Notes: Charge What You Are Worth
Some of the things we talked about and looked at during the call were:
We often get stuck when we ask ourselves “How much are we worth?” by blurring the distinctions between personal, professional and monetary wealth.
Since we are often selling ourselves, not a product, we tend to think our fee is about ourselves. But it’s really about the results the client wants to achieve.
Ways to figure out what our services are worth:
Determine what kind of clients you want to attract and what they are willing to pay. Recall the dog trainer who wants involved clients while charging enough so that the client feels some “pinch”.
Costs are relative. Who is your market? What will they pay? If someone says you charge too much, do you really want them as a client? Are they actually a potential client, or someone who wouldn’t buy your service anyway? Sometimes we end up so afraid of a potential client’s opinion that we start discounting before they even ask.
Be cautious of putting your money issues on the client. What we want to do is to look at what the client thinks of the fees. And if the client says “wow, that’s really expensive” what we need to do is determine whether this is the opinion of a client we want. If it is then we want to change the clients’ perception of the value.
When it is time to talk fees, just state the fee, and then be quiet. Let the client accept the fee, or ask questions. Don’t start backtracking or filling in the quiet. It will only get you into trouble. Also if someone asks you about your fee before you’ve actually talked about your services, don’t tell them what your fee is. They will gut stuck in Moneyland and never hear what ever else you are saying.
We talked about Care Giver Guilt. Often we think it’s more desirable to give away our time and abilities. The results are more likely to be that the client thinks they aren’t competent, that they need help. They don’t really own the results: you do. It was your charity, not their money and hard work. We want our clients to take pride in their results and not feel beholding to us.
Discounting or giving away your services can send some very odd messages to the client, including your work is not valuable and that they aren’t capable enough to pay for it.
If you still feel the need to discount your fees:
First, set a limit or boundary for yourself on how many clients you are going to offer discounts. And Do Not Vary from it. Use the concept of a waiting list.
Second, if a client is getting a discount, make them invest in the project in an additional way, perhaps ladling at a soup kitchen. Allow them to own the results.
Remember, if you are making more money, you have more power to effect social changes you are really committed to.
Be clear on what the clients are paying for. They aren’t paying for your time. They are paying you for what you know. They are paying for your expertise and your training. So your main focus needs to be to make sure you are charging enough for your expertise.
Another sticking point in charging what we are worth is the “ease” aspect of your job. Do you think that having fun doing what you do makes it worth less? Don’t let cultural bias, the Puritan work ethic, etc. convince you to de-value your skills. Having work be easy for you does not make it worth less. It’s not easy for them. They are hiring your expertise.
Next teleclass: When Enough Isn’t
Many people spend their lives trying to make enough money, find enough love, create enough security. It’s a big challenge to get to enough. And in many ways that sounds practical. But it's really a trap in disguise. Enough simply isn’t.
In this teleclass we will explore how to go past enough and move on to plenty.
· Have you ever felt like you’re barely getting by?
· Do you often find yourself settling for just enough?
· Can you imagine what a world of plenty would be like?
If you have ever said “there’s not enough money”, or if the word enough frequently shows up in your thinking around lots of things, then you’ll want to participate in this teleclass.
Date: Wednesday, April 20th
Time: 10:15am to 11:15 p.m. Pacific (1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Eastern)
Registration: at www.sensiblecoaching.com
Fee: FREE…your only cost for this teleclass is your regular long distance call charges.