If you are a barber, wellness professional, or any type of beauty service provider, it’s likely someone has accused you of charging too much. Whether you are just starting out or you’ve been running your business for years, when you hear your services are overpriced, it can be discouraging. The important thing to remember is this is just a part of being in business. If a client has never told you that you’re too expensive, you’re probably not charging enough.
Instead of getting offended when this happens, you can actually learn to take advantage of it. Here are a few tips to help you navigate that conversation:
Focus on facts; don’t let your emotions get the best of you.
No matter what you charge, you will always be too expensive for some people. Have no fear, there is a place in the market for every price point and as long as you provide a valuable quality service, you will be the right fit for some clients.
Don’t believe us? This stylist charges $1,000 for a haircut.
When a client suggests you charge too much, your first instinct may be to panic, get defensive, or even drop your prices for them.
Don’t. Or at least, don’t just yet. If you immediately offer a lower rate, clients will assume they can continue to negotiate with you.
The most important question is, do you believe in your prices? You are the professional. You know how experienced you are. You know your skill level. You know what your services are actually worth. If you know your prices are appropriate, there is no need to feel dejected.
This is a perfect opportunity for you to get some insight into what your clients are looking for and how you can better market your services.
When they say your services are too expensive, you can ask them, “compared to what?” Are they comparing you to other stylists who may not be as experienced or stylists who use lower quality products? It is possible your clients don’t understand the true value of what you provide? You may need to rethink how you advertise your services to highlight what makes you special.
Ask your potential client what s/he is looking for. Are they looking for the lowest price? A specific experience? Or someone with a certain style?
Find out what motivates them and what is most important to them beyond price.
Once you understand your client’s needs, you can either explain how you are, in fact, a perfect fit for the job, or you may realize this client will never feel satisfied with your price because you are not the type of professional they are looking for.
PRO TIP: Cosmetologist, Rosheen Ahmadi (of Beauty By Rosheen), says, “It’s important your clients understand they are getting what they pay for. They are paying more for experience, education and skill. There is a difference in quality between visiting a licensed cosmetologist and someone at a makeup store who is constantly trying to sell you products while they do your makeup. As a professional, you are going to give them a personalized experienced tailored to their features and their needs.”
Start with the budget.
Some clients may have no idea what to expect when it comes to prices. If you start by giving them your hourly rate or the price of a full set of services, you might scare them away. Start by asking if they have a budget. For example, if they have a 500 dollar to spend, you can let them know what you can provide for that amount. If they are looking for a little more, it will be easier to upsell from there. Clients with set budgets tend to be more serious and intentional about booking a professional. These are the types of clients that are worth spending a little extra time selling to.
There is nothing worse than getting stuck on-the-spot when a client asks you why your services are double the price of a competitor’s. Be prepared with an explanation. In fact, defining exactly why your prices are what they are can teach you a lot about your own business.
Here’s an example of a makeup artist who went viral when she posted this response to clients who accused her of charging too much.
Know when to move on.
Ask yourself, is this client a good fit for me? Are they worth my time? Will they hire me again in the future? Will they recommend me to friends?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, it might be time to move on. It is rarely worth trying to convince someone to spend more money than they want. If getting them to pay the appropriate amount is a constant struggle, it will only get worse as you go along.
If they seem like they are worth the investment, spend a little extra time helping them see the value you provide.
PRO TIP: Sometimes, clients are genuinely interested but might not be able to afford you at the moment. That’s why it’s important to maintain good relationships with serious potential clients who may want to book you down the road.
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