If you’re not getting paid what you’re worth, there are only two possible reasons:
- People don’t know what you’re worth, or
- You’re not (currently) worth as much as you believe
The first situation might be because you haven’t explained the ROI you’re able to deliver, adequately. Or you simply have allowed prospective clients to remain uneducated about your value. Either way, if you’re not being appreciated for the value you deliver, then it’s a communication problem, one that you can resolve by learning how accurately articulate your worth in a way that resonates.
Alternatively, if there are reasonable substitutes for your work, and those substitutes are perceived as cheaper, then you’re not going to get the work. Unfortunately, many professionals fall into the trap of competing or matching on price, or worse, racing to the bottom to be cheaper. Cheaper is the last refuge of the marketer unable to invent a better product and tell a better story.
The goal, no matter what you sell, is to be seen as irreplaceable, essential and valuable. If you are all three, you have purposeful pricing power. When the price charged is up to you, when you have the power to determine the price, there is a line out the door and you can use pricing as a signalling mechanism, not merely a way to make a living.
To achieve this level of purposeful pricing power means you might have to specialise, accept risk, create a point of difference, be willing to walk away from business rather than compromise and more.
Purposeful pricing power position in the professional services arena is coveted and valuable. The ability to have the power to set a price is at the heart of what it means to do business profitably, so of course there is a never-ending competition for this standard.