I have got myself between a rock and a hard place and would like to know what you would do in this situation.
I have client who I have been working with for coming up 12 months, during this time I have delivered on every project. The past 6 months I have been working on SEO for this company. I am not the cheapest but my work is honest, fair and gets results.
From an SEO point of view and of course sales a fast web server would greatly benefit, I offered the client a free upgrade to a faster server which I have recently bought into the business. They agreed that this would be a good move. I have not yet moved the website but last week received an email from the client asking me to drop my SEO project prices as they had found a company who had significantly undercut me. I'm not stupid and stuck to my guns, the other thing which was mentioned was the company who they have supposedly got this other quote from for additional work would also do the SEO work which I was currently conducting cheaper. So basically drop the prices or we take the existing work off you as well....
I replied back that I could not move on price. I have yet to hear anything back and now don't particularly want to fulfill my original offer of giving them a free upgrade to my new fast server as this will only benefit another SEO company's results which will reflect poorly on me. This client is too hell bent in getting a cheaper price than recognising quality work. I feel a bit deflated as I look after all my clients but this feels like a slap in the face. I'd like to point out that I would actually make a loss the first year by bringing them across to the new server, this was purely to boost the SEO work I was doing to get them up the ranks a little quicker and increase sales. Purely a good gesture on my part but I failed to outline that the server upgrade was a condition that the SEO work stayed with me. Did not foresee the slap in the face so to speak having worked extensively for this client.
What would you do?
I'd maybe offer them the free upgrade for 6 months, and continue to charge them the same rate for the SEO. If they still wanted to try this other company after 6 months, I'd agree to let them go, but charge them for the 6 months hosting at the new rate.
Good luck with this - there's no pleasing some clients, who are just concentrating on their bottom line, without realising that being so penny-pinching will hurt them in the end.
Talk to the client, explain that the free server upgrade was obviously dependent on them using you for the SEO work. Tell them they are free to use someone else for SEO, and if the results do not live up to the promises, they are welcome to come back to you, but you won't be dropping your prices.
In the meantime, the free server offer is no more, so tell them to cough up the extra or stay on the slow server.
If your client is determined to get a cheaper deal elsewhere at the risk of losing a valued partner with proven results, let them go and learn the hard way.
It's hard not to take stuff like this personally though, especially if you are a one-man shop and feel that you've developed a real partnership with the client.
Agreed don't take it personally. Don't put them on the new server if they go to another vendor. And if they leave you, be sure to wish them well and invite them back if they aren't happy with the new vendor - it might work out in the end.
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