Figuring out how to get paid what you’re worth can be tough for service providers. Clients are looking for a deal. When you’re excited to get any work, negotiating to get paid what you’re worth can become challenging.
I constantly see other business owners undercut themselves because they don’t believe that what they’re offering is valuable. Your skills and talents are worth money if someone needs them. There will always be someone who will charge less than you or give away what you do for free. You need to ignore these people and focus on what you’re delivering to get paid what you’re worth.
Don’t Jump the Gun
It’s always exhilarating to attract a new prospect. If you desperately need money to make rent this month, you may be itching to get people signed up as soon as they send you an inquiry. Basically, you’ll do whatever it takes to get them signed on the dotted line.
Before making any agreements always request time to think it over before drafting your quote. Don’t make any promises on the first phone call or email until you’ve had time to digest the scope of the entire project.
Speak too soon, and you can undercut yourself. You should keep your word after making an offer. There’s nothing more frustrating than sending out a quote only to realize that you seriously underestimated how much work would go into the job. Asking for time to think about it before sending a quote will give you time to take the next few steps.
Put the Ball in Their Court
Before pitching, ask what the budget is or ask what the potential client is paying other providers who are doing a similar service. I ran into a situation very recently where I was going to name a price first for a new writing client but thought twice. The client offered me two times the rate I was going to pitch plus an opportunity to make as much as five times that rate on lengthier assignments. Seriously, asking for a budget works.
Put Some Feelers Out
You may run into situations where a client has never worked with a freelancer or consultant. This is where you should reach out to your business besties. Give them an idea of the scope of the work you’ll be doing for the client and get their perspective on how much you should be charging.
Don’t seek advice from friends or family who aren’t your ideal client. I ran into trouble at the beginning of my business asking people that didn’t need the service what they would pay. Someone who doesn’t understand the value of what you offer is going to have a hard time knowing what your work is worth.
Stand Your Ground
Stand firm on your price when you decide what your time is worth. Bartering or lowering your price to accommodate others is a huge confidence buster. Having someone beat you down on price puts someone else other than you in control of your business.
The bottom line is, some people will be able to afford your price and some people won’t. The client’s wallet has nothing to do with you. Go where there are customers who can afford to pay for the value you provide.
Marketing consulting is a good example of this. A mom and pop shop may scoff at you charging $1,000 per month for a done-for-you inbound marketing service. On the other hand, a larger company could think your price is a steal. That price may even be on the low end. They get to avoid hiring a full-time marketing person. That’s saving on another employee’s salary and benefits.
Take time to reflect on what you’re worth by asking for a budget and getting recommendations from other experienced business owners. Then pitch your price unapologetically.