Business Challenge of the Week – What you say affects your worth


This month, we are focusing on how to make sure you are getting what you are worth.  As I mentioned in the Business Challenge last week, I’m using a book called Value Based Fees by Alan Weiss as the foundation.   No matter what business you are in, the concepts we will be discussing will help challenge you to rethink and improve your pricing strategy.

As service professionals, we often focus on the tasks we do for our clients as opposed to the outcomes when we are pricing a project.  Of course when we do this, it devalues our worth.  And it’s our fault.  We’ve educated our clients to pay us based on time and materials which is missing the real reason a client hires us which is to improve their condition by meeting or exceeding mutually establised project and business goals.  And that’s worth something.

Your challenge this week is to determine if any of the following apply to you.

Review your company’s website, any printed materials you use and think about what you and your team says during sales conversations.

Do any of the following apply?

  1. Too many words.  Lots of text and very little visuals.
  2. An obsession with the obvious.   “We believe in the highest level of ethics and integrity.”  (Really?  I was looking specifically for an unethical consultant.”)
  3. Overly boastful – Materials focus on what you do and how you do it.
  4. Full of technology and methodology – Lot’s of detail about your approach, steps and jargon.
  5. Nothing of value.  There is nothing that happens as a result of going to your website, reading your materials or event talking with you or your team about what you do that adds value to the reader or listener.  It’s all blah, blah, blah.

If you answered yes to any of the above, you are leaving money on the table with your clients.  Every interaction and activity you propose to your clients must be communicated as an outcome, a result.  The intrinsic value of actions is enormous because they meet the emotional needs of the client and can’t be compared to anything else.  You have the power to influence this by the way you communicate and frame the activity.

For instance which of these is more valuable to the client?

A.   Conduct a strategic planning session with senior management team


B.   Establish an aggressive 2 year strategy that will result in double digit growth and 10% gain in market share.

Which one do you think your client will be happy to pay your fee for?

Start communicating based on how your client will prosper because of their relationship with you.  This is all they really care about.

“Consulting is art and science.  The danger is that we become excellent technicians and lose our aesthetic sense.  We need to pain visions of the future – for our clients and ourselves.”

Alan Weiss, Value Based Fees

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