It’s Easy for You to Make this Mistake!
I think sometimes people believe that just because you’re a life coach … or a business coach for that matter … you’re possessed of some kind of innate wisdom and insight.
Ha! Would that it were so. While it may be true for some, I had to learn everything through trial and error, often the hard way … and it seems there are times I have to learn the same lesson with a different twist before I “get it.”
Here’s a recent case in point.
We’ve had some renters in our condo in Mexico. We really like them. They come for months at a time and take care of the place as if it were their own.
I recently got a note from them saying they’d like to stay the late fall and winter months of 2021- 2022, but she’d lost her source of additional income due to the lockdowns and was wondering what the best rate was I could give them. She is, as I am, a skilled negotiator.
I immediately thought about how much I like them and would like to help out.
And then, it hit me like a fish in the face that I was basically considering doing the same thing with my rental as I counseled people against doing with their services!
A luxury condo in sunny Mexico a short walk from a white sand beach and bluegreen Caribbean waters has a value, and the last thing I want to do is offer it to potential renters on a case-by-case basis, based on ability to pay.
Negotiating your fees based on a person’s circumstance – or because they’re a good negotiator – goes against everything I teach. I can’t count how many times I’ve counseled service providers not to lower their fees or bargain over pricing. I recognize their positive intention for wanting to make themselves more available, but I caution against lowering fees for four reasons.
1) The value of your services is the value of your services. You don’t want to discount your worth to others.
2) You don’t want to negotiate with every new person who comes along, adjusting your rate just because someone is not as well off financially or a particular person is a better negotiator.
3) It’s not fair to anyone who ends up paying more.
4) It’s an exhausting and confusing process.
It’s a clear and unequivocal bit of advice I often give. I’ve given it here in these very pages. And yet, I just had the situation above … in another area of life … where I was about to violate my own rule.
Analogies are seldom perfect, and this one probably isn’t. There are plenty of legitimate reasons why someone would lower rent on a property, and there are certainly times when you might want to gift someone with a lower rate. But that’s different from gauging what you’re going to charge based on what’s in someone’s bank account.
A department store doesn’t check out your net worth before establishing the price on the clothes you’re looking to buy. The price is the price.
It’s the same for our condo and it should be the same for your services.
Are there exceptions … like giving a limited number of “scholarships” or doing pro bono work? Sure, but you offer that at your discretion. You don’t negotiate down to that rate. Big difference.
The bottom line: You have value. Your services have value. Don’t sell yourself short by selling yourself cheap.
Best wishes as I sit here in beautiful, sunny Mexico!
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