Scripts to Awkward Client Conversations

Navigating Uncomfortable Client Interactions: Effective Scripts for Difficult Conversations

conversation with client

These awkward situations are inevitable whether pre-, during, or post-project launch.

It is important to tackle these with wit, tact, and respect for you and your client.


Client: Why are your rates higher than others?


“I am well aware I am not the lowest priced out there (and I refuse to compete on pricing any of my services) but I am also very sure that the price translates to the value I can give you. This is my perceived value of work, and I hold high regard to what I can deliver to every project I book.”

This response acknowledges the client’s concern about pricing while articulately explaining the value proposition behind your rates. It emphasizes the quality-driven approach and commitment to excellence, which positions your services as an investment rather than a simple cost. By maintaining a friendly tone and addressing the client’s concerns respectfully, this response fosters trust and reinforces the value you bring to the table.

Side note:

A client actually mentioned to me AFTER signing, that my proposal was the steepest option he received. This exact script is in my website’s FAQ section, along with a “starts at xxx” on my pricing page.

This primes the potential client on the value of the investment, instead of the price of an expense.


How to politely ask a client for the client’s budget.


An important part of the discovery call that usually gets awkward to talk about is the project’s budget.

As a service-based business, why should we ask for the client’s budget?


It’s NOT to win the price negotiation.

It’s NOT to snob the client with a meek budget.

It’s NOT to max out the proposal price if the client has deep pockets.


It’s to know the scope and limitations of the project you both can work with.

It is to give them room to decide which parts are mission critical to their goals and we can help them decide to make the most out of their bucks.

It is so we can present them with the best solutions the world can offer with the money they worked hard for. 


Client:  “I need a website, super simple, how much would it cost me?”


“Think of building a website like building a house. Just like a house, the end result of your website depends on a bunch of factors: how big it is, what it looks like, the quality of the materials, and how quickly you need it done. Your budget, as well as what you really care about and what you want, will determine what features and functions your website will have. If you let me know your budget from the get-go, I can give you some different ideas for building your site and come up with a proposal that’s both realistic and won’t break the bank. Knowing your budget helps us tailor our solutions to fit your needs perfectly. It’s all about making sure the solutions we suggest match up with what you can afford and what you’re aiming for financially.”

Start with an analogy to describe how pricing a website needs a conversation.

This approach acknowledges the importance of budget without putting undue pressure on the client.

It also emphasizes the collaborative aspect of the conversation, indicating that the budget discussion is meant to benefit both parties in finding the best solution within the given financial parameters.

Client:  Can you do this for less?


If budget is our priority, let’s start with the amount that works for you, and back to our deliverables that make sense for that number. 

This response strikes a balance between professionalism and friendliness by acknowledging the client’s concern about budget while also reassuring them of your commitment to providing tailored solutions.

This highlights the value-based approach: The response subtly suggests that while budget is important, the ultimate goal is to deliver value to the client.

Focusing on aligning deliverables with the agreed-upon budget, it reinforces the idea that the client will still receive quality service and results within their financial constraints.

The client wants to change the approved work.


“To ensure alignment with your management team’s expectations, we’re prepared to adjust the work accordingly. However, this will require revisiting previously approved work, necessitating a change order to establish a budget for these revisions.

Once the change order is agreed upon, we’ll need approvals from an authorized member of your company for each subsequent phase. Please inform us of the designated individual as we embark on the revised work.

We are committed to delivering quality outcomes and regret any inconvenience caused by this situation. We look forward to reaching a mutually satisfactory resolution.”


This highlights value-based approach: The response subtly suggests that while budget is important, the ultimate goal is to deliver value to the client. By focusing on aligning deliverables with the agreed-upon budget, it reinforces the idea that the client will still receive quality service and results within their financial constraints.

Delayed website content that your client agreed to provide.

Your email script:

Hello [client],


I hope you’re doing well. I just wanted to touch base regarding the content for the website. I’m still waiting eagerly for any updates or materials you can provide. If you’re facing any challenges in creating content, whether it’s copywriting or graphics, please don’t hesitate to let me know – I’m more than happy to assist.


I understand that things can get busy, but we’re currently behind schedule, and I’m sure we’re both eager to keep the momentum going. If I don’t receive the necessary content soon, I might need to temporarily pause the project. Please keep in mind that resuming the project later may incur additional fees as per our contract terms.


Looking forward to hearing from you soon so we can keep this project moving forward smoothly. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help expedite the process.


Best regards,

[Your Name]

Remind them about the reinstatement fees outlined in the contract, while also offering your assistance. This strikes a balance between being assertive and understanding, effectively encouraging them to take action.

Side note:

Worded professionally and easy to understand, the Website Design Contract Template has a particular clause for delays to avoid dragging a project forever and protecting yourself from scope creep. Check it out here: here


“Can we have unlimited revisions?”


“Sure, the quote includes [x] revisions. After those, you can have as many as you want, we’ll just switch to hourly billing.”

This response is effective because it sets clear boundaries on revisions while also offering a solution for additional changes. It ensures that the client understands the initial agreement and the potential shift in billing for extra revisions, maintaining transparency and fairness in the process.

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Design Rebel Studio by Rio Perez

I’m Rio, a web and brand designer, and copywriter. 

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