Price to Win

Price to Win

Are you paid what you’re worth?  Fee pressure is at an all-time high; hourly rates are getting squeezed. Firms are resorting to deep discounting. Most importantly, clients want to know what they’ll spend before you do the work. Heck, in their shoes—especially in this economy—you would, too.

But you don’t have to be the “cheapest” option for people to be glad to hire you. Learn a much better way to position yourself.

How should you sell your valuable knowledge?

If what you charge is based on “market”—often some form of your, or your competitor’s, time-based bills—then you’re at an instant disadvantage.

Ideally, you’d price based on worth (a term I prefer over “value”) from the buyer’s perspective, then you have a chance to price with true advantage, both to you and your customer. How is that worth determined? It’s never in a vacuum; you can’t unilaterally decide this type of price. It’s only discovered through dialogue with the economic buyer or a trusted agent of that buyer. Getting to this worth-based price isn’t easy.

Pricing in advance is an art, so it comes as no surprise that we see some practitioners dabble, get frustrated, and give up, falling right back into billing based on time. And facing the limitations of hourly billing.

Pricing skills

Pricing is a competency that’s learned, then honed through practice. Mastery comes more naturally to some than to others, but I’m convinced that all professionals can acquire core pricing skills through a handful of steps. Even people who aren’t sales or consulting types can acquire the skills to move most buyers toward worth-based pricing. (Not every buyer can or will buy this way. I teach you how to determine who will and who won’t.)

Learn the differences between fixed prices and worth-based prices. Starting with the fixed-price concept, I’ll teach you how to become more comfortable moving into conversations with your clients about what something is worth. It’s a confidence-building process that works, even for shy sellers.

Pricing problems

Many CPAs and lawyers confess to being terrible at pricing. Good or bad, there’s no line item in our financial statements showing us dollars left on the table from poor pricing. We do know that when we price our own work, most of us establish a lower value for our services than others would assign to us. And yet, we also know that sometimes clients feel like they are paying too much. Why is this?

This particular problem is rarely a “price” problem. Usually, it’s caused by one of two things:

  1. Surprise: because they thought they knew their cost before the work was done, but the firm did some form of what I call “bill and duck” that involves quoting a fee or range, then billing more for unforeseen circumstances (aka scope creep), or
  2. Lack of clarity: sometimes the buyer isn’t really sure what they are getting in the first place, and purchases feel too open-ended.

Both of these have more to do with poor scope definition and project management than with the actual amount they’ve been asked to pay. What sounds like a price issue is usually just an expectation-management issue.

Again, buyers want certainty in price. Billing in arrears too easily disrupts their trust in you. And they certainly want to know what they are actually buying at the onset of a project.

Hand in hand with your new pricing skills, discover how to avoid one of the most costly problems firms face today: dreaded scope creep.

Together, we’ll improve your profitability. Guaranteed

You’ll see results right away if you use the scoping and and pricing techniques I’ll teach you. If we work together, I’ll guarantee it in writing.

As a senior fellow of VeraSage Institute, I’m a seasoned pricer myself and teach firms like yours (small firms to Top 100 firms) techniques that work, at a pace that feels comfortable: sometimes baby steps and sometimes full bore.

Stop doing work that you don’t get paid for. Stop leaving money on the table. Start reassuring clients that you stand by your prices, and that they’ll always know what they are getting for a price they feel is right.

Discover solid pricing methods that ensure worth, both for your buyer and for you.

Let’s get started today!  (785) 309-2569