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Consulting Engineers

Don’t let your head get in the way of your pricing (Part 1)

As Architects and Engineers, we are should always be thinking of ways to increase our price (fees) so as to improve our bottom line while still giving good value. I recently came across an article that got me thinking about this again and this is discussed below.

One of the most critical parts of any marketing or business strategy is getting the pricing right. Especially for smaller business owners where issues around fear of losing business and ‘self-worth’ often get in the way of charging what the job – or the person – is worth. Getting your pricing right is key.

Often, most business owners start with the worthy idea that they will work less hours, for more money and spend more time doing the things they love – with the people they love.

However, this rarely turns out to be the case! With most earning less and working longer hours than they ever did before! If you’re not charging enough you will always be pushing water uphill – why ever would you want to work twice as hard for half the money?

Pricing can be a complicated area and it’s worth reviewing the latest strategies and ask yourself if you’ve got your thinking 100% right – making your ‘dream lifestyle’ a much more likely prospect!

Have value added packages that customers can buy

This is really important if you are a consultant where you are essentially selling time for money, which as Architects and Engineers is what we do. This can be a minefield if you are struck with thoughts ‘why would anyone pay me £x for my time?’ The outcome is almost always massive under-valuing of what you offer and the skills you bring. After all, don’t assume because you find it easy, so do they.

Packages have a massive benefit to anyone selling ‘themselves’. We Brits in particular struggle with saying ‘I’m worth £2000 a day’. But it’s much easier to say, ‘this is my X process – and it costs £2000’. It just so happens that it takes a day of your time but you’ve added in some extra bits and pieces that the customer really values – and that you can deliver easily – and suddenly you are selling IT and not YOU.

Value-added packages work just as well for people selling services, as well as products both online and offline.

Multiple price points make for easy selling

People will often ask to pay less for what you do but, by having multiple price-point offerings, you can say, ‘OK, if the budget is £x, then I suggest you go for the Y package’. Don’t just give away your best stuff – for less!

And remember, 20% of your market will buy a premium product – something with more options and service. The ‘we’ll erect it for you’ shed service, for example.

Don’t allow apples-to apples comparisons

If what you sell appears to be a commodity – something where people can buy the exact same thing somewhere else for less – then you are instantly trapped in a ‘race to the bottom’!

Apples to-to-pears comparisons fare far better. By adding value and creating unique product and service bundles, comparisons become much harder and it allows the customer to value the totality of what you offer and not just the basics.

So, this week put aside some time to see what you can come up with to incorporate the above points into your marketing strategy. I will give more ideas in Part 2 in two weeks’ time.

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