Last week’s message was to get paid what you’re worth where I encouraged you to put up your prices (if appropriate) from July 1st. However if you’re in the start-up phase, charging a little lower than the recommended top quartile can be a good strategy to fill your books. What’s really important though is how you position yourself from the very first meeting.
Let’s look at two scenarios.
You meet with a prospect, you don’t have much confidence, you don’t go prepared and you decide at the meeting what you think they can afford and apologetically tell them, "You are just a bookkeeper and charge $40 per hour".
You meet with a prospect, only this time you’re prepared. You know you need to charge in the top quartile but you don’t have the confidence or the experience to justify that at the moment. But you’re keen to fill your books fast. You have a powerpoint presentation prepared explaining your experience, qualifications, the systems you use and something about your team. “As my business grows I will replace myself with a qualified bookkeeper on my team and because she is following the same systems, I can guarantee the quality of the work”.
The next sentence is key to positioning yourself – “I normally charge $65 per hour, however, I’m going to discount that for you to $50 an hour (about the average rate across Australia at the moment) for the first 12 months. If you’re happy with my services I would appreciate referrals, but please don’t tell them what I charge because I may not offer them the same discount.”
That does two things – you start to get used to hearing yourself say $65 (which can be daunting when you’re starting out), and the client is happy because they are getting a discount.
That's a win-win in my books!
Article by Michael Palmer
Michael is the CEO of Pure Bookkeeping, the host of The Successful Bookkeeper podcast and an acclaimed business coach who has helped hundreds of bookkeepers across the world push through their fears and exponentially grow their businesses and achieve the quality of life they've always wanted.