Not so long ago, a client sent me an email that was like a slap in the face.
To cut a long story short, they’d booked, but failed to show up for, a coaching package I’d been promoting at a ridiculously low rate. After a phone call to explain and apologise, we had a friendly chat and agreed to reschedule. I gave it no more thought.
Until the email arrived a few days later.
It took me by surprise with it’s rude and abrupt tone and demands of a refund. Accused me of being disinterested in working with my client. But I couldn’t understand what had gone wrong, and felt angry and upset at how little regard they had for working with me.
A Lesson Learned
But I firmly believe that when life serves you cold porridge, you eat it up and learn from it. There’s a lesson in everything that happens. And so often, how we’re treated and viewed by others – even when we don’t understand why – can be a clear reflection of how we see and treat ourselves.
So why did this client feel it was acceptable to be rude to me? Why was I suddenly being rejected for no good reason I could see?
I had to look within.
How Pricing Affects Us All
Pricing sends subliminal messages. It affects our perception of quality and value and our overall desire to buy, in a variety of ways.
To the average human being, if something is expensive, it is quality. If it’s cheap it’s not.
We’ll pay well for anything we prioritise, desire and VALUE highly enough. Always coveted a beautiful, Gucci handbag? There’s a very good reason why it carries a big price tag. Because it instantly speaks of quality and exclusivity.
But lowering the price of a product or service to make it more “affordable”, won’t necessarily encourage more sales. In fact, sometimes the opposite is true.
Robert Cialdini’s “Influence” discusses how a local jeweller sold out of some turquoise jewellery after it’s price was accidentally doubled, instead of being reduced to half price (which is what had been intended).
The inflated price of the jewellery gave it a high value in customers’ minds, making it more irresistible. Even though they had previously ignored the turquoise colour over all others, now they wanted to buy it!
How many stories have you heard about the coach who raised their prices and attracted even more new customers as a result? There are plenty case studies to back up why this happens.
So when it comes to putting a price tag on our own personal expertise and brand, why do we often shrink away from charging our true worth?
Why do we convince ourselves that we need to create “special offers” or lower our prices for people to want to buy our services at all? When it’s simply not true.
Instead, we listen to those whispers inside our head of “no-one will pay that to work with YOU!” “You’re not experienced/good enough to charge more!”
So our prices reflect our own level of self belief, rather than the true value of our services to the people we serve.
And if we don’t value ourselves, how can we expect our customers to do so?
I’d listened to the mind monkeys telling me “no-one will pay THAT to work with you” and believed them. My “special offer” had been borne out of a lack of self belief rather than the true value of what my experience and expertise could give to others.
I’d put a Walmart price tag on a Chanel dress! I’d made it easy for someone else to place low value on my work too, and sent out the message that it wasn’t high quality. It wouldn’t make much difference. It was easy to walk away from.
No wonder my client was rude and disrespectful. It’s how I’d been talking to myself.
What is YOUR pricing saying about YOU?
So what is your pricing saying to your customers about who you are, what you stand for, and the quality of what you deliver? What does it whisper about the value you place on YOURSELF?
Are you pricing lower than you’re worth, because you feel you’re not good enough, aren’t fit to play in the arena, and are worrying that “people won’t pay that” to work with you?
Or are you proudly shouting out about your true worth and creating a personal designer brand?
Celebrate who you are. Believe in your worth. Place yourself in high esteem and reflect the value of your experience and your gifts in the prices you charge. And watch as others begin to value YOU highly too.