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How to Run a Face Painting Business - How to Deal with Price Shoppers

Every face painter is bound to get the dreaded “I found someone cheaper” response from a customer at least once, if not a few times in their professional life. Although that answer can be seen as a road block for some, it is important to recognize this as an opportunity to let your customers know what YOU have to offer for the price quoted.

There are several options as to which way to go when you are presented with this answer:

What I consider the Best Option: Stick to your prices but try to get the customer

The best thing a professional face painter can do is to stay professional and walk the customer through what you offer at the price quoted. Personally, I don’t recommend going into explaining every expense you have, or how many hours it takes you to prepare; the customer likely doesn’t care. What he or she does care about is the quality of the work they will receive, so show them your best pictures of what you can do with the time frame you have for their event. Many do care about you being insured, so make sure to mention that. Mention how the customer’s safety is your priority so you use only professional supplies and explain to your customer how you would offer them a discount if you could.

Make sure not to attack your competitor, you won’t look very good doing that, instead, simply explain why are YOU worth it.

Second Best: cut the customer a deal that doesn’t reduce your prices, like “add ons”

If the customer still won’t budge and you think you have room to negotiate, offer some free add ons, like a super cute custom design special bling for the birthday boy, or girl; or a balloon for the birthday boy or girl. Think of something of impact that won’t take too much of your time or create a large expense. A small thing that makes your customer see that you are doing the best you can for them might make enough of a difference.

Third Best: work on a reduced price package that takes less of your time or on a different day that you are not as busy

If still not a deal, think about offering faster smaller designs so that you can face paint more people in less time and save your customer some money by reducing the amount of time you will be at their event. This is not ideal, since you will likely be working harder, but this way you can free up some time for better paying gigs, while still taking this one.

Fourth Option: wish the customer well and let them know you are available for other events if their budget increases

If there is no way you can convince the customer to hire you, then the best you can do is to wish your customer well, remind them that you are there for future events for which they have a higher budget and give them some tips on choosing a face painter, like making sure they are insured, they use professional supplies, etc.

If you know any reliable face painter that might be just starting charges a lower rate, why not send the customer their way? The customer will appreciate you took the time to recommend someone that fits their budget, and the other professional face painter will likely return the favor to you some other time.

Never an Option: to be rude to the potential customer and lose all potential future business from them and the people they will talk to about their experience with you

The last thing you want to do is have people talking bad about your business, so to prevent that, make sure that you always stay professional when dealing with customers. The fact is that they might really not have a budget for you, even though they would love to hire you. Not all customers are just looking for the cheapest available; many just want something they can afford. Even if you find one of those customers that just want cheap, just stay polite and thank them for reaching out to you. This way they won’t have anything bad to say about you or your company, and frankly, if they just cared about price and not quality (and it wasn’t just a matter of a fixed limited budget), they might not be a good match for you as a professional face painter. We love to provide entertainment and demonstrate our art form in the best light possible, and it usually best to work with customers that appreciate all that we offer and understand our value. 

Good luck booking those gigs and always remember that you can do mock calls with someone you trust to practice what you will say on the phone in these kinds of situations. Once you have practiced enough this type of situation will be easy to deal with and will help you secure more bookings. 

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