbal message you are putting out there is not hitting the mark, and may also signal a lack of confidence in your offering. Continuing to work with these clients just because you don’t want to turn work away is not a good investment of your own time and money, and will ensure that your portfolio and network continue to attract more of the same.
To tackle this problem, you need to think carefully about your ideal client beyond just their age, location and the fact that they are getting married. Who are they? What are their key values and aspirations? Which skills and qualities are they looking for in their wedding suppliers? What style and budget wedding are they planning? Go deep into your ideal client profile (this list of questions will help!). Consider everything, right down to the brands they shop and where they holiday.
Once you are clear on who your dream client is, review your website, social media, PR and proposals to ensure your message is consistent and on-brand. This is also a good opportunity to review your pricing and offerings to make sure they really do align with your ideal client’s spending patterns. Use the information you have gathered to help you determine your price point and pricing structure, and tailor your services to their affordability.
YOUR CLIENTS DON’T SEE THE VALUE IN WHAT YOU DO
Believe it or not, this is actually what usually leads to clients saying “you’re too expensive”! It isn’t about the money at all, but about them not seeing the value of your service or product. It usually indicates you’ve done a good job up until now, but you’re not quite showing your client how you can solve their problems.
Go back to your ideal client profile and ask yourself: what are their pain points and challenges? Then consider whether you’re addressing these directly or indirectly in your marketing copy, and in conversations with clients. Draw on your own experience, knowledge and training. How can you use these to help solve these clients’ problems?
Then go back and review your marketing once again. Are you selling a product or service, or are you selling benefits and results? After looking at your website or scrolling through your Instagram, clients should have a clear idea of how working with you will make them feel, and how it will change their life.
The bottom line? It’s all about being really crystal clear on who your ideal client is, what their biggest challenges are, and how you are able to help. Communicate this effectively through your marketing, and you’ll overcome pricing objections BEFORE clients even enquire!
Want even more ways to reach your ideal clients effectively? Check out our brand new FREE resources!
Top image: Helen Warner Photography