Services firm owners want to raise fees and often ask me how to talk with clients about them. This is especially prevalent in January.
Here’s advice I’ve given clients. You can adapt these ideas to your specific services areas.
IT or Tech Services
What’s the life changing value that comes from being on the cutting edge of technology? No more lost payments, no more fearful clients, increased repeat business, no security breaches, etc. That’s why you keep up and that’s the value that earns you higher fees. It’s never about new certifications.
Design Services in All Design Specialties
Your designers keep up with evolving trends and implement them for your clients. The value is that clients or buyers appear at the leading edge to their clients or buyers. It is never about knowing version X.0; it’s about what version X.0 delivers to them. Be descriptive and emotional when speaking to clients about increasing fees. Then the right clients will be eager to get the value for the fee.
Whether it’s accounting, law, architecture, or other advanced level knowledge that your company is based on, you know that in order to properly serve your clients, you need to be ahead of the curve.
When you speak about how your increasing expertise delivers life changing value to clients, they understand higher fees. There’s value in better financial management, quicker resolutions, environmental benefits, and so on. If you only talk about your CEUs or licensing requirements, you’re like everyone else.
No one cares about XYZ credentials. They do care about how XYZ improves their own lives.
Subject Matter Experts
Writing, training, regulatory compliance, conflict resolution, safety experts, and others contribute to their client’s ability to grow their companies and prosper. As the expert you know the impact those contributions make.
Compare the conversation between a safety inspector who says, “We have the latest version of training in X industry” to one who says, “Our latest training ensures that your firm will be highly likely to avoid injuries on the job, which means maintaining your operations and your insurance coverage.” Aha! That’s life changing value.
Training experts, stop talking about learning objectives! Tell the client how their people will contribute life changing value to the firm once they have this training. For example, better public speaking means the firm attracts and retains clients to whom they deliver weekly or monthly progress reports. A great presenter turns data and reports into an interesting and even entertaining 30 minutes that makes people eager to keep doing the work.
I talked with a videographer who loves producing videos for non-profits. When I asked her what the value of the videos is she said they tell the organization’s story. That’s not life changing value.
The life changing value of the videos is that the donations increase, often by 50% or more. The videography firm should earn a fee commensurate with the life changing value to the organization.
No More “Costs are Up”
The very last thing that gains client agreement to higher prices is justifying a fee increase based on your firm’s internal costs. How do they know you’re managing your costs to the penny and can’t go any lower? How do they even know what’s included in your costs? And why should they care? They shouldn’t!
It’s Not About the Time of the Year
The time of the year is completely irrelevant to fee increases. Jettison that mindset and focus instead on describing how going forward your firm will deliver even more life changing value to clients. Increase fees commensurate with that new value.
You can do this at any time of the year. You lose money if you wait for a date on the calendar. And your clients lose out on the value if you withhold it until you raise your fees in January.
How We Work with Owners Like You
Here’s the best part first! You can dip a toe in with us to experience directly our innovative and client-friendly thinking about pricing for knowledge services firms.
A full year’s engagement that includes three phases begins at $17,800.
That’s not right for most companies, and we do not recommend it for you.
We do recommend starting with the Discover and Analysis project. It’s $1250 per month for two months for any knowledge firm with up to $3 million in revenue. This is your foundation. And like any foundation, once you have it, you have options for building on it.
Resolve to Get Started with Pricing and Profit Improvements in 2022
It’s easy to START. Our first call is the STARTER call because it isn’t just talk, you’ll get immediate action. For example, a STARTER step is to review last year’s work and write down what value you delivered to your best clients.
Hit REPLY or text START to 703-801-0345 to make 2022 your most profitable year ever.