This is one of my favourite objections to people being able to “Charge What You are Worth”
Have you read the earlier posts in the series “Charge What You are Worth”? We are exploring the various objections to “Charging What You are Worth”
There are many people who believe it is better to have low paying clients rather than have no clients.
Just last week I was talking to an accountant who was bemoaning her situation. She was describing a client (who sounded to me like the client from hell) and how she was trying to find someone else to do his accounts. As part of the discussion she revealed that she was just about doing this work for free! (a second reason to be rid of him)
I’m thinking to myself, “there is something wrong here; this less than ideal client (to say the least) is getting great expertise for almost nothing.”
How does this happen? As part of our discussion she revealed how she had got herself into this position. “When I came to Sydney I didn’t know anyone … and I took what I could get”
I’m sure some of you reading this can resonate. There have been times when almost everyone has been tempted to take work that pays less than ideal rather than have no work at all.
It is so important not to fall into this trap for many reasons:
- You could get so busy doing low paid work with less than ideal clients that you don’t have time to seek out ideal clients
- You could lose perspective of the characteristics of your ideal client so that even if you had the time to look for them you have forgotten what they look and sound like
- You could lose confidence in yourself – for me, this is the real tragedy of doing this. Taking on low paying clients can leave you demoralised and lacking in self-worth to the point where you might not believe that you are worthy of the higher paying clients
- How do you get rid of these lower paying clients when you get busy with high paying, Ideal clients?
Trust me, don’t allow the lower value clients into your business. I would make one exception to this proviso. In only one situation would it be appropriate – where the Overall Benefit to you is greater than the overall cost to you.
Example: you might take on a lower value client who is in an industry that you are keen to get into and you don’t currently have the experience and this would give you the “foot in the door” with the industry
Example: the client may offer some other intangible benefit to you. You might be the accountant of a Gourmet Food company and they gift you delicious food hampers of new and delicious products. Or the client is located in an exotic location and just being there is like having a holiday (I’ve actually done this and it feels so good that none of the reasons not to take on this client apply).
What is the solution?
Firstly: Be really clear about what you offer your clients – think about what you offer in terms of the benefits to your client, the actual tangible difference that you make to their lives, their family, their health, to their business – things change!
Whatever service you are providing the only reason that your clients/ customers engage you is that they believe that you will change something for them; something that needs to be changed, something they want to be changed. They hire you to help them make the change because they cannot do it on their own.
Think about what you offer from their perspective, from your clients’ perspective.
Secondly: Target people who can pay; ensure your target customers are people who are willing to pay the amount that you want to charge.
Ultimately it comes back to your offer; what are your clients paying you to solve for them. What aspect of their lives do they want to change and they want to you to help them change it. What do they need to learn and they want you to teach them.
Think about the service you offer and what pain relief you provide. Think in terms of the results for your clients – this is the real key to charging what you are worth!