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Monkey Business


Comments are ordered by helpfulness, as indicated by you. Help us pick out the gems and discourage asshattery by voting on notable comments.

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Marty Rogers

You pay for what you get – it really is that simple.

Of course, there are many people and businesses out there who WILL try to take advantage by charging above and beyond what they really NEED to charge compared to that of their competitors, but that is THEIR choice.


I used to spend a lot of time explaining, educating the prospect. But some people are simply cheap. They do not value the work you bring to the table and your talent. They can not see that in the long run their money will multiply many folds. The energy you use to convince them about the value and not the money, is well spend doing marketing or other work.

Now I simply move on to the next client or prospect that is willing to pay for my price.


Pricing is an interesting concept. Has one ever though why are brands so desirable. Very often, you can pick up the same item for tenth of the price. The product/service becomes desirable because it’s over-priced. People are spending a fortune to by something just because its pricey- makes you think?

catherine gruber

This is really helpful and I face these issues often when speaking with clients. Clients often look at the costs as a primary factor in deciding while ignore the advantages. Thanks a lot for such as wonderful post!

Paul Maitland

Now this is a helpful article, and I will definitely be taking these points on board when dealing with clients in future.

I have always believed that it’s a sound idea to educate the clients as much as possible, explaining the advantages compared to the cost.

The only downside is that some clients simply just can not see past the price tag. There has been a number of occasions where, despite my best efforts to explain what they will be getting, they keep referring back to the price quoted on a budget site. You can explain the technology, SEO benefits etc, but sometimes, its all just a matter of price with some people.

Sam Barnes

Really nice article. As a project manager this sort of topic appeals to me and it’s nice to see it here.

For a split second I thought this was going to be a ‘shut up and pay me for my world class services, I’m worth it’ toned article – but damn it, I hate being wrong!

It had me thinking back to when clients have uttered these reactions to quotes and people around me have reacted negatively, sneering at the client, laughing at what their idea of a “fair price” is etc.

You know what, in my earlier days I did this also, but it never felt good, in fact I cringe thinking about it now.

With just a little twist on how to take a client’s response and react to it can make all the difference in that sales process and client relationship… and to me, that’s as valuable a skill in this business as any design or development ones.

Wise words Mr. Clarke.

Simon Cox

Great advice Andy.

I often find when dealing with services that there is either no room for negotiation on price – its what it is – or that the price is adjusted due to the Brand I work for – assumption being that the company can afford more.

Key factors here are ensuring I deal with the person who can negotiate the price – and that normally means, as you have said, telling me what I will get for the price – most sales people can’t do that.

As for selling my services – i always remember that its about selling my experience.

I liked the loose reference to apes in the title…


Bit late, but still nice to read. Certainly something we run into, as others have, and it’s potentially the most difficult part of the business side – particularly if you have interest from businesses who have big expectations on a small budget or if some feel they have a little knowledge on the subject can be the hardest to convice!

Maria Ahmed

Great advice. I’ve had to deal with many customers who act shocked at a price but I find being comprehensive, thoroughly explaining charges and discussing any comparisons always works for the better, no matter how painful it can seem!

Mark Ford

Hi Andy

This will be really helpful for me. Currently I dont entertain any form of bartering from potential clients. They get an abrupt no and are told my price is my price. Ive always felt that whilst Ill lose some business with the clients I could have swayed Ive probably saved about the same time by not wasting time with those that will just go with the lowest priced designer.

Having read your article I now feel armed and ready to tackle these objections and start winning some more business.

Thanks for the read!

Nick Johansson

Some great advice for dealing with price sensitive customers. Weve implemented some of these tactics when providing our pricing specifically breaking down all our costing by the associated web design component. Weve found that providing our clients with a detailed breakdown of pricing gives them the ability to add/remove components from our web design quote.

One thing I will mention is that we never negotiate once we have provided our pricing. In general we find that when clients attempt to negotiate a lower price they will often be hard to satisfy down the road.

We also avoid the common web design trap of asking for a budget from our client. Instead we get their web design requirements and price based on the hours/work it will take us to do (as opposed as what they are willing to pay for it).
Thanks for the great article!

Paul Bradley

As a self-employed web designer, it can be frustrating speaking to new clients when the inevitable conversation of price crops up.

There’s so many price points that are offered by designers and agencies covering all tiers of ‘quality’ that it’s really hard for a customer to know what they’re getting from their supplier.

I am not expensive by any stretch of the imagination, and like to think the quality I offer is over and above the price, when compared to agencies.

But when competing against your ‘competitor’ down the road who has already said they can do the site for 300, it’s hard for the customer to appreciate why there is a difference.

Your article goes some way in arming me for my next meeting!


This is an issue that we run into every so often. We send out quotes, that are rather reasonable for the services and quality that our company provides, most of the time client are fine with our prices. But like I said every so often we have someone look at us speechless, and say “that’s just to much”

Carlo Rizzante

Nice read, thanks.

I’ve to admit that I’ve hardly asked myself those three questions. So, I should do, and see if I can improve my negotiation skill.

But I would also add that necessarily time invested in explaining a client the “what and how” is time well invested. Some aren’t just good clients and those ones better do not get them aboard. Just move on.

Michael Kjeldsen

I must admit I’m guilty of using “it’s too expensive” now and then, but sometimes I find it perfectly fair to make that claim. I used to be a consultant in the business I’m now on the client side of the table and I think I have a general idea on, what things should cost.

I’m more than happy to pay for quality work and fantastic service but I’ve learned to say things the way I see them. So if someone tries to pull my pants down, and oversell their product/service, I let them know before showing them the door.

John Macpherson

Nice little read on a Sunday morning.

I know this isn’t what this article is about but preceeding giving them a hard quote / price giving them a ballpark figure or some indicator is a good idea. Little point in making out a quote for 5k if there are looking to spend £500.

It wasn’t that long ago i had someone balk at the price of 4 figures.. He was expecting a site for… drum roll ‘£50’. This was in a bar late at night mind you, but bewildering and amusing.

Looking forward to this monkey business, whatever it is. [off to google]


Great constructive argument Andy, well done.

I’m a firm believer in quality and brand, I simply don’t believe in cheap values.

My philosophy is ‘ if anything is expensive, whether service, products or goods, then it means it is valuable and must be of great worth.

I concur very well with your argument.

Kenny McNett

Great read, thank you!

I’m a relatively new small web shop owner and I work with low budget small businesses. I wish they would just tell me their budget and I could tell them what I can deliver that will be best for them.

Do you recommend this approach? Any thoughts on what is the best way to get a hard number out of a potential client about what their budget really is?

Pieter Heineken

Spot on Andy.

More often than not when someone objects to a price its because there is a misunderstanding either on your end or theirs. You’ve done your homework, you know what price the market will bear, so any objections are in fact based on a failure in communication.

Rather than faulting either side the prudent thing to do is to ask some questions and find out where this misunderstanding is coming from. The more effectively we communicate with our clients the happier both sides will be during all stages of the project.

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