How to Handle Requests for Freebies
If you’ve been in your line of work long enough, I’m sure the same has happened to you. Your clients have asked you for extras that weren’t in the original agreement. And you have non-clients asking to “grab coffee and bounce ideas around.”
Sometimes it is good to say yes, but often you’ll want to say no. In these cases, how do you push back without jeopardizing the relationship? You wouldn’t want to risk losing any future projects with this person.
Read on and I’ll show you how to say no gracefully and firmly.
It’s OK To Say No
First, it helps to approach this with the right mindset. Perhaps you feel guilty for not agreeing to help… that’s natural. After all, part of the reason you went into this business was to share your gifts with others. But to think that you should help for free really undermines the value of your expertise. You’ve honed it with many, many years of sweat, and your clients happily pay you good money for it. Honor yourself–and your clients’ investment in you–by upholding the value of your expertise.
OK now you’re ready. Follow these three guidelines to say no clearly and respectfully.
Sample Scripts for You
In a case when you want to make them an offer:
Yes, I’d be happy to tune your piano. My tuning fee is $150. If that works for you, let’s make an appointment for next week. How about Thursday at 3pm?
Yes, I’d be happy to help you brainstorm about your marketing campaign. We could accomplish this during a one-hour consultation. My consultation fee is $350. If that sounds good to you, please pay me via PayPal, and then we’ll schedule a time to meet. I’m looking forward to it.
In a case where you don’t want this work under any circumstances:
Thanks for thinking of me with your closet remodeling! Unfortunately I’m not the right person to help you with this. My minimum project size is $10,000. In the future if you have a construction project of that size, I’d be delighted to work with you. For the closet remodel, I would suggest you talk to Acme Closets (www.acmeclosets.com); they might be a good fit for you.
Share Your Thoughts
What have you found to be effective or ineffective in fielding freebie requests? Share your success stories, or your cautionary tales, by posting a comment below!