Over the years, I have given friends breaks on what I charge major corporations the full price for. Why? Because they were my friends (or so I assumed, the older you get the more careful you are about using the word “friends”). In the long run, I have realized this has NEVER worked to my advantage but always mostly to theirs. I absolutely always make sure I respect my friends and associates in business and even exchanges are rare so unless I absolutely need it, I don’t ask for friends to use their businesses to help me and NEVER for free, at least at this point. I have decided that it’s best that I don’t mix my business with my friendships and I don’t think that you should either.
Always consider what you do and why you do it. You must at all times have the utmost respect for your business and your clients. It’s OK to go give discounts but just realize that it’s like telling a lie. Telling a lie to your best clients UNLESS you make it fair to everyone involved. In other words, if you are giving a discount to a client with less budget, make sure you are being fair to your biggest clients in the process. For those who pay less, offer less and those who pay more… give more but NEVER anything for free. Here are the reasons why… (click NEXT for next segment)
Friends IMMEDIATELY take Advantage of Your Relationship
You can’t get mad at friends for seeing how knowing you can help them accomplish their goals but the question is how does it make YOU feel extending yourself and your business? THAT’s what you should pay the most attention to and focus on. They don’t look at it like this but YOU must, they will be stealing money out of your pocket. (click NEXT for next segment)
It’s not a Win/Win Situation
A majority of the time the greatest benefactor of the favor will be your friend, not you. ESPECIALLY when it’s free. An associate recently asked me for a favor for free that I KNOW he will get paid for. You read that right, by me doing the favor, my associate makes money and I don’t? You can allow your brand to be used for philanthropic efforts, which I do all the time but NEVER as a welfare agency. If friends or associate are not willing to AT LEAST give you half or more than you usually charge you and your business are being taken advantage of. Walk away and don’t look back.
When You Give something for Free or Nearly Free, NOBODY will ever see the value…
Why should your friends ever come to you with money when they KNOW they can come with the usual, “I’m Broke” bit and get it for free? You can’t beat FREE!
They Will Spread the Word to Other Potential Clients
Make no mistake someone will (and even if they MAY) mention it, it could hurt your bottom line. I have had clients call me and say, “I hear you are offering lower prices to other people so I need the same.” The “friend” that I have done the favor for sells me out then tells the person not to tell me they said anything so they can keep their deal in place and hurt my future business? Not good.