The Upside

Value-based Pricing: Pricing Your Services Based on Results

Do you consider yourself “premium” or do you benchmark your rates against what others in your business are charging for similar services? 

Let’s take a simple example of two experts who both provide leadership training services to CEOs and teams.  

Expert A has published a book on leadership, is an active thought leader on LinkedIn, has a Masters in Positive Psychology from a top-10 university and has spoken on global stages.

Expert B has 25 years of corporate leadership experience, has an impressive IPO under her belt, earned an MBA from a top-10 university and has developed unique IP around the topic of leadership that she has branded and trademarked.

Which one do you think is more expensive?

The answer is both…

…and neither.

You see, each of these experts price themselves based on the value they bring to their clients and the impact they have on the company’s bottom line.

Despite what clients say they need from you, every client is actually coming to you wanting one or more of these Four Pillars of Value:

  1. Growing revenue
  2. Cutting costs
  3. Gaining access to something you have that they want
  4. Solving a headache that’s preventing further growth

Once you understand that these are the ONLY four results any client is ever looking for, you can start asking questions in the prospecting stage to:

  1. Get to the root of what the client actually wants from you
  2. Quantify what it’s worth to them
  3. Price based on the value of how this affects their bottom line

In the case of our leadership training experts above, they may ask the client questions like:

“Why are you looking for someone to come in and improve leadership across your team?”

“What would a successful leadership training look like to you?”

“What’s preventing you from doing this on your own with the people and resources you already have?”

“What do you stand to gain if you roll out this training and it’s successful?”

“What do you stand to lose if you put this off another 6 months?”

“What do you stand to lose if you do nothing at all?”

These questions not only help the prospective client get into the mindset of valuing the project based on the Four Pillars of Value, but also provide you with the intel you need to price the project based on the total impact, not the hours it will take you (and certainly not the client’s budget). 

As you round out Q4 of 2022, I hope you’ll make a commitment to yourself to think more about the impact you make and price your services accordingly.

After all, there are no “going market rates” for any services in any industry. Ever. There’s only what it’s worth to you and what the client is willing to invest to get the results they’re after.

Erin Halper

About the Author

Erin Halper is the founder and CEO of The Upside and the leading authority on independent consulting. Since launching The Upside in 2017, Erin has helped thousands of professionals transition from corporate life into consulting to achieve flexibility, autonomy, and a renewed sense of purpose in their careers.

Erin has been a frequent speaker at Columbia, NYU, Harvard, and Brown and has been featured as a leading future of work expert on dozens of podcasts as well as in Forbes, Business Insider, Nasdaq, Crunchbase and many more.

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