Should business owners and freelancers work for free or offer discounts?

“This will give you exposure."

"I would like us to build a long term working relationship"

“If this works out, I can speak to my boss/client about giving you lots of paid work.”

Truth is, these words mean nothing. They are empty vessels.

They are "emotional hooks"

Why do people want you to work for free? Why do people expect discounts? 

Simply put, because they don't see any value in what you are offering.

You may do plenty for free and that's your choice, perhaps you have no expenses to pay each month? However, you must never agree because someone has a sense of entitlement and expects you to say yes, or flatters you in a bid to manipulate you to do what's good for them.

How can it be integral for any business owner/freelancer to charge full rate to one client and discount another?

The feedback I have had from organisations, companies and individuals over the years is they are suspicious of anyone who discounts their services or products or charges low rates, as they question if they are experienced enough or competent enough, to do the job required and they don't want to take that risk.


Do you believe your skills, energy and talent are valuable? If so, why would you be happy to give them away, on speculation, taking away precious time that could be spent marketing clients who will pay your full rate or taking care of existing clients? 

If what you offer adds value to the success of a company, organisation or individual, then surely its worth paying for?  

Stop, reflect and review next time you are asked to provide something for free. Does Virgin ever say; please book a holiday and have it on us? Do restaurants ever say; help yourself and please do not worry about payment?

I always ask:

"Do you work for free or discount your salary?"

They always say:


I say:

"I am curious, therefore, why you are expecting me to work for free or discount my fees?"

That leaves them speechless every time.

Don't let anyone take advantage of your good nature and inability to say no.

If you don't want to work for free or offer a discount then be polite, be courteous and say, "thanks for thinking of me. Please let me know your budgetary needs and I will be happy to work something out that best fits."


"I am afraid I am unable to offer a discount or a free service/product, as I am busy all the time at my regular rate."


"I hope you understand it wouldn't be integral of me to offer you a concessionary fee, when all my other clients pay my full rate. I am sure you appreciate my reason for having to decline."

You will find your revenue increasing radically along with your self-worth.

After all being assertive, valuing yourself and having self-respect is a winning strategy.

Life Coach Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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