By Lindy Earl
When I hear an ad that offers a free evaluation or consultation, I realize it’s a Promotional tactic to get new clients in the door. It often works. People will try a new product or service when it is provided pro bono. What percentage of people return beyond the initial free visit depends on many things, but that’s not the point of this article.
When I hear an offer for Financial Tips for free, I have to wonder. How valuable are their tips if they are giving them away? You’ve heard the adage, you get what you pay for. In reverse, you value what you pay for, and in reverse, you value little what costs you little.
People ask me for advice all the time. All. The. Time. And they want the advice for free. I recently had a colleague engage me for almost an hour. He’s a Senior citizen and I was happy to help him as he’s trying to create some additional income after retirement. At the end, I was tickled when he asked my rate. I was less tickled when I was told that it was more than he had. I did the right thing, as a favor, so I can be happy about that, but it doesn’t put bread on the table.
Consultants sell knowledge because it’s what they have spent entire careers collecting. Why is a 50 year old Engineer worth more than a graduating Engineer? Because of experience. Why is a tenured teacher paid more than an untenured colleague? Experience. Knowing how to deal with clients, colleagues, and the work at hand is worth a lot.
My question stands: What value do you offer? Are you the most experienced? The best communicator? Being able to explain things to others at a level that everyone will understand has a lot of merit. Are you the least expensive person in your field? That’s a great deal for those with a lower budget. What sets you apart from others in your field?
Beyond my promise of making people more successful (I really do), I offer both strategic (this is the easy part) and tactical plans (this is the fun part). The specific things you need to do tomorrow, next week, and next month to achieve your goals. We discuss what you should do and what you should stop doing. Your personal life improves when you work with me. You are more confident because you’re making better decisions and living, both professionally and personally, more intentionally.
I teach in examples and stories, so you remember what you learned for years. Yes, I have had colleagues tell me that they still remember a lesson from a seminar that they heard five or ten years earlier. That’s memorable.
What are you offering? Is it platitudes and promises? Is it the same thing everyone else has? Once you know what you are offering, you will be able to put a value on it.
Whether it’s worth what you’re asking will be evident when people choose to work with you and pay your rate. There are people who charge an astounding rate, and receive it. There are others who charge less than they should be worth, yet continue to struggle to gain clients. Why is that? If you have great information, but can’t sell it to the appropriate target market, you need to make changes.
You need to know, as an employee or a consultant, that your information will lose value if you allow yourself to be used for free. Know your worth and charge it. You will find quality clients and chase away the takers. Maybe I should have done that better last week.
Lindy is available to speak to your organization, or talk one-on-one. Please contact Lindy at LMEarl@EarlMarketing.com. She loves to hear from readers!