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Why You Should Charge Clients More Than You Think You’re Worth

It is a very noble soul who does not want to wrench every last penny from clients. That being said, it is important for that noble soul not to sell him or herself short either. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Dorie Clark explains why consultants should probably be charging more than they think they are worth.

The Value Perception

In the first place, you should beware the mistake of underpricing yourself. Price is considered a reflection of quality—for better and for worse. If you provide outstanding quality but at a generously low price point, perspective clients may take away the wrong message: “I guess this person’s services aren’t as valuable as I thought they were.” This of course is an inaccurate conclusion, but that part is irrelevant. What is relevant is that people are passing you up for other choices in this scenario. To ensure that your pricing is in the right ballpark, Clark recommends connecting yourself into a network of trusted peers who are open about discussing their pricing with you. If you learn that their prices are higher, then there is little reason to aim yours lower.

Clark continues to share a story from Michael Bungay Stanier, who runs a successful training firm, about how he used to charge too little for hour-long calls with clients he allowed:

He quickly found himself exhausted and decided to raise his rates to avoid burnout. How did he get comfortable asking? “At a really tactical level, it’s just practice,” he says. “Somebody once said to me, ‘Your going rate should be fear plus 10%.’” I love that, because it’s like, what’s the level you’re comfortable saying, $1,000? All right, add 10%, so it’s $1,100. Now, go say that in front of a mirror 20 times. You’ll feel like an idiot, but what happens is the phrase loses some of its power.”

This attitude should pervade as you work from one new client to another. Each new client can be a small market test, to see if you can continue raising rates without running into resistance. Do not think about if the price sounds outlandish to you. It only matters if it sounds outlandish to the clients.

You can view the original article here: https://hbr.org/2017/10/why-you-should-charge-clients-more-than-you-think-youre-worth

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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