Linking money and self-worth is a fundamentally flawed concept, but the fact remains that many, many professionals do not give themselves permission to value their time at anywhere near the rate that would be commensurate with the kind of training and experience they bring to the table.
Discussing pricing with your clients will, for most, create a level of anxiety. While you, hopefully, enjoy the work you do, pricing often seems to be a barrier to success – it gets in the way of us winning work and creates tension between us and our clients. Bookkeepers in particular have a history of linking the value of their time with a totally arbitrary benchmark: the hourly rate syndrome.
Make pricing a priority
Pricing is one of the most intimate parts of our relationships with clients. It’s the moment clients tell us that we are worth it – or not. Is it fair to equate pricing with the value brought to a business client? Peace of mind in completing accounts and returns will bring peace of mind but what value is created?
If an accountant or bookkeeper brings value to the client’s business then it is incumbent on that professional to capture a fair share of that value for themselves. Which is why this now becomes the core platform for service delivery at a time when automation is destroying any perceived value in the compliance work.
Where pricing is managed effectively it should strengthen client relationships and build trust.
What do clients want?
So how do we use pricing to strengthen client relationships? We know two things for certain about clients: they want to contain costs. So let them know that you understand this. And they want to avoid surprises. They also want:
• Choices rather than a single price being imposed on them. So provide three price packages listing service details alongside.
• Value for their money. Demonstrate that there is a cost saving for their business or alternatively, that there is additional revenue arising from these services.
Anxiety is a wasted emotion when pricing conversations with clients can be constructive as above. Like all skills, pricing conversations may falter from time to time but we will get better at it over time and increase our earnings.