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What do you do when a potential client says you’re too expensive?

If you’ve been in business for a while, you’ve likely heard potential clients tell you that you are “too expensive” and they want to haggle your pricing.

Which leads to second-guessing yourself and a whole lot of stress!

So what do you do?

You’ve got a few options! Here are some handy email templates I’ve created that you can copy+paste, and tweak to send to that potential client who thinks you’re too expensive.

Note: These templates are not intended to be used verbatim but to be edited to fit your own situation and level of professionalism. Use these scripts as a starting point, but tweak them to work for you!

Option One – Educate Her on Why You’re Worth It

Sometimes clients don’t see the value we’re providing. This is especially common if you’re focused on selling websites instead of selling the benefits.

In this case, we want to educate our potential clients on the value we’re providing.

Hi ____!

I realize that this is a significant investment, but I can assure you that I am delivering top-notch service that you won’t receive with a low-cost alternative.

My clients have seen results such as ____ and ____ because I work with you to ensure you’re receiving a [PROJECT] that works for you and your brand.

I’m not just creating a _____, I’m helping you achieve your goals.

If you don’t have the funds available at this time, I understand. Please keep me in mind for the future. If you are able and willing to invest at this time, let me know, and I’ll tell you the next steps.

Thanks!

-NAME

Why this script works

You acknowledge the cost of your services but assure her that you’re offering great work. You explain why you’re qualified to charge the amount that you charge by giving examples of the results that your past clients have seen after working with you.

Ultimately, you give her the option to walk away, but you don’t back down on your pricing, putting the ball in her court and letting her decide if you’re really too expensive.

Option Two – Offer a Little Less

We might have offers that are too expensive for some potential clients who find us. If we still want to work with them (because they seem like a good fit otherwise), we can adjust our offers to fit their needs.

Hi ____!

I realize this is a significant investment, so working with your budget, I’ve come up with this alternate option (see attached).

You’ll still get a killer [PROJECT]. We’ll just remove some of the bells and whistles for now so you can stay on budget.

Right now, we’ll focus on just the main goals of your [PROJECT] to create something that meets your needs.

In this case, I’ve removed ____ so we can include ____ which is what will really help you achieve more sales. If you want to add those whistles in down the road, we can schedule another project to do just that!

Please let me know if you are ready to move ahead with this new option.

-NAME

Why this script works

You acknowledge the cost of your services but don’t back down from your pricing. Instead, you offer an alternative that meets your client’s primary goals (the important stuff!) while removing anything extra that raises the cost but doesn’t really change the overall effectiveness of the project.

For example, if the client is a photographer who wants a custom website with a killer photo gallery but can’t afford both, using a pre-made theme (with some tweaks to match her branding) and installing a fantastic gallery that will showcase her work might be the best option.

Use your best judgment, and don’t be afraid to discuss what the real priorities of the project are.

Never Wonder What to Say in an Email Again!

Grab my collection of 125+ email templates covering everything from everyday emails to sticky client situations, and make your emails as easy as copy + paste.

Get the Emails!

Option Three – Don’t back down

If you have a potential client who thinks you’re too expensive and is trying to bully you into lowering your prices, you must stand firm.

Don’t let a client haggle you down to a price that you’re unhappy with. It will be the start of them haggling over everything in the project, and I can almost 100% guarantee they will be scope-creeping in tooooons of extra work and not paying for it.

Hi ____!

I realize this is a large investment and it sounds like funding isn’t currently available for this project. I completely understand that this is more than you budgeted for and that working with me right now may not be the best option for you.

If, in the future, funding becomes available, please do not hesitate to reach out so that we can work on your _____ together!

Thanks,

-NAME

Why this script works

You acknowledge the cost of your services, and you don’t back down. You let her know that if she’s ready to invest in the future, you can work with her.

Staying firm on your pricing tells clients you are worth what you’re asking for and will help keep scope-creepers at bay.

Tl;dr:

It’s not uncommon for web designers to hear potential clients say, “You’re too expensive!”

Just because you hear it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true!

These scripts are simple and to the point and make it clear you’re not willing to haggle your prices. Standing firm re-enforces the value and expertise you provide.

Don’t stress about how to respond. Simply copy+paste and tweak one of these templates the next time a potential client tells you that you are too expensive!

Never Wonder What to Say in an Email Again!

Grab my collection of 125+ email templates covering everything from everyday emails to sticky client situations, and make your emails as easy as copy + paste.

Get the Emails!

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Originally published 7/23/2014. Updated 11/6/2023.

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