Consulting Fees Too High? Here’s How to Respond

One question a lot of consultants have is what should they do when a buyer says that their fees are too high?

It’s an interesting question because when a buyer says to you that your fees are too high, it’s not actually an issue of price.


It’s Not Price

Rarely does a buyer make a decision strictly on price.

The real issue if you’re hearing that from a buyer is that they don’t yet see the real value that you can provide to them.

If they’re only looking at the price as a number, they see it as an expense. They’re not actually seeing it as an investment.

There are three things that you want to consider if you are encountering buyers telling you that your fees are too high.

Ask The Right Questions

First, you want to make sure that you really know how to ask the right questions and what the right questions are during the sales conversation so that you can really discover the value that your buyer and that ideal client cares most about.

Communicate Value

Second, that you can then use that information that you’ve discovered to communicate the value so that the buyer clearly sees how you can help them and what value they will be able to receive.

If we think about it this way, if you invest one dollar with me and you’re confident that you’re going to be able to make back three dollars for every one dollar that you invest, how much will you invest? Of course, as much as you possibly can.

But if they’re only looking at the price as a number, they see it as an expense. They’re not actually seeing it as an investment.

What you want to think about and what I would encourage you to consider is how to shift their mindset from seeing your fee as an expense to rather seeing it as an investment.

The fastest and most effective way to do that is to ensure that you’re actually communicating the value and the ROI that the buyer will be able to see by engaging you in that project.

There’s always a cost and a loss that happens or occurs when action is not taken.

We talked about step number one which is being clear and making sure that you know the right questions to ask during the sales conversation. Step two is to ensure that you are communicating that value to the buyer.

Gain and Loss

The third step is to look at and to discuss with the buyer so that they can clearly see not only what they stand to gain by engaging you in terms of ROI, value, results, but also what the potential loss is for them.

If they don’t take action right now to move forward, if they don’t engage you, if they don’t fix the problem that they’re having.

What do they stand to lose? What will they continue seeing? What pain will they continue having? What challenges will they not be able to overcome?

It’s not only the result and the benefit that people should consider – and that the buyer should know about – but also what they stand to lose if they don’t take action right now.

Identify the Numbers

Maybe if they’re currently generating, let’s say, $2 million in revenue in one business unit and they want to grow that to $3 million, everyday that goes by and every month that goes by there’s a potential loss of new revenue profit income connected to that.

Maybe it’s related to stress or maybe the team is not motivated in working together.

There’s always a cost and a loss that happens or occurs when action is not taken. That’s the third step and so you want to focus on that.

Give those three a try, consider them, and you’ll be able to start handling that question of what to do when a buyer says that your fees are too high.

Want More Info on Dealing with Objections?

I wrote a detailed post on 4 Proven Steps to Overcoming Clients Objections.

I hope you’ll enjoy it.


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  • Hey Michael – excellent points.

    The thing I’d reinforce is that you really need to do all this stuff BEFORE it reaches a point when your potential client says your fees are too high.

    If you’re just doing this after they’ve said your fees are too high you’re on the back foot. Everything you then say seems defensive, like an excuse. You should be doing the things in this article to estabish value and to focus the client’s thinking on ROI not price earlier, so that the “you’re too expensive” question doesn’t come up in the first place.


    • Great share Ian and I completely agree. Too often value isn’t communicated well enough and early enough in the conversation.