In my coaching practice I get to accompany talented women on their journey to their light.
Elena is one of those exceptional women (the name is fictive to protect her identity). In one of our sessions Elena was very upset. She could not understand why some people kept trying to have her services for free or at a lower price. She felt that such behavior endangered her self-employment. She was very frustrated.
“People are very interested in my consultancy. They see the value it adds to their business. However, when it comes to closing the deal I realize that they expect me to work for free (the PLEASE-HELP-ME kind) OR they want to bargain.”
Why is that? Why do people want to have YOUR services for free? Why is nobody buying your valuable service?
I am talking here about the services you want to sell; not about services you add on to enhance the experience of your customers!!!
When analyzing the behavior of service providers, I have come to the following two main reasons why their services are undervalued. These appear to be umbrella reasons where you can fit in most other excuses.
1) People you are attracting in your business, haven´t learned their own worth yet.
Why are some adults always after free things or always chasing the cheaper things? – By „adult“ in this context I mean someone who is financially independent and who is making his own buying decision.-
You might tell me that people are chasing FREE or CHEAP because they don´t have the money.
However, why do some adults want to have things they find really, really valuable for free? Or for very little money?
When you look very closely, it is because they do not believe that they are worth spending money on.
The voice within their head is saying: „who are you to spend that amount of money in your self-growth or in your business growth or in your food or in your wellness…etc???“
And before you start judging, look at your own buying decisions.
We all grow up with certain beliefs. Depending on where we come from, what we have been told, what we have experienced, we build our sense of self-worth. Many adults are consciously or unconsciously stingy with themselves.
Do you often choose the budget restaurant, because you do not want to waste money? Would you go an extra hour to the budget restaurant at the other end of the city even when you are actually starving and need food within the next minutes? Or do you allow yourself to dine in a good but expensive restaurant every now and then without feeling guilty?
Do you always walk straight to the clearance in the clothing store? Or do you allow yourself to admire what is new, thus risking buying something at the full price?
Have you ever badly wanted to attend an event that would change your life/business but decided not to after you realized it was not for free? Or too expensive?
That belief can be holding you back from becoming a better and happier version of you. Worst, it might be holding your creativity back from attracting money in your life.
I am not telling you to buy everything that is presented to you to prove that you are worth it!!! Indeed, there is a lot out there that you don´t need. However, when something is really important to you, but you decide not to have it because of the price, take a few seconds to reflect on your beliefs around money.
What is holding you from acquiring the things you love is not money, but your beliefs!!!
What is holding people back from buying your services is not money but their beliefs around their self-worth.
The second reason why people want your services for free is that:
2) You are not clear on your own value
Have you ever been into an Apple store expecting to get an iPhone for free? No.
Why would people want to buy your services for free then?
Because you are not Apple? Well, thank God you do need to be Apple. You are perfectly all right being YOU.
However, if people want your work for free, then there is no price on your service´s tag!!!
And, same as in an Apple store, either they will buy it or they will leave it. Easy!!!
So the questions for you are: what is the price on your service´s tag? And, how comfortable are you with some people not buying from you?
What is the price on your service´s tag?
If you are as scared of pricing as most startups, then consider that the money is just a reflection of your ability to serve. If your service is creating a great value for your customer, then the price needs to reflect that value. First, take a price you feel comfortable with and go with it. Just put a price on it.
Make sure you get comfortable with the price by saying it as often as possible, for example.
Then communicate the price to your clients!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is crazy how many entrepreneurs never communicate their price to their clients in the client´s acquisition process. And then you wonder why people do not value your services, want to pick your brain for free…etc?
The price of your service is an information that is as valuable to your customers as the service features. When you tell your customers what they get from you, it is the most natural thing to tell them what they need to do for it (money investment, time investment, commitment…etc).
Business is not a one way relationship; and no other relationship involving more than one person should be.
How comfortable are you with some people not buying from you?
Sometime you want to come up with a price most people will be willing to pay. And, you forget that your service is not for most people.
If you think that your service is for most people, then redefine your target group. If your target is still „most people“, then I´d be very interested in hearing your story. Please contact me.
Taking the example of Apple again: at the beginning apple´s products were only for „freaks“. At least that was the general opinion:-). They clearly made macs „not everybody´s darling“. I believe that their target group expended that widely today exactly because they chose a niche back in their early days. If you want to serve everybody, you will end up serving nobody. Apple served the „freaks“ and ended up turning everybody into a „freak“.
Thank them for choosing not to buy from you. Use your energy to fully serve the few who are your real targets.
To finish, I would like to share the story of a self-employed lady. Let me call her Maurine.
Maurine has several decades of experience in her field. For the past 10 years approximately her hourly rate had not changed a lot. She felt comfortable with her price, so there was no reason to change it. Lately, Maurine was asked to take over a new project. As it was supposed to be very time consuming, she invited another expert in that field to build a project team. In advance, the other expert made the calculations and suggested an hourly rate that was more than twice as high as Maurine´s current rate. She felt quite shocked and thought they would probably not get the project under those conditions.. To her amazement though, not only did they get the project, but the calculation being for the whole project team, she was suddenly paid more than twice as much as she´s been paid the past 10 years.
What does the story tell you?
I suggested above to start with a price you feel comfortable with.
Then, learn to demand a price you feel uncomfortable with. For, as your ability to serve grows, so can your price.
NOW It´s YOUR TURN
When was the last time you adapted the price of your services to your growing ability to serve? Take a chance now and tell me what happens in the comments.