One of the most difficult aspects of business for any professional is getting paid what they’re worth. All too often, we see clients and potential customers who expect to get something for nothing, especially when it comes to the services we offer.
It can seem downright impossible to get paid what you’re worth in the accounting industry. Derek Halpern from Social Triggers ran a survey in which he asked professionals if they felt they were paid less than their worth- 100% answered, “Yes!”
Practices to Avoid
During the survey, Halpern went on to ask the same people why they felt they were getting paid less. The responses triggered the creation of a list we’re calling, “Three Practices to Avoid:”
- Don’t lower your price simply because a person won’t pay it. If your price is reasonable and matches industry value, then you’ve either run across a person who wants something for nothing or they don’t understand the value of your service.
- Don’t charge less than your competitors just to attract customers. Your competitors charge less than you. So what? Do they offer the exact same service as you with just as much value and benefit?
- Don’t think you can’t charge more. If you feel you’re being undersold, it’s time to take a good hard look at what you’re selling and for how much.
Practices to Institute
Most accounting and other business professionals that struggle with the feeling that they don’t get paid their worth fight with the three practices they should avoid. Let’s take a look at the three practices you should live by:
- Become hard to replace. By niching down your practice and creating a specialized service, you will be an integral part of your customers business. They won’t easily be able to replace you a new firm that’s going to charge half the price. For step-by-step instructions on how to do this, check out our ebook, Accounting Firm Owners: The 7 Secrets You Know To Increase Profits in 2014.
- Display your worth. If a potential customer says, “I won’t pay that price,” then it’s time to show them exactly what they’re getting for that price. Show them the benefits and value of the investment, and be clear about why you’re different from the competition.
- Compare yourself to the competition. If a person says, “But so-and-so charges less,” it’s time to give them a quick comparison. Show them why the competition is cheap, and be sure to follow up by displaying your worth.
- Charge what you’re worth and be confident. The biggest mistake you can make is underselling yourself because it’s hard to up your prices once you’ve set them too low. Research the market to ensure you’re in the average ballpark, but don’t shy away from charging what you’re worth based on your experience and service.
Charging what you’re worth is half the battle of being paid what you’re worth. Many professionals worry that the economic downturn makes it mandatory to lower their prices. In truth, it doesn’t.
Avoid catering to the customer who wants something for nothing. Solid and true customers—the ones who will return, display loyalty and refer others—will recognize your worth and value. They won’t buck at paying you what you’re worth, as long as you ensure the rate is reasonable and your delivered work meets (even exceeds) expectations.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lalunablanca/1058204843/