A thought occurred to me while speaking with a client the other day. Many clients we work with seem to have a certain angst in regard to their pricing and it manifests itself in an apologetic tone when giving price information or asking for payment.
If you are priced competitively, which means that your prices compete favorably against your competition with all things considered (quality levels, service, warranty, uniqueness, etc.); and you are providing good value for the price, then you should discuss your prices with confidence.
Don’t hem and haw trying to explain why your prices are what they are—it will sound like you are trying to justify a bloated price schedule. Now this is not to say if they ask why your prices are so high, you shouldn’t explain the value you provide and the benefits they’ll receive, especially if your prices are higher than the discount providers or even mid-range competition. It is imperative that you tell why you charge what you do; this gives you an excellent opportunity to sell your prospect and demonstrate why you are so proud of what you offer.
Another related issue I mentioned is asking to be paid for your service. I remember once when a contractor that was doing some work at my house completed a milestone, which meant another progress payment was due. His wife handled the business end and she came by, along with her husband, one afternoon upon his return from lunch.
“By the way,” she said while sort of hesitating and shifting her eyes back and forth from my face to the ground, “we’re done with post-setting and we’re getting ready to start the frame construction, and well, I was sort of wondering if, umm, if it would be possible, you know, maybe we could get a check?”
Why on Earth was she so afraid to ask for what was she was contractually entitled to? They had done a good job, were on schedule, and held up their end of the bargain. Now it was time for me to hold up my end. She should have simply said “I came by to pick up our next check since we’ve completed post-setting.”
Be proud and matter of fact when discussing the financial aspects of your business with your customers. If they sense that you are not confident in your pricing, they will naturally begin to wonder if your product or service is worth the price. If you’re hesitant about asking for payment, they will wonder if they’re going to get what they are paying for.
Unless you are truly uncomfortable with the work you are doing or value you are providing, your prices should be a source of pride as a payment for a job well done.