I was going to this gym close by, and when I started off I was told what plans they had and what discounts they provided depending on whether you signed up for an annual, semester or trimester plan or, on the other hand, you could pay per month. Obviously, the longer the plan the better the discount … I went for the semester.
That first day I began talking to this girl who had been going to this gym for over two years. She seemed satisfied with trainers, classes were varied and it was close to her house so overall it was a good choice.
About two months later we ran into each other, and she was very upset. She had found out that many new customers were paying half what she paid since the gym had made a special summer promo offer and the fee had dropped 50%. She felt this was a dishonest practice and felt it wasn’t fair to her; she’s paid for over two years, full price, she’s a steady client who goes every month without interruption, yet new clients are getting a discount and treated differently.
This got me thinking, how do you offer special discounts if any? Is it fair to charge differently depending on the customer, the season of the year?
Personally, I almost always charge the same fee based on the length of a project. Only in some occasions, when a client rehires me and we begin to work recurrently on more than one project, I may offer a discount. On other occasions I have offered an additional deliverable apart from the ones requested, for example an additional report, or project summary, or presentation. It all depends on the project.
I read an article some days ago which referred to this debated topic and mentioned that freelancers shouldn’t undersell their service. They pointed out that when offering to lower your fees, you are practically minimizing your work.
I realized, however, that I have never used that type of approach to capture new clients. I have never charged half my original price to get clients to hire me. I understand though that this is a valid and common practice for some fields, however, is this applicable regardless what service or product you sell? What happens when freelancing?
What do you charge to capture new clients?