We all have a job to do, and with that comes the requirement that we assign a value to what it is we do. How much is what we do worth to us, and how much is it worth to those we serve? Is there a price that we can assign to our services that our clients would be willing to pay (even happy to pay) that would also allow us to comfortably lead the life that we choose? And if we are lucky enough to find this happy medium, the question then inevitably becomes: Is there any way that we can increase that value?
At first glance, the answer appears glaring obvious: of course, we can increase the value; we just have to raise our prices. Problem solved! But it’s never that easy, is it?
There are always many things to consider when we increase our prices, not the least of which is the question of whether our clients are going to pay us more for our services. It’s not like we’re the only game in town. No matter what industry we find ourselves in, no matter what it is we do, no matter what way we define our career, there’s always someone out there who’s willing to do the job for less.
The fact that there’s always someone cheaper than us presents us with a challenge. We’ve got to figure out what we can do to ensure that our future customers are going to choose us over our competition. What is it that’s so different about us and what we do that they’re going to enthusiastically shell out more of their hard-earned money for the chance to be graced by our presence?
Amazingly enough, there are really only three steps we need to take to make this dream of ours a reality. And the good news is that it’s really simple for us to do them. The bad news is that it’s really hard too.
The first step is to get better at what it is we do.
Figure out what part of our job we need to know more about and go do it. Take a class. Read a book. Find an article. Hire a teacher. Locate a mentor. Do something right now to make ourselves more valuable.
Our clients aren’t going to pay us more just because we tell them we’re better than the dozens of businesses out there they’ve got to choose from. We’ve got to be able to offer them more value for us to be more valuable. We’ve got to learn more, and we’ve got to keep learning more. Our industry is constantly changing and improving, and we’ve got to change and improve along with it if we want to keep from being passed by.
If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.Robert Orben
Secondly, we‘ve got to figure out what our clients’ biggest problems are, and work hard to solve them. We need to understand exactly where their pain points lie. What sort of things are confusing them, concerning them, and keeping them up at night, wondering what they’re supposed to do next?
We’ve got to put our talents to work to overcome these obstacles. We need to use our education, experience, and energy to work out new and interesting solutions to the challenges facing our customers. The easiest way to prove our value to our clients is to get them to understand that we’re the obvious solution to their problem. Once we’re able to offer them a new perspective, an innovative idea, or a fresh take on their current predicament, we’ll be able to cement ourselves in their mind as their only choice, and our value will be without question.
Lastly, and arguably the most important step, is to care about what it is we do.
There are plenty of businesses out there doing our job. We’ve got lots of competition. Our clients have plenty of companies to choose from when it comes to doing what it is we do.
But, when it really comes down to it, how many of them really give a damn about what happens to their clients? We know that every one of us does this job to make a living. If we weren’t able to pay our bills and support our families, we’d have to do something else for a living. But for far too many businesses, that’s their sole motivation. They care right up until they collect their fee, and then it’s so long sucker!
What if we actually cared about our customers, their families, and what happens to them (now and in the future)? What if we viewed them as other human beings, with cares, wants, and needs, just like us? What if we looked at them as something more than just a means to an end?
What is we simply showed a little empathy, and treated them like we care?
By doing something as simple as treating our clients with the same respect we’d like to receive, we can increase our value exponentially, and often turn them into customers (and advocates) for life.
The purpose of a business is to create a customer who creates customers.Shiv Singh
Being in business means being in a fight. We’re always going to have competition. We’re always going to be compared to someone else. There will always be someone who’s going to do it cheaper. There will always be someone who’s going to do it quicker. There will always be someone who’s willing to cut more corners than us, do more underhanded things than us, and bend the rules more than us.
So why would we ever want to engage in that fight? Why should we even stoop so low as to enter that ring?
Why wouldn’t we want to learn more than them, figure out a better way to do it than them, and show our customers that we care more than them?
Seems like a better place to be: a less crowded marketplace, a higher value client base, an increased profit margin, and a more empathetic customer that cares about us because we care about them.
Is there really even a choice?
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