Resources  >> Bouncing Back From a Bargain

About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  August 16, 2011

Bouncing Back From a Bargain

One reason why many experts aren’t taking advantage of the recovery:  clients who got cost-cutting discounts in the past don’t want to pay normal rates now.  This forces us into two no-win positions:  we keep the prices low for cash flow or spend precious resources to find new clients who will pay our price.

One solution:  offer options with strong boundaries.  Comparing what you get and what you don’t creates a clear mental picture of expectations.  It forces the client to choose which is more important:  a bargain, or bells and whistles.

This only works if you go to the dark side during the sales conversation.  Three steps here:  first, show the limits; second, get the buyer’s acknowledgment that they understand the limits; and, third, reassure them that if they need the extra stuff later, you are happy to adjust the project accordingly.

If you show the limits up front and get the buyer’s agreement, you prevent scope creep and that awkward “I thought/you thought” conversation.  When this situation arises, simply say something like, “Well, as we explored in the beginning, that xxx falls under the xxx project.  Happy to adjust the project; it will be an additional $xxx.  How would you like to proceed?”

Boundaries are borders.  They show the edge where bargains end and high-end projects begin.


About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.