Should you drop your rate to build a client list?

You quote on a project, but the prospective clients says you’re too high. You were really hoping to land this client and now the money seems less important than the prestige. You’re just starting out and your client list is pretty slim. Should you drop your rate?

No way. If you discount your rate to get the job, it tells the client that your first quote was inflated. It also means that you’ll never be able to charge them your full consulting fee rate — they’ll always expect you to cut your fees.

If you really want to build your client list, do volunteer work for a charity. There are tons of deserving charities out there — find one that’s aligned with your values and do some pro bono work for them. Over time, you can use that work to win slightly more well known clients…and then work up to doing a deal with the clients who offer prestige.