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“Should I Price My Service Lower When I’m Starting Out?”

November 12, 2019

“Should I Price My Service Lower When I’m Starting Out?” November 12, 2019 This question comes up frequently when I speak to student entrepreneurs or owners of new businesses. I recently got this question from a business school student who said he wanted to start a consulting business. It’s an understandable question, but it comes from a faulty assumption. The premise is that lower prices attract customers, and that’s an understandable misconception that all services professionals have labored under when…

Another Way To Think About Value

November 8, 2019

Another Way to Think About Value November 8, 2019 Sometimes business owners get confused about value. They think value is tied up in the product they sell or the service they deliver, and that’s where they think value begins and ends. They think that value is what a customer receives when they consume the product or service. For example, an attorney sees that she has delivered value in the contract she prepares and delivers to a client. Value is intangible,…

Confidence and Pricing Your Services

November 1, 2019

Confidence and Pricing Your Services November 1, 2019 I’ve given several presentations to various groups over the last few weeks, including some student entrepreneurs just starting out. In the questions which come during and after those presentations, the underlying problem of confidence always comes up. Lack of confidence is that uneasy sensation when you get to that point in a conversation with a client when you start to discuss the price. Suddenly there’s a knot in your gut. You feel…

Look Who’s Coming to Dinner

October 29, 2019

Look Who’s Coming to Dinner October 29, 2019 If you’re a solo professional services provider or you’re a partner in a small firm, you recognize—or you should recognize—the importance of accepting clients who are the best fit. Not only is your time limited, but clients you shouldn’t have taken on often absorb the time available to take on great clients who come along later. Sometimes it’s hard to know prospects until they become clients. I’ve written about the warning signals…

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…

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