Sticker shock: the writer’s edition

Cartoon money and coins stack in front of a rising red line graph to show price increaseRecently, we’ve been talking about setting your pricing and professional rates and how to adjust them as time goes on. One thing I alluded to last time, but didn’t really talk about much, was how your current customers (and new ones, potentially) will react to those price increases. This can be a challenging part of working with regular clients. Still, it is manageable by taking a proper, respectful, professional approach to sticker shock.

What to know about sticker shock

Sticker shock is when your prices increase, and clients (new and old) are, well, shocked at these changes. They may feel betrayed, outraged, or disgusted. The reactions can range from mild to severe — similar to road rage. Not sure how to manage reactions to sticker shock? Here’s what you should know.

  • Someone will hate your prices: Sorry, but it’s totally accurate. New or old customers will hate your prices, and nothing will change their minds. They’ll think you’re overpriced or just changing your prices for greed reasons, etc. No matter what the reality is, this will be their stance. Even the nicest customers can turn into grizzlies when money gets involved!
  • Pick them carefully for the right reasons: The key to avoiding some harsher reactions to sticker shock when possible is to increase your prices carefully and responsibly. Don’t simply increase your prices for inflation purposes. Or because you actually are greedy. Increase them to cover new costs, overages, and so on. That means picking your new prices carefully.
  • Stand behind them: When you responsibly increase your professional rates, this builds confidence and the ability to stand behind them even when customers pressure you to offer them a lower rate or simply tell you that you’re being ridiculous. While you will always want to carefully change your professional rates, don’t let even your favourite customers pressure you to return to your old rates. You changed them for a reason.
  • Be ready to lose some business: I say that a lot, don’t I? The thing is, sticker shock can be enough to make someone turn on their heel and hurry off to the competition. Yeah, it’s frustrating and sad sometimes, but it will happen no matter what you do. Some customers don’t like change, and the sticker shock will be too much for them.

All professionals face it

While it may not seem this way, all professionals tend to face sticker shock at some point. No matter how carefully they arrange it, or how respectful they are of current clients and potential for new ones, someone will always be angry about it. And you know what? That’s okay! The important thing is to always focus on doing what you need to do for your professional career. Sticker shock is just part of the process of doing what’s best for you.

Does anyone have any stories about sticker shock and past customers? Or perhaps some advice on dealing with the more aggressive reactions? Please share below!

Business content writing

Kelterss View All →

Kelterss is an experienced freelance business writer and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Creating Writing. Having served over 3 ,200 customers while maintaining a 4.9/5 star rating, Kelterss is looking to focus her professional services in writing product descriptions and blog posts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: