Yesterday I sat down with a client and told them they needed to charge more for a service they are providing. The price they were asking was less than it would cost to do the work, but they thought it would make the service palatable to more people. My feeling is, if you give into price sensitive clients, rather than winning them over, you actually help them undervalue your service.
By going in with a higher price, you also leave room to create a special or limited time price offering without completely undermining your bottom line.
And do I really need to do the math? If my price for a service is $500 and I want to make $5,000, I only need to sell the service to 10 clients, but if I reduce the price to $300, suddenly I need 17 clients to reach the same goal. Is a $200 dollar savings really going to mean 7 more people will buy my service?
Sarah Bray’s blog post that landed in my in-box this morning and a link she included to Tara Gentile’s site really got me thinking about charging what you are worth.
The other day I spoke to an old colleague who said, “I would love to work with you, but you are expensive”. I have to stop and point out that relatively speaking, my rate is not high, there are many who offer similar services, with half of my experience asking almost double my rate. Rather than saying that, I pointed out that because of my experience, I add a lot of value and I also happen to get things done quickly. It is something I noticed with a writer I have worked with for years, most people would balk at his rate, but I know that with him, I will likely pay less and get far more value than I could ever get from someone with a much lower rate.
I really love the way Tara Gentile puts it:
"It also didn’t make me a greedy person to price my work in relation to the value it provided others. And, finally, that just because I raised my prices didn’t mean others couldn’t afford it – it meant they had to prioritize it."
There will always be people who think your rate or your service is too expensive, and sometimes it just means those aren’t the right people for you to work with, because chances are they don’t truly value your unique contribution or service.
Sometimes it is about negotiating something that works for both of you, like a lower hourly rate but a guaranteed fixed amount of hours. I have even been known to do somethings for free - yes free, but even then, I find myself only doing that when I feel that what I am doing is really going to be valued.
So there, my little reminder to myself that I am worth it and to you that you are worth it too - so ask for it!