In this uber-competitive economy, selling yourself cheap is tempting; are you limiting your success?
In this uber-competitive economy, selling your services cheap may seem tempting and for a few individuals may seem to be the only way to eek ahead of the competition. After all, a lesser price tag on your services may help you draw additional customers than your competitors, right? But when you are in a field like to consultancy or coaching you want to ask yourself, is undercharging for your services worth it in the long run?
What sets you apart as a consultant from the others is your intellect, your widom. Cheapening or ‘devaluing’ your wisdom to a level that is inline or less than that of a competitor may not be a good plan. Also it is simple business psychology people expect providers to cut their rates even further if they are already offering their services at a fee lower than the average market price. By reducing your fees you are buying into this psychology. If that is the case, then you may want to ask yourself “what is my real worth and how is this being mirrored in the fees I charge?”
Feeling empowered to charge our full worth can be scary and if you are not charging your full worth then there will be a process you will need to work through to not only raise your fees but also be confident in what you are charging when you do finally charge your full worth.
Generally, individuals assume a high price automatically equals high quality services or features. In fact if you look at your own buying patterns, this perception will become even clearer. Would you bargain with a store supervisor when you buy an expensive high end product like a Chanel dress or bag? Not likely. However, if you had been buying a dress from a market or a shopping center, you would perhaps bargain over the price or at least ask if the sale price is reflected on the tag, right? For all you know the flea market dress may actually be an export reject with a minor flaw like a torn tag. But, for the reason that the dress does not have the support of a 'big' brand name on the store front and a costly price tag you assume it is ordinary and consequently not worth the extra money.
The same thing takes place when you sell your services for cheap. You end up sending out the message that you are average, run of the mill and there is nothing exceptional about the services you offer.
One of the keys to success in consultancy lies in placing a premium on your services. It is not just about convincing your clients but you must believe in the distinctiveness of your services. When you believe in your own value, you can effortlessly share this perspective with your customers. Therefore your clients think they cannot find or receive the type of services you offer anywhere else.
This isn’t about running out and increasing your fees immediately nor will this imply you should charge an excessive amount for your services as that too can backfire. There is a process you need to follow and the first action is discovering your comfort zone in which you can effortlessly and confidently represent outwardly to your prospective customers.
Here's a quick exercise: When you think your existing service fees, how do they ‘fit’ you? What I mean is - are the fees so comfortable that you feel as if you are wearing a well worn old sweatshirt? If so then it is time to review and adjust your fees.
When ‘trying’ on new amounts of service charges think about the dollar amount as a balloon. Is there sufficient air in the balloon for you to float around in? Is there too much that you are getting lost? Is there too little that you can’t move at all? As you work with your service costs you will notice where and how you can align the fees with of the industry standards as well your own self-worth. The more confident you are with your distinctive services, the greater alignment your fees will be to your true value.
Ideally when you feel comfortable with your fees where you have room to move, the next step is for you to analyze your services you offer and how they are now ‘premium’ to that of the others in your industry. If you are increasing your fees, then make sure you are effectively communicating the increase to your clients.
At the end of the day your clients will be increasing their revenue margins and efficiency based on your recommendation. This means you play an important role in their business, take motivation from this fact and begin to value yourself for that simple reason.
To your success!
Coach Karen K
Life Coach and Business Coach Karen Kleinwort is the founder Therapy in Transition and is a Certified Professional Coach specializing in the integration of her clients' mind, body and spirit into her Personal Empowerment Coaching practice. For more information, visit www.coachkarenk.com. www.therapyintransition.org or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.