But first, let me make a prediction….
Why do I know this? Because I used to struggle with it myself and have coached hundreds of people who offer a great service, but when it comes down to having that money conversation…experience feelings of being uncomfortable, undeserving, and even a bit resentful.
Why do we devalue and undercharge? Because most of us tend have hidden blocks or having fully owned our brilliance.
If this is the case, you might have a little voice in your head that sounds like this:
“I can’t charge them that much because I haven’t been in business that long.”
“With this recession, it’s not right to ask people to pay more.”
“No one would pay my fees if I raised my rates.”
“My work is designed to help people and is sort of spiritual…you can’t charge for that.”
“What will _______ think if I make more money than they do?”
In this article I’m going to introduce questions that will show you your value so you’ll be more able to charge what you are worth!
But let’s start with what this under charging problem is costing.
Imagine that you are an acupuncturist and feel a bit uncomfortable moving your fees from $75/session to $100/session.
But if you ask yourself what the cost to your patients is of not being seen by you, it looks much different. Let’s say that you are treating someone for chronic back pain. They will have probably spent lots of money on chiropractic care, physical therapy, massage, and other things to alleviate their pain. They may have lost money due to missed work, but mostly they are missing out on playing with their kids, golfing, dancing, or whatever activity they love. You are looking to increase just a bit, so if you see them for 20 sessions, which would be an additional $500.
Would having their life back and being pain free be worth that? If you asked anyone that question, they’d give you an emphatic ‘yes’ because the results they get are worth paying any amount of money for.
So big question #1 – What would I have to believe about myself in order to charge what I’m worth?
This is where it starts for most people.
Inside, we all have a story about not being enough. It usually shows up in our obsessive desire to learn more, train more, grow more, and it can almost be like a hamster running on a wheel at times.
The first thing I want you to do is to listen for the story that pops up as I tell you to raise your fees. Listen for the resistance and notice how that feels and where it comes from. More than likely, none of it is true and you have to be vigilant when those sorts of things pop up to slow you down and derail your progress.
Big question #2 – How can I discover the results my clients get that is of value to them?
Simple…you just have to ask! The most powerful thing you can do is to have a process and regularly ask your clients what they are getting from working with you. For this one you will have to drill down and go deeper with them. For example if you were a business coach and someone said, “As a result of working with you, I feel better about my business” that may feel good, but it’s not really loaded with juicy benefits.
So you’d have to say, “Great, as a result of feeling better about your business, what are you now more able to do?” They may tell you that now they are more confident and have better results when they go to networking meetings. From that you’d drill down even deeper and ask, “What does being more confident at networking meetings get you?” They will then likely tell you that they have been able to attract three new clients because they are more able to talk about what they do and so have made an additional $2,000 this month. See the difference?
Big question #3 – What’s the lifetime (or long term) value of the work I do for a client?
This one single question can very often light a fire under that part of you that is sick and tired of giving away your precious time for so little money. Again, we break away from the hourly or the monthly charges here and discover what happens in our clients lives when we are with them for an extended period of time. Some of the magic will happen during the course of our working relationship, but much of it will happen after the fact.
Let’s take a website designer. Yes, your client will get a great site, but imagine in three years when it’s had loads of great SEO and has reflected really well the branding and essence of the business owner. What’s the value of positive and powerful branding? How do we commoditize a marketing message that stands out?
Those things are what you will want to look at when you ask yourself this question because once you know the effect that your work has on the clients in the long haul, you are golden! You can do this two ways…Fist, ask yourself what will happen if your client doesn’t hire you. In the case of the web designer, imagine a business owner that moves along for three years with a crappy site that isn’t capturing email information, has no clear “how to take the next steps to hire me” process and does nothing to increase your expert status.
What does that cost in terms of lost opportunity over the course of three years? If you ask that question, it’s easy to do the next step and ask yourself if they do hire you, what’s possible.
Now is this all just about getting more money in your pocket? NO!!!!!
That’s part of my wish, but more importantly, it’s in seeing you stand really firmly in knowing the value you bring.
The more you can take a stand for your value, the more you can do that for your clients. It’s truly a win-win that way. If you give up on yourself by charging less than you are worth, you are at risk of letting your clients not have the experience of playing the biggest game possible for them as well. And isn’t that what we all want?
And the final step in declaring your value? CLAIM it! So go ahead right now and share with me either through an email or on my blog just what your magic is!
Here’s to your peace and prosperity!