Ask Anastacia: What do I say when a client asks me why my fees are so high?

Ramona wrote to pick my brain. She said that she’d recently been asked this question by a prospective client and had no idea how to answer it. She asked if I could give her some language for it in case she hears it again.

You bet I can.

The question is this: Why are your fees so high?

Ramona, the next time you’re asked, counter with this: High… compared to what, exactly?

Chances are, the client will say something like: Compared to what other VAs charge!

And to that, you can reply: I can’t say why other VAs set their fees as they do. I can only say that mine are set to allow me to be leanly profitable, and are commensurate and appropriate for my experience and what I will bring to the relationship I’ll form with you if we work together.

And then say nothing. Stay absolutely silent until the client speaks. If you speak first, it will be perceived as your being uncomfortable with and unconvinced about what you just said, and you need the client to know that you’re completely fine with what you just said.

It’s possible that the client may still not be moved to work with you, but it won’t be because your answer didn’t rock. It will be because of how the client feels about investing in her business. And you can’t do much to shift that, nor should you have to.

While I’m here, let me share that the same answer works on the opposite question: Why are your fees so low? 

This tricky question needn’t trip you up ever again as long as you stand for the business you created and know your value.