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 like you’re standing on the branch of a tall tree which someone is sawing off.

It’s an especially personal problem for professional services providers. Sometimes we allow our self-worth to be tied up in that price, because, down deep, we feel like we’re pricing ourselves.

Successfully addressing your lack of confidence in your pricing goes beyond a self-help book or some “empowerment” pep rally. These antidotes might be ok in the moment, but they are fleeting sugar highs for your confidence.

A change in your perspective is where you start. When you talk to a client, forget about yourself, your services, and what you offer. Focus on the client and their problems.

Start every conversation with a prospect with something along the lines, “I’m not sure if I offer the best solution for your problem. If I don’t, though, I’ll be honest about that and try to help you find a solution to your problem.”

Then take a breath and relax. The pressure is off you.

Have a conversation which focuses entirely on the customer and their problems, frustrations, hopes and dreams. Dig deep with lots of questions, even those which nominally have nothing to do with the reason for the conversation in the first place. Ask questions such as:

  • What is pressing about this problem? Why the need to solve it today, vs. last week, last month, or last year?
  • Why happens if you do nothing? What’s the risk of inaction?
  • Why not just do it yourself, or do it internally? Why hire anyone?
  • Why me? What do you see in me or my services which causes you to think I can provide a solution?
  • What’s are the big picture goals here, both for yourself and your business?

Listen with an intent to learn, get to know, to understand. As the client speaks, don’t sit there thinking of how you’ll respond with your solution. Practice inquisitive listening with responses like “tell me more about that” and “unpack that for me a bit.”

What you may find out, in that conversation, is that you’ve encountered a client whose problem is beyond your scope, not a great fit, or this person is likely to be a pain in your rear. If so, embrace this outcome. It’s an opportunity to save yourself from a confidence-killing unsuccessful engagement.

Only after you’ve had a thorough conversation with a prospect do you allow yourself to think about your diagnosis for that client, service options you can offer, and the pricing of those options.

Everything starts with a change in your perspective, away from yourself and toward the client. A better price, and your confidence in that price, is determined by your willingness to make this shift.


Photo by Filippo Ruffini on Unsplash

©Ray Business Advisors, LLC and John Ray


About me:  I’m enthusiastic about how changes in pricing strategy can significantly change profitability for a business and enhance life choices for business owners. I live this passion through Ray Business Advisors, my outside CFO and business advisory practice, in which my pricing is exclusively value-based, not hourly. I work with business owners on how they can change their pricing not just to increase their profits, but better serve the wants of their customers. Click here to learn more or call me at 404-287-2627.

1 Comment

  1. […] begin with, part of the problem for services professionals starting out is both fear and confidence. Let’s call this out:  we are afraid and insecure in thinking a buyer will look at us and […]

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