Inside every premium-priced firm is a speciality that enables that firm to charge well above average prices. The comparison with other trades and professions informs us. Plumbers who specialise in high pressure waste systems earn multiple times the hourly rate of your dripping tap/leaking cistern variety of plumber. Lawyers who move from conveyancing to family law multiple their income by a factor of three or four. And specialist medical practitioners write their own tickets.
Presenting yourself or your firm as a specialist or expert over and above being a “practitioner” immediately sets the tone of the conversation about pricing. You’re able to demand higher fees for your services.
The mindset blockage
The one thing that gets in the way of accounting and bookkeeping professionals getting paid appropriately is their mindset. If you do not value the services you provide and understand the value it for your clients, it can be race to the bottom for your fee income.
Referencing your fee structure to benchmark or averages is never going to relate to the value you provide to a business client . A more meaningful way to price your services is to look at those firms that charge premium prices. Look for how they position their service offering, that is, are they positioning themselves as experts in a niche sector? Are they offering packages that enable them to offer add-on services beyond basic compliance work? Do they have any special skills?
Mastering your craft
In all likelihood there will not be any special skills they may have beyond experience. Which brings us back to the point here: there is little point talking about pricing without a belief in your ability.
Mastery of your craft for sure is a firm basis for premium pricing. After all, you have spent years working with a variety of clients, extending your knowledge and skills and, probably, gaining specialised skills in the process.
The ‘value’ conversation
Few practitioners ask the question “How much is a solution worth to you?” The skills in right-pricing for specialised value-based services is to look at the business owner’s needs in terms of the results, the urgency and the “what keeps them awake” pain they need to solve.
There will need to be a discovery session to reveal the business owner’s main pain points starting with some basic questions around how they came to speak with you, how they are currently addressing their main issues. At the end of such a discovery will be the presenting and laying out of three different packages. That’s what virtually all the premium-priced firms do to dispel any mindset blockages.