Today I am talking about how I deal with pricing objections.
I don't receive them too often but one I got out of the blue made me reflect on why it happened and the processes I have in place that usually stop it from happening.
Hopefully, this episode will be useful if you face the same situation I found myself in and it will give you some tools on how to handle them or avoid them entirely!
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Hello welcome to the freelance ads club podcast with me your host Aggie Meroni. Whether you're a seasoned freelance ads manager, or just thinking about taking the leap into self employment, this podcast is for you. Every week, I'll be releasing a bite sized episode, I'll be sharing mistakes I've made and lessons I've learned from my own freelance business. I'll be showcasing some of the amazingly talented freelancers in the freelance ads club. And I also will be speaking to some incredible guests who generously be sharing their knowledge with us to help us keep updated with industry trends. And I really hope that after listening to this podcast, you will come away full of confidence on how to win great clients, how to charge correctly, and most importantly, retain those dream clients so that you build a successful and sustainable business. Hello, and welcome to episode 14 of the freelance Ads Club podcast. So today, I'm going to be talking about how to deal with pricing objections. And I'm talking about this today, because I received quite an aggressive price objection myself today on email. And it massively triggered me and made me feel really shitty about myself. So I'm just going to talk about it today. And it has reminded me, despite what's happened today, about my processes to deal with this, and I'm much better than when I started my business, because this is actually a very rare occurrence now that I get, well, first of all, such a strongly worded email, and anyone questioning my price. So when I think back to my first ads management clients, I was just starting out as an ads manager, I didn't have any confidence in my abilities, I didn't have as much experience managing ads, so I wasn't as good as I am now. And I worked with clients that weren't ideal for me at all and it was very common for me to get objections to pricing, people trying to haggle me on my price, making me doubt myself and all these wonderful things, which when I look back, in hindsight, it was because they were not the right clients for me, and they were not ready for ads, really. But when I was starting out, I was desperate for any client, because I just needed that experience. And I wanted to say that, yes, I've worked with, you know, a client or company doing this and one doing this to show my breadth of ads management experience. And it was a very stressful time, I'm not gonna lie. And then when I was iOS14 happened, that was literally the straw that broke my camel's back. Because as I'm sure all of you know, companies that are not ready for ads, it just never ends well, because there's a lot of pressure for the ads to save the business or to perform more than it physically can. Because so many other elements about the business are broken. Before iOS 14 People kind of got away with it a lot more than now. And then as soon as iOS14 was here, and that cash stream from Facebook dried up because they weren't adapting or they didn't appreciate that they had to pivot in order to keep generating returns from ads. They obviously blamed it on the ad managers, I bore the brunt of this, I was shouted at by my clients, you know, why can't you attribute the sales, it was a really awful time for me in my business. And I did end up terminating contracts over it. It took a massive wobble to me on my confidence and everything like that. But I don't know if that's why I got triggered today with a pricing rejection, because I just hate conflict and the feeling that someone doesn't value what I'm bringing to the table. And obviously, around iOS 14, there was a lot of blame not just on freelancers, but on agencies as well. Lots of brands churned through lots of agencies after iOS 14, blaming the agency or freelance partners for the poor performance before actually realising that therecan't be that many "bad ads, managers, agencies, media buyers, whatever". It's got to be something else. And that trust issue is something that really I struggle with like people don't trust me because that's such a big value for me in my business that I only have my client's best interests at heart. So to give you a bit of context, the business that I spoke to was very clear on their budget, which is fine, and I was very clear in our call. So the process I have in place, which I've put in place in the last couple of years to help me kind of sift through the leads I get. And one of my mottos is, not every lead is a good lead, there'll be some businesses that approach you and you're thinking, hell no, I'm not touching that with a bargepole. And this process that I have in place will help with this. So on my website, and this is probably controversial as well, not everyone agrees with this, but it helps me sleep at night. Basically, I've removed my telephone number from my website. And until recently, I realised it was on my Instagram. So I got a random call recently, which made me remove it from there as well. And I don't know if this is just as a woman in business, this is not nice, or if this happens to men too. But you just get weird calls weird people find you. And I just thought, No, I'm removing my phone number, especially because it's also my personal number. I don't want people calling me on the weekends, evenings and whatever. So I don't have my phone number. On my website, I do not have my email address. I know this is a bugbear for some brands, like you know some people that try and reach you with an email address. For the same reason, I do not want to get spammed constantly, since I removed my email address from my website, I get much better quality leads, because they can be bothered to fill out my application form. So people have to apply to work with me. So if you go on my website, which is WhiteBeedigital.com, you can see my different services. And if you want to learn with me and book a consultation, you go straight through to the booking link, and you have to pay to book in a time with me. I would recommend that to anyone who's looking to start consultations, it just automates everything and doesn't waste your time. And also people know straightaway what they're getting how much it costs, and they can see your availability. And then you don't have people trying to barter for your consultation fees. That is your price. If you want to work with me, that's what you pay. So that's how you can work with me on a consultation basis. The only consultation thing that I don't have automated is that people sign up on a retainer for constant consultancy. And to be honest, the people that I speak to about that have never questioned my price. So I've never had an issue with that. And then I've got my management fees, like my management services. And if you go on my website, you'll see I really outline what it is, what you get, what you don't get, who it's for, who isn't for, and where my price starts at. And where my setup fee starts out. So they know the minimum they're going to have to spend with me is what is on my website. And obviously, every client has their own tailored pricing, because everyone needs something a bit different. But if they decide, yes, I can afford that. That sounds reasonable and I'm not going to question this because this is stated publicly on our websites, then they click the button on my website to the application form. And again, it states on top of the application form, this is my pricing, this is what you can expect. Thank you for your interest in working with me. And then on that form, I asked them, What is your minimum? Or what's your monthly ad spend? What else is there? Can I have all the links to your websites, your social profiles, what have you tried before all these things, so I can pre qualify, the word pre qualify them if they apply and their ad budget is too low. So for me anything under 1500 pounds, I don't really take any of that management anymore, because it's really hard to get results. So you know, for anything less than that then I will still contact them and reach out and offer them other services that are more in their price range that could be consultancy and things like that. If they're ready for management, and I look at the application, you've got a decent budget, you know that my pricing starts at this amount, it looks like a brand. The website's nice, it's got pixels, all these pre qualifying things in my head that I look at, then I will email them and say I'd love to hear more about your business, please find a link here to book a time and for us to have a chat and so I can understand how I can support you. So then they'll look at a time with me, I have two links, I've got a 20 minute link, and I've got a 30 minute link. So depending on what information they've provided, and what I can see on their website, I decide at my discretion what they get. I always leave time after that allotted time to speak with them as well because things may overrun I just I don't feel as though you must only ask them these questions and then the call ends strictly because otherwise they're going to take advantage of you and it's not the case at all. Sometimes you really need to ask a lot of questions about their business before you can make the decision whether you want to work with them. So I never listened to what people told me to do on the Discovery call side. Sometimes I even give them a quick win, like on their account or something like that. So they build trust. One business I spoke to recently, the founder was absolutely lovely. And I know that I'd absolutely love to work with them in the future, just because what they sell and what they do, and the feeling I got from the founder, but they just weren't ready at that moment that I spoke to them about it. But that was absolutely fine. I was honest. I said, like, I don't think you're ready. And I think it will waste your money. If you start investing now. They've been burned massively in the past for exactly the reasons I could see. And I said, Look, this is a person I think you should speak to for Klavio. This is the person you should speak to, for tweaks on your Shopify, and all those things. And they were just so grateful. And I'm sure I'll hear from them in the future. So use it as an opportunity to build connection if you're interested in the brand, even if you're not quite convinced they're ready yet, because you never know where that connection will lead you in the future. And if they are someone who wants to work with, and this is what happened to me yesterday, I spoke to them, it all went really well. I was really excited about the business, I usually don't offer all my pricing verbally, I usually tell them what my setup fee is. And I say I'll send over my pricing in my standard doc. But they had an idea of what the pricing would be. And then there was a shock email that I received at like 10pm saying I can't believe this, can you confirm this. You're more expensive than a media agency. And I'm not. I was like, Okay, I thought we went over this in the call. So I was really surprised to get that email. And it took a lot for me to emotionally detach from getting that so late at night. And it's my own fault. But we all do it right? Or I do. It's mainly because I don't want to have some big drama, in an ad account. In the morning.I'm just like Doomsday, if someone hacks in before you know, I could have spotted it in the evening. And then by the time I wake up in the morning and check and there's like 1000s gone, I always just check quickly in my inbox to make sure there's no fires or anything happening. So having to detach from that emotionally, before I went to bed was annoying, because I wasn't expecting to have to do that. And in morning, I was dreading replying, I was like, Oh, I know I'm in the right. I know I'm not taking the piss. Basically, with my pricing, I was really clear what they need to invest in order to see return. I was really, really clear. And I was a bit taken aback by the response I got. And I told them why I price things like that, and why that was my recommended pricing and everything like that. So this morning, I put my big girl pants on and ate the frog, which if you've never heard that expression means you do the most awkward, painful thing or thing you're dreading the most first. So I did reply. And I'm actually glad that I had seen it the night before. And I wasn't responding in an sort of knee jerk reaction way, I could respond in a more considered way. So I just really, really highlighted the rationale behind my quotes. And it was just a recommendation. If they didn't agree with it, then obviously it was it was up to them and their business strategy as to what they decided to do to promote themselves going forward. And I said, if they only had this certain amount of budget, then I would recommend doing this instead. And so far, I haven't had a response. So I think it's just important to stay strong in your pricing, because it's not a reflection on you. It's a reflection on their budget. And you have to value your expertise, and what you're going to essentially bring to the business that you're going to be working with. So yeah, I feel a lot better about it now. And I feel proud of myself, maybe that I managed to answer in such a diplomatic way. It's really hard not to get sort of emotional because it feels like a personal attack, but it's not at all. So offering solutions to someone if they questioned your pricing, no matter how clear you think you've been setting up your systems, prequalify people, which obviously kind of slipped through and being confident enough to say no to an opportunity if both both you and the other party aren't aligned in what the budgets can be and what the expectations are. So yeah, that was my roller coaster. Emotional day. The last like 24 hours. But it's honestly the worst feeling in the world when you get such an abrupt email because you've got no one else to talk to about it. So I don't know if sharing this experience has helped at all but if it has or if you need to share something similar then come find us in the Slack channel if you're a trained ads manager. If you're not a trained ads manager, then you can join our mailing list, the link is in the show notes as well. And if you're a agency or brand looking for an ads manager to support your business, you can apply as well in the show notes. I will speak to you next time.