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Consulting Engineers

Don’t let your head get in the way of your pricing (Part 2)

So, how did you get on with Part 1, have you had any successes yet? Here is Part 2 to give you even more ideas on how to improve your pricing.

Managing quote creep and time stealing customers

Pricing can often seem to be crystal clear at the start of a project but the next thing you know you are throwing in extra for this, and for that doing ‘little’ extras but not charging for them – and your hourly rate is slashed in half. Or worse!

Nailing down quotes and being REALLY clear what you do – and don’t – include will always be wise. If extra hours might be involved over and above the spec, make it clear what rate these will be charged at for various levels of staff. Say if telephone calls are chargeable; these can be a massive drain on your time and if you allow customers to use you for free in this way – I promise you they will!

Which means, of course, that you need processes and systems to monitor what you’ve quoted for and what time you’ve spent on the project. Believe me when I say systems are worth all the time and effort you put into developing them – and will quickly repay you 10-fold in reduced time spent and less time lost.

Use scarcity and authority advantageously

That you only work with 10 clients, or that you are perceived as a leader in your field are both good ways to push your charges up. Have you won any awards that will make you stand out from your competitors? Have you been asked to comment on anything as an expert for radio, TV or any magazines or newspapers, as these all help you stand out as a leader in your field, which means you can charge more?

Always properly understand your customer

If you make the effort to properly get under the skin of all your customer types, you’ll get to really understand what it is that they value most. For one segment, it may be something very different to another buying the exact same product.

Subtle nuances in the way the package is presented can make a MASSIVE difference to specific niches. It could be as simple as focusing on reliability, relationship or reputation or speed of delivery as a lot of customers value their time and are prepared to pay a premium if they will get what they want quicker.

Finally – always remember:

  • Consider the value you deliver rather than the cost that you charge
  • Customers won’t ever properly value what you do – that’s your job
  • That, 80% of your income will come from your 20% best customers
  • … and 80% of your stress will come from your 20% most painful customers – and they are usually the ones who aren’t paying you enough!
  • Always be prepared to walk away from customers who don’t want to pay what you want to – or need to – charge.

Don’t forget to let me know your pricing experiences, as well as your success – and horror! – stories.

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