I have this conversation at least once a month:
Potential Client: Ok, I’d like to hire you. But I found someone willing to do the job for “x”. Just match their price, and the job is yours.
Me: Why didn’t you just hire the other person?
Potential Client: Well, I like your writing better.
Me: And that’s exactly why I’m more expensive. I’m sorry, but if you want the other person’s price, you’ll have to hire the other person.
The conversation then goes one of three ways – sometimes I get the client (and get my price… although I have to be honest – I’m not that expensive.)
Other times, I don’t. And sometimes (not often, but often enough to mention), the person is a bit of a jerk about it. Like they can’t fathom that I charge more than Chuckles McNoodle, who they found on Craigslist.
Here’s another monthly conversation:
Potential Client: What do you mean you can’t do this until next week? It’s only three pages!
Me: I apologize. But understand that you aren’t my only client. In fact, I’m technically booked through next week – I’m squeezing you in as it is.
Potential Client: Well, so and so said they can do it tomorrow.
Me: Well, so and so is free tomorrow because so and so has no business lined up. Care to guess why?
Now, if it sounds like I’m venting… well, I am (a little). This is my blog, and I can vent if I want to. But there’s also a lesson here for all businesspeople (especially small businesses, where owners converse with each other) – if you want person X’s work, then don’t compare them to person Y. There’s a good reason my price is what it is, and my schedule is such. It’s the very reason you want me to do your project.
If all you care about is price or getting it done tomorrow (and let’s be honest – almost all of those “quick” deadlines are arbitrary), then don’t debate me over my terms – just hire the other guy and be done with it. I won’t lose sleep, trust me.
When I hire people, I hire them because I want THEM. I don’t compare their price (or timeframe) to anyone else’s. In general terms, if I want their expertise, I am usually willing to wait a reasonable amount of time, and pay their rate.