Business owners are cut from a different cloth. They learn certain skills and amass expertise in their fields and then take that aptitude to the market for sale. To be successful you must be proficient, driven, and knowledgeable at the expense of investing endless amounts of time and money. Once you cross the entrepreneurial threshold you are now ready to add value only you can personally provide in your industry. All this being said, don’t you think you should get paid what you’re worth? Seems like a lot of effort and risk to have others tell you what you should be paid.
Your income is ultimately tied to your self-worth. If you don’t see yourself as worthy then your customers will pick up on this and will take advantage of you. Clues that you don’t realize your self-worth include postponing raising your prices even if your work speaks for itself, feeling uncomfortable when discussing your fees, and constantly comparing yourself to others and feeling inadequate. It is hard for clients to recognize your value when you don’t recognize it yourself. Create a price structure that is clear to explain and that is pre-determined before discussing the fees with prospects and when it comes time to raise prices explain why but never settle. If a client doesn’t want to pay today, one will pay tomorrow.
Make every conversation you have between your clients a value conversation not a pricing conversation. If you compete based on price you will constantly compare your service pricing to that of competitors. But is that really a fair comparison? Think about how your value compares to your competitors. For example, if you’re a plumber that shows up (on-time) and is in constant communication with your customers and teaches along the way, you will blow your competition out of the water regardless of price. It would be unfair to compare yourself to all plumbers in your market because your customer service and work quality are likely leaps and bounds beyond what the others do.
There will always be someone willing to undercut your rates to attract customers who are price sensitive, and thus you have lost customers who are not loyal to you and your business and whom you probably already charged less than your services are worth. If instead you position yourself based on your value, and not your pricing, you will attract and maintain loyal customers who stick by you due to the benefits that you have created for them. Instead of a cost, clients will view your services and expertise as an investment toward future success. It truly is a quality over quantity game and having more doesn’t always equate to being better.
Acknowledge Your Knowledge
We already mentioned that to get where you are you had to have invested time and money to learn your trade and thus you have increased your value. In addition, you likely developed your own personal skill set along the way which is probably unique from everyone else around you. Therefore, you can provide benefits to your clients that your competitors may not be able to. Once you acknowledge what makes you different you can craft an experience for your customers that will allow them to realize the benefits that you can offer. As you do this your positioning starts to shift and you will be able to attract and maintain the right customers who are coming to you based on your services and not your price.
“Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.” We’ve all heard it, and if we take pride in our work and the way we make a living we may be able to emulate it to a certain degree. Instead of comparing yourself to your competition, develop a sense of pride in your work and the value of your business and services. Focus on your strengths and always work on developing your weak spots, but charge what you’re worth!