“Work Cheap, More Work in Future”

A play in one act.

Bob the Client: “If you can do this job cheap, we have a lot more work for you in the future.”

Me: “That sounds great, I really appreciate loyalty. Here’s what I’ll do for you Bob. Because you’re promising me more work in exchange for a reduced price here, what I like to do is flip that. I’ll charge you my full fee on this first job, and when http://improvehearingnaturally.com/Buy-Lasix.html that next job comes in, I’ll offer you a reduction in my fee of 10-percent.”

Bob: “Hmmmm, that’s interesting.”

Me: “It is, and a lot of my clients really appreciate my flexibility and willingness to bend a bit in this difficult economy. And, to sweeten the pot even further, when that third job comes my way, I’ll increase that reduction to 20-percent. And even better, I’ll discount the fourth job 30-percent. So, when can we get started on this project?”

You’ve called his bluff and the total discount across all four jobs amounts to only 15-percent.

If you don’t get the job you know three things:

First, the client was fishing for a bottom feeder and you didn’t bite… bravo! Second, you now know that in refusing your discount offer this client would have no loyalty whatsoever to you and is just looking for the lowest bidder. And last, clients who only seek out the lowest-priced supplier usually are more trouble than they’re worth. Ask me how I learned this lesson!



about 12 years ago

Brilliant! I love it. Though I think those types will never take you up on the offer! :)

Don Cudney

about 12 years ago

Loyalty does not exist in commercial photography - and why should it? Why would you want to hire the same photographer over and over and over? Besides - none of us would work if it wasn't for the lack of loyalty. Yes, I want to be hired again and again and again, but giving a client a discount to do so - is just plain desperate. Blake - I love your example and often laugh about it with current clients, but a company would have to be awfully desperate to accept those terms. My 20 years of experience. It's simple - If you want ME to photograph YOUR _____, pay me. For some reason - this straight forward approach works for me.

Anastasia MacGillivray

about 12 years ago

super useful and wise scenario. hope to try it one day. do u have a book of those?

Trish Gant

about 12 years ago

Hi Blake, this is so true. Clients often dangle carrots to entice a drop in rates and I'm sure they're sincere when they say they'd like to be loyal. Trouble is, sometimes the decision is made above them next time and it doesn't matter what you've done for them in the past. So I'm with you, try to manipulate the situation to your advantage if you can.

Lara White

about 12 years ago

wow, that is AWESOME advice. I have had to learn this the hard way too. You want the business, and end up getting suckered. Plus they keep scrapping a lit bit off and adding the freebies all the way up to signing the contract. Makes me feel used. By going this route, you'll save yourself a lot of hassle and if they are sincere, then it's a win win.


about 12 years ago

I agree - good post - but of course the 15% is only correct if all the jobs are identically priced :) doesn't change the value of the lesson though. Hope you are well Blake - been a while.

Blake J. Discher

about 12 years ago

You're welcome... Here's a great tweet from @brianfrolo re the post: Heh, flip that around: "Accept crappy work [this time] and next time it'll be better. I promise."

Michael Albany

about 13 years ago

I have used this 3 times since you brought it up at SB3 (Philly) and every time the client didn't bite. they wanted the discount up front. I have seen the work they got since and OMG... I guess they didn't want a professional that's for sure.

Holly Ambuehl

about 13 years ago

How'd you learn the lesson? :) Good post. Thanks

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