Independent Trainers – Raising Your Fees – How Can You Successfully Resist Discounting Your Value?

“When you start to discount your product and service fees, you discount yourself” – Matthew Hill, 2018.

Warning – This is a deliberately challenging piece for independent coaches, trainers and mediators – Here we face your fears and habits! If you are feeling brave today – please read on…

As marketing guru, Seth Godin states, discounting represents, “A race to the bottom, and, nobody wants to win that race.”

“Lower your prices!” – The command of many larger companies

Angebot / Sale / Rabatte

Yes, we are asked to lower our prices. Tesco have bullied many a supplier in search of an illusive extra 1% margin. And where are Tesco now? Recovering from a UK scandal around playing fast and lose with numbers and suppliers. Or, GE.

GE famously hit a new moral low in the late 1990s when they asked their hard working and loyal suppliers to enter a reverse auction to compete with each other to offer the cheapest rates for their established a premium quality services. The losers won that round! Damned if they did and damned if they didn’t.

***Shame on all bullying corporations***

(I believe they have seen the error of their ways and now moved from their macho transactional approach to a more relational and strategic one, that, surprise, surprise, serves both parties better.)

Are THEY Discounting?

Do the biggest software providers, retailers and banks offer a 70% discount to their largest customers? – Do they give away the best of what they have because they feel they have no choice and are experiencing a little light bullying? NO!

Then why do we?

When you discount – You devalue.

Eventually, when you, or your market, are fully commoditized, the corporate customer will select their suppliers based on how near, quick and cheap you are. Your premium quality product is now a tin of supermarket tomatoes. End of Story. Again – Is that what you want?

Defend your value

At the moment, there is a bizarre training phenomenon out there, where the webinar version of the classroom experience is being given away at unsustainably low prices. I have no clue who started this, why it continues or why those involved don’t wake up, smell the coffee and correct this damaging business practice. Is all learning devalued by making it remote? Are the corporates deliberately ordering an inferior service from us? What is happening here?

Man holding speedometer with value word. Business concept

Value your value

Supporting your price.

Continuing with the webinar example. The point that is being missed by the discounters is value. Your course either has intrinsic value or it does not. If it does, then it makes sense to highlight that value, defend that value and, logically, charge out at that value.

Cost – One purchasing department argument runs like this – The provider saves money on travel and hotels when they don’t have to perform at a hotel or corporate office, and, they should pass back that saving. Yes and remote learning sessions save the company more money, so that is not a compelling argument. The saving has already been made at their end. There is no need to erode the trainer’s price.

Quality – The real cost is hidden from view. The widespread practice of discounting training rates takes out senior trainers from the marketplace, as they cannot afford to work with these silly rates. When juniors take their place, outcomes deteriorate and the supplier brand is diminished. This then prompts the corporate…to ask for a further discount. Is it only me that thinks this is short termism taken to an absurd degree?

Confidence – Individual trainers, coaches and mediators suffer from imposter syndrome, inferiority complexes and financial scarcity. We need to get over all three. Everybody has imposter syndrome – the only people not affected are the truly deluded. On a good day, you either think your product is worthy or you don’t. If not, you need to plump up your LinkedIn profile and get a job with a salary. If you value yourself, good for you – Now start charging sensible prices. If you are suffering from an inherited poverty script – Deal with it – See the T Harv Ekker Millionaire Mindset film – Link at the bottom.

Young friends having fun outdoors drinking red wine glasses - Happy people eating seasonal local food at harvest time in farmhouse vineyard winery - Youth friendship concept on warm vintage filter

Utopia

What if we lived in a world driven by fair value, where experts were respected and encouraged to share their wisdom in exchange for reasonable reward? A world where they could give of their very best, knowing they are appreciated and can work without fear, giving openly, partnering with the best, striving for the most productive mutual outcome? How glorious would that be?

Baby steps

The next time a principle or corporate asks you to shave your fee – Stop and think. What does this mean? What is the cost today? And, what will the cost be tomorrow – For you and the business world? Let us value what we do. Let us value ourselves and let us be courageous enough to ask what we are worth.

It begins with self-respect, saying no to discounting and asking for fair value fees.

Negotiation – When you are told you are too expensive – be warned – it is a trap – image what they are really saying is, ”that you need to get on a slippery slope that ends with poverty, frustration and exploitation.”

*Remind them you are not in the tinned tomato business but offer Intellectual Property Assets that are essential to the future of their business.

*Remind them of your qualifications, experience, knowledge and wisdom.

*Expand on the value you provide and move away from price.

*Explain that value is related to the benefit they receive not just the short term damage they can do to you by taking away your money.

*Claim your worth with price and confidence.

*Stick to your guns, employing the broken record approach to communication, and,

*Start to celebrate your new financial independence and recognition. You have earned it.

Good luck claiming your full worth.

About the Author – Matthew Hill helps independent Trainers, Coaches and Mediators build their independent businesses allowing solopreneurs to project the best of themselves to the best audience possible, and, at the BEST RATES. Here is a link to Matthew’s Going for Growth in 2019 coaching bundle.

https://culture99.wordpress.com/going-for-growth-remote-course/

Film Reference – Here is a great film by T Harv Ekker on poverty and wealth mindsets. Do yourself a big favour – Get the family to block out an hour this week and watch it all together.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpJbP6OToFE&t=853s

Vector speedometer scale

Claim your WORTH

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7 Ways To Support Your Super Premium Offer Price with Matthew Hill

Going for Growth in 2019 – Let’s go back to school with a bang

The main point of being an independent trainer, coach or mediator is to take more control of your life. And, charging enough to allow you some free time is a critical part of this. Whether you want to be a super high earner, blend free time with work in a more healthy way, or, set up a pro bono surgery, getting to a place where you can comfortably charge more is important.

In this post we explore 7 ways to support you charging a premium price or, even, a SUPER premium price.

And, at the end we talk about an opportunity to meet up at an event in Malaga too.

  1. Identity – This may sound simple but, every year, I meet many who have not completed their identity build with clarity or sufficient power to confidently charge more. Essentially you must project yourself as just one thing – An expert – deeply experienced and knowledgeable on one subject. Quite frankly, you need to be perceived as the leader in your field. Here lies the secret to charging a super premium price. Do you have a model, a special technique? Do you have unique content, a better methodology? Does your way work best? Take some time to work on these elements and your invoices will grow to a freeing level before next summer.

    Quickening of Inner Palette

    Paint yourself as THE expert!

  2. Brand – What is a brand? There are 1000 answers. For the here and now, it is an increase in heart rate for the viewer, accessing your marketing material and content. They must get excited watching you in your YouTube video. They must connect their dreams to the outcomes you describe. It is necessary to eliminate the gaps in your brand story and present a joined up journey for your chosen tribe. BTW – Not everybody can do this for themselves.
  3. Super Copy Writing. Killer Text Is Key. When you write well for others, they will think well of you. When you structure your communications using the Super Copy Formula, they will come knocking on your door.
WORDS ARE POWER hand-lettered quotation

The 14-Point Super Copy Formula

Price is a function of supply and demand.

If your offer is oversubscribed, your offering can support a super premium price. Of course – getting from regular work volumes to positive busy-ness (50 days at a 100 cash units rather than 100 days at 50 cash units) requires a specific and proscribed process, much of which relies not on what you write but how and in what order you present it. When you follow the Super Copy Formula for your written texts, the extra cash will become available to you.

  1. Great Content. You need to rearrange your content to be telepathic, sympatico and aligned with your perfect customer, what they want, when they want it. And, deliver it in the way that works for them. Too quick, too soon or too simple / complex and they will give up on you and start moaning. Leading your best students through to completion and success – that is only possible with great content and great process. The best content is pitched right, transfers knowledge effectively and is fully absorbed to be available and applicable by the student.
  2. Products Product Products. Regular readers will know, I am obsessed with turning your experiences into assets to earn you attention, brand brownie points, engagement, sales, income and advocacy. When you have a film, audio or text product, you take your level and your charge rate UP. It really is that elegant. And, creating products comfortably, cheaply and quickly is, today, a piece of cake.

    Analog microphone with recording equipment in the control room.

    Products Product Products

  3. Building Your Tribe – I spoke to a young coach of coaches recently and she spoke about going wide to make sure you have something for everybody and can thus earn money. WRONG. To start with at least, it is all about the one thing, delivered with care, to the one audience. Finding your avatar, ideal market segment and small customer niche is essential if you desire to charge a premium price. If you are all things to all men, you will be COMMODITISED and that means your customers will expect you to be near, convenient, quick and CHEAP. Yuk. When you cater solely for your niche, you take back control, become a healthy equal partner with your client, and, you will be allowed to negotiate for a convenient time, a better rate and a greater level of respect and engagement. Super premium rates are not about greed. They are about getting you the respect your experience deserves.
  4. Give More – When you crank up your prices, unsurprisingly, your customers will expect more. Give it to them. Guarantee all your work. Add extra value to your offering. Listen to them and adapt. Tailor your service so that it works for them. Go the extra mile / kilometre. Value is a function of Benefit over Cost. V= B/C. When you understand that you will be keen to double the customer benefit and therefore double your price – Pragmatism.

Conclusion

As we think with some dread about “going back to school”, and, before we become swallowed up with low quality urgency, there exists, now, a brief moment to reflect on your next year and ask, “Am I providing the best service I can, to the most interesting people out there?” “Am I being paid what I am worth for my experience, charisma and ability?” And, if not, “What am I going to change?”

If you are currently being paid a super premium price for doing what you love, I need to ask you a favour. Please share your wisdom and experience with someone younger, so that they can reach your level with a little less experimentation.

If you are contemplating the end of summer with horror, and, are still swapping time for average money (most people are), then do read our other ITC posts for Independent trainers, coaches and mediators. They will help you build your business, charge what you are worth, work in a way that suits you and connect the best of you to the best people out there.

And one more thing – Malaga,

If you are going to the SIETAR Spain Congress in Malaga in September 2018 and wish to join one of our Intercultural Training Channel, Going for Growth Bootcamp Days, do get in touch with me directly. Do E Mail, Matthew Hill at matthew.hill@hillnetworks.com and we can set up a short telephone conversation in a week or so.

Thanks. Finally. Please like and share if you have taken value from this post.

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Book review: Bamboo Strong: Cultural Intelligence Secrets to Succeed in the New Global Economy by David Clive Price

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