As a professional consultant do you cycle around questions like, “What should I charge?” “How much could they afford to pay?” “Will they pay that?”
If this is you, stop right now.
Price is elastic. Emotions often overrule logic. People will pay whatever they need to if they want something badly enough.
Pet owners are a classic example. Some will pay exorbitant amounts (we’re talking tens of thousands of dollars) to save the life of a loved pet. And they’ll find the money to do so.
What follows is a true story.
A horse had a problem with an eye. The vet the owner had used for 20 years said the eye would need to be removed. After the operation, he said, “You know, we could have saved the eye, but it would have been $18,000 in chemo and other medication and I didn’t do that.”
The owner of the horse was furious. It was her decision whether she spent the money or not. She not only dumped the vet, but bad mouthed him around town for making an emotional decision without consulting her first.
As professional consultants we’re often our own worst enemies. We want to serve more people, but can realistically only do so if we charge a fair price given the value we deliver.
Within reason, the market will pay you what you think you’re worth. We all have a “money thermostat”. Beliefs about how much we can comfortably charge. Then we act out those beliefs and get paid what we feel we’re worth.
You have to have the courage and confidence to put a stake in the ground, state your value and expect that you’ll get paid.
And that starts as an inside job.
First of all we have to embody our own value. Really believe that what we do truly helps our clients achieve results.
Which is where the “imposter or I’m a fraud” syndrome often kicks in.
We believe we’re not worth it, shouldn’t be charging, they’ll find out we’re no good thoughts run through our minds.
The best way to sort this mental sabotage out is to take a really objective look at yourself, your skills, network, process and what you’ve already delivered for clients.
At some point we do this with every client we work with.
We clearly remember the mortgage brokers who back in the early 2000’s charged clients $3,000 to help them put a property portfolio together.
We got major resistance when suggesting they put their prices up. Until we helped them break down their process so they themselves could see all the small steps that added value at each stage.
How their network helped clients find undervalued properties. How their system allowed owners to pay off mortgages 10 years sooner, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest.
Once they embodied that they provided tangible and real monetary value, they tripled their prices within a few years and have never looked back.
Another way we help clients see their own value is by interviewing their clients in depth. We find out what really motivated them to buy and remain clients. Often you’d be surprised at what comes out. That type of affirmation gives our clients the courage and confidence to raise prices knowing they provide real value.
Realise that your market can’t know what value you provide unless you clearly communicate it in terms they appreciate.
Talk in terms of results and outcomes. Be as specific as possible.
And don’t make judgements as to what they can and can’t afford.
You’ll be surprised what people will pay if you just take the trouble to explain the value in terms they can relate to. Most businesses lose massive profits because they are too fearful to put their prices up.
And finally, if you’d like help eliciting your own value and embodying it, give me a call on +61-414-913334 and we’ll work through your process, extract the value and communicate it in a way which resonates with your target market.