by J. Stephen Pope
Sometimes consultants and other service providers are hesitant to charge a fair rate for their services.
Maybe they feel that the services they provide are so basic that you really can't justify charging much or anything for them.
Perhaps they feel that they don't have the knowledge or experience that other consultants have.
Thus, they hesitate to charge fair rates because of a lack of self-confidence. This is natural (especially for new consultants). However, what you know and do has real value.
By the way, I'm sure that most people find it more appealing to deal with someone who is humble enough to admit their limitations than someone who is arrogant and cocky and not as great as they think they are.
To stay in business, though, you need to charge a fair price for all of your services. Fair means fair to the client but also fair to you.
You can enjoy increased consulting fees by developing more self-confidence.
1. Don't Take Your Skills for Granted
First of all, we tend to take our assets for granted. If you are an expert bookkeeper and good with numbers, you may feel it's easy to do the work you do. Yes, it's easy for you but not for others.
You may actually have an aptitude for what do. You may have a gift that others don't have. Perhaps, through hard work and applying yourself, you have developed a marketable skill.
Second, even if someone were fairly good with numbers, it might not be a good use of time for that person to do the bookkeeping. By outsourcing this work, time can be more productively spent on other activities crucial to the business.
Bookkeeping may seem pretty basic but if you ask your accountant to do it for you, he's going to charge you extra. Why? It takes his (or his staff's) time.
Your services may also improve your client's bottom line. That being the case, your client is profiting from your services.
Thus, by realistically evaluating the value of your skills and other assets, you can boost your self-confidence for increased consulting fees.
2. Increased Consulting Fees Despite Inexperience
Just because there are people more knowledgeable and experienced than you doesn't mean that you can't charge for what you can do.
The top tax lawyers in the country may be more expert than other lawyers but who can afford them? For most clients, hiring them would be overkill.
Sometimes you might feel inadequate because you know you are still learning. You realize that you don't know everything there is to know about your field.
Who does? We're all learning! Get paid for your on-the-job training.
If you know some things that your client doesn't and you can help him improve his business, then you can offer a valuable service.
Don't under-estimate the value of your services.
Again, self-confidence can lead you to enjoy increased consulting fees.
3. Increased Consulting Fees for Additional Services
Many feel that their clients wouldn't pay extra for certain additional services offered.
How do they know? Have they asked their clients?
Make your case for the extra fees. How could the services offered help improve the profitability of your client's business?
Replace unappreciative clients (who undermine your self-confidence) with appreciative ones.
Selling value-added services is one way to obtain an edge over your competitors. For example, a web designer who is knowledgeable about search engine optimization could help increase their client's targeted web traffic which could result in increased sales and profits.
Premium services deserve premium rates.
In summary: Don't take your skills for granted. Lack of experience doesn't mean that you have nothing to offer. Charge for all your services. Yes, your self-confidence can result in higher consulting fees for you.