How to Overcome Client Objections When You're a New Copywriter

Getting into the game, are you?

As a copywriter, you bring valuable skills to the marketplace.

And as a new copywriter, you’ll frequently deal with clients who don’t understand that value. They only know they want a lot of value in exchange for the money they’re spending on your services.

But here’s the problem …

They don’t usually want to wait until after they’re using your copy to find out whether or not it’s effective. They’re looking for some evidence — BEFORE you even start writing — that your copy will be effective.

Now come on. Really. Who can give them that type of proof?

Nobody can predict whether copy will …

crash and burn, or
bring cash and earn

But that won’t stop your prospect from wanting to know you’ve written solid copy in the past.

And who can blame them? That’s logical thinking. They’re reluctant to take a chance.

The Not-So-Fantastic 4 Common Objections

Here are four common objections you’ll hear from your prospects when you have your first conversation, along with my ABC Formula for handling each objection.

But ...
Challenge the Conventional wisdom

Keep in mind the basic theme of each objection: Your prospect is saying, “you can’t prove your copy will work.”

At the same time, remember they’ll do business with someone they know, like, and trust. So help them get to know you and give them reasons to like and trust you … even while they’re objecting to your proposal.

And BE CONFIDENT with your replies. It’ll be awkward at first, but as you learn to believe in yourself and your value, it’ll feel natural. Really, it will.

Objection #1: You don’t have enough experience

“I agree.”

“But that’s the funny thing about this business.”

“An experienced copywriter can’t offer any guarantee that this project will be a success, any more than an experienced baseball play can guarantee he’ll get a base hit. It doesn’t work that way. Do you know what’s more powerful than experience? Great research skills. Curiosity. Ideas. Insight into the human condition. And that’s what I DO have enough of.”

Objection #2: You don’t have writing samples for my target market

“You’re right about that.”

“But I do understand your target market. I’ve done my research. I know what they value, what they hate, what they’re looking for, and what they want to avoid.”

“And if I know the people who make up your target market, then I can write copy that reaches and persuades them.”

Objection #3: Your rates are too high

This is, of course, the big one. Some clients believe price negotiation is just a normal part of the process. Other people don’t understand the value of a skilled Direct Response copywriter.

If price is more important to them than value, do you want them as your client?

Please say no.

If you sense they’re just shopping for the lowest price, then … oh gosh, that’s a whole other blog post. The Cliff Notes version is this: kick ‘em in the shin and run away.

But don’t immediately drop your price at this point. You have other options.

“You know, sometimes I feel that way, too.”

“But my professional fees are stubborn things. They won’t drop without a good reason.”

“So here’s what I can do instead.”

“I’ll include [some extra service] for no additional cost to you.”

“If you pay my entire fee up front, I’ll knock 15% off my price.”

“If you can give me an extra three weeks to work on this, I’ll take 10% off.”

“If you agree to provide me with a video testimonial some time in the next four weeks, I’ll reduce my fee by 10%.”

“You know, I sometimes think that myself.”

“But then I remember what I’m doing for you and your business.”

“My written words improve your brand … your image. My words sell your product. My words build relationships — mutually-beneficial long-term relationships — with your prospects and customers. My words give you longevity and security. I mean, that’s good stuff right there. And that’s when I decide my rates aren’t too high.

“You know, I sometimes think that myself.”


“Let me show you what Dan Kennedy would charge for this project.”
    (ok, maybe don’t use this one)

“I agree that other copywriters have lower rates than mine. And of course, other copywriters have fees much higher than mine.


“I’ve thought about my fees carefully. I’ve compared them with the fees charged by other copywriters. They’re an accurate reflection of the value I bring to my clients. Of the value I’ll bring to you.”

Objection #4: You don’t have any testimonials or references from paying clients

“You’re right, I don’t.”


“I’ll be asking you for one when we finish this project. So tell me, what would I have to do to earn your best recommendation?”

How to Stay Focused on the Big Picture

Now, of course, this type of negotiation is never simple when you’re in the thick of it. As former boxing heavyweight champion Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

So you need a foundation of self-awareness you can draw from when you start to feel anxious. Here are a few things to keep in mind at all times:

What are your copywriting business goals? If you feel like this client is your Big Opportunity, you might want to try something from #3 above. But if you talk with this client for 15 minutes and start to realize they’re not a good passenger for where you’re headed, finish the conversation professionally, then walk away.

What are your current circumstances? If you’re desperate for work, you’ll respond differently than if you’ve got projects lined up for the next 6 months, right?

How much do you want THIS client? During your conversation, did they seem reasonable and fun to work with? Or did they remind you of everything that’s wrong with cockroaches? The project might have you salivating, but if the client is a nasty, argumentative butthead … then spit out the gig and move on. It won’t be worth your time or trouble. We’re back to the kick-’em-in-the-shin solution.

And keep this in mind, too. Your best response will address the objection, but also act as a feeler to help you determine if this is the type of client you want to work with. For example, if they’re receptive to your answer and willing to think about it, there’s hope they’ll be a reasonable client.

But if they get all up in your grill and want to argue about it as a way of diminishing your perceived value — and therefore your fee — then you know how it’s going to go. This will be a bad marriage, and now is the time to get out of it. If they’re belligerent now, they’re not going to be generous, understanding, and appreciative later.

You’ll wished you’d kicked ‘em in the shin.

… And that’s not a very nice thing to wish.

One Final (Really Smart) Tip

Here’s a useful little tip for you. Spend 30 minutes searching the Internet for phrases like “how to hire a copywriter” and “what will a good copywriter do for me?”

Because what you’ll learn in these 30 minutes is INVALUABLE!

You see, you’re going to learn what YOUR CLIENT is being told to look for when she’s looking for YOU.

Remember, some of your clients have never hired a copywriter before. So they’re going to ask the Internet for advice. And since they don’t know any better, they’re going to follow that advice.

And if YOU know what your client is looking for, you have a huge advantage over other copywriters who are blindly guessing at how to get the client’s attention and persuade her that YOU are the right writer for the job.

In fact, you can predict — and prepare for — some of the objections you’re going to hear.

That’s good stuff right there.


Hey, I KNOW some of you have other ideas for handling client objections. Would you mind sharing a thought or two below?

But no fair saying to “kick ‘em in the other shin.”


This is only one obstacle you'll face in landing clients. Get ahead of the game with the Special Report on Closing More Deals.


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