• Pricing for Profit

Your Certifications Are Worthless

September 17, 2019

Your Certifications are Worthless September 17, 2019 Earlier this year, I was working with a bookkeeper who wanted to sharpen his proposals and achieve better pricing for his work. I ask him to role play with me as if I were the client and he were talking with me about what he could do for me. “Well, I’m QuickBooks Pro Advisor,” he began. “Stop,” I said. “Why?” He had a puzzled look. “That does nothing for me,” I said. I…

Will the Last One to Leave Please Turn out the Lights?

September 3, 2019

Will the Last One to Leave Please Turn out the Lights? September 3, 2019 I started my career at J.C. Bradford & Co. , a Nashville-headquartered investment banking firm. By the time I joined the firm as a wide-eyed puppy, the founder and firm’s namesake had retired. He would make only very occasional appearances, as his health was declining. When he dropped by, Mr. Bradford—and everyone, even senior officers, called him–would walk around, say hello, and offer great stories. Mr.…

A Raving Fan Begs to Spend More

August 30, 2019

A Raving Fan Begs to Spend More August 30, 2019 In my presentations and in working with individual clients, I suggest creating a “velvet rope” for your raving fans, the segment of your clients who love what you do so much they’ll be attracted by a premium offering with benefits exclusive to them. Raving fans see so much value in your product or service that they will seek a deeper dive into what you offer. That could be a “behind…

Happily Ever After

August 27, 2019

Happily Ever After August 27, 2019 Divorce is terrible. At best, it sucks the life out of everyone involved. Individuals confronted with this pain and having to hire a family law attorney to manage the necessary legal process are on an emotional roller coaster. Knowing the mindset of prospective clients needing their services, here are two different firms, advertising their capacity to serve as counsel in divorce proceedings:   Which of these firms do you think attracts clients who are…

Tutoring on Price Negotiations

August 22, 2019

Tutoring on Price Negotiations August 22, 2019 I’ve got a soft spot for tutors. Tutors are often teachers who tutor on the side to make a little extra money, and I’ve got an extra special affinity for teachers, since I’m married to one. Consequently, I’m delighted to help a tutor in some small way with their pricing. I recently visited with Ronda Youngblood, who had just started her tutoring business, Infinity Learning, while working in sales for another company. (See…

What I’m Worth

August 19, 2019

What I’m Worth August 19, 2019 “I should get paid what I’m worth.” I hear this sentiment, and variations on it, from professional services providers whom I speak to about their pricing. “What I’m worth” is dangerous language for a B2B services provider. “What I’m worth,” in isolation, can easily get turned into “what I need” or “what I deserve.” At an extreme, “what I’m worth” can justify taking advantage of people. What you need or think you deserve, is…

How Not to Defend Your Rate Increase: The Law Firm Edition

August 2, 2019

How Not to Defend Your Rate Increase: The Law Firm Edition August 2, 2019 According to the latest Altman Weil survey of law firms, rate increases were the norm last year. Of those firms who responded, 61% report rate increases which are more aggressive than in previous years. A new question was added to this year’s survey:  “If challenged by a client, how would you justify your firm’s most recent rate increases?” The most frequent response was “our costs are…

The Price of Air in New York City

July 25, 2019

The Price of Air in New York City July 25, 2019 What’s the price of air in New York City? If you’re walking down the street, the price is zero, just like it is in Atlanta, Houston, or Topeka. If you’re living in a New York City high-rise, the price of air is $11 million. The New York Times recently reported on a group of loft owners who discovered a developer planned a tower for the property right next door.…

The Pitches Which Apply to Everyone Apply to No One

July 23, 2019

The Pitches Which Apply to Everyone Apply to No One July 23, 2019 Recently I attended a gathering of business owners in which everyone went around the room, introducing themselves and their business. A travel agency owner introduced himself and casually added, “anyone who needs to travel is a good fit for me.” I remember hearing a lady at a networking event pitching her line of skin care products. At the end of her pitch, she said “a good client…

When Clients Brag

April 23, 2019

When Clients Brag April 23, 2019 I was discussing engagement options with a potential client not long ago. We got to the point where I reviewed my pricing for those different options. “Hmmm,” she said as she looked up. “I’m on a non-profit board,” she continued, “and recently we were reviewing proposals from several consultants,” she said. “We ended up hiring the most expensive consultant, because we thought they gave us the best shot at a successful outcome.” “After we…

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