The Cost of Discounting Your Value

photo-1460794418188-1bb7dba2720dThe words below come from Joe Lombardo, a highly skilled and talented entrepreneurial artists’ representative and trusted colleague who, over the years, has become refined and specialized and has accumulated the high-level knowledge and contacts his clients need to achieve their goals and sell their wares.

Joe is a businessperson. He understands the cost to all when one’s value is discounted (and not just in a financial way) to fit another’s limited beliefs. If only it were simply about budgets,  but often it is not. 

This is especially important for us small businesses that, for some reason, are always asked for the ubiquitous “discount.” 

Why is that?

What is it about “small” that immediately = “discount?” 

Professional small businesses are refined. Specialized. We have accumulated the vast high-level knowledge and contacts that bring enormous value to a client. Or they would not be calling us.

We work with clients as partners and call on all our assets to achieve not just their goals but to recommend things they have never considered. That is valuable.  

Disingenuousness creates Partnersh*t, tarnishing the process. As my readers know, Partnersh*t is usually fatal. 

Last time I checked, my Apple devices were not discounted. I value them for providing the ability to do my work in the best way possible. 

Yesterday’s restaurant lunch was full price. I value the owners who work hard to serve me the best they have.

My Starbucks concoction is always a small fortune. I want it? I pay for it. It has value to me.

My mortgage payment? No discount there. I value my investment. 

How about we all just stop this nonsense. Let’s 1) set appropriate fees;  2) stand by our value and 3) work professionally to define and secure budgets appropriate to the job at hand. 


What a concept. 


And now, wise words from Joe. 


Joe Lombardo, Principal, Curated Artists

When did we forget the power of what we create with our word and action?

When did we start selling out?

Was this always the way or is this just the current fad?

I don’t bid a job—I estimate it for its intrinsic worth.

Your creative ask means something and when you come to me, for one of my people, you begin a conversation. It’s my job to harvest that conversation, always identifying distinctions in how to act on it, to digest your creative brief, extract the details, and help calculate its component parts —both in its wonder and its challenges.

It’s not win-lose, it’s not a game. It’s a dynamic dialogue about how we get to solve your problems and create something together that is based on the value of all your hard work spent in its possibility.

It’s not my job to be a cheap alternative to something else, and admittedly I’ve swallowed that pill once or twice, and I’ve inevitably gotten sick thereafter.

So I guess it’s time to declare that my job is to be honest about what it takes to have your job done well. Why would we do it any other way?

If you come to a representative, you come to us seeking an ever-growing commercial artist (readers: insert your own industry here)  who has been carefully curated to execute your dreamwork.

That is what I (we) do.

That is what I believe.

Everything else is just child’s play. 

—Joe Lombardo, Principal & Partner

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