I am often consulted by first-time “value pricers” on their value-pricing model. I feel honoured to be part of such a request. After all, they are bearing everything, letting me know what they value and what money they anticipate making.
Thing is, it doesn’t matter what I value. It’s what your client values!!
How do we find out what our clients value? By shutting up and listening to them. Like a good lawyer, we need to ferret out the important facts. What are the pain points your clients are telling you? Here are a few, from my experience:
- I can’t stand looking for receipts
- Downloading and finding paper bank statements are a pain in the a$$
- I want feedback. How am I doing? Am I making any money?
- What do these financial statements mean?
- Payroll is a pain; how can I make it easier?
- What’s my cash flow like? Can I afford to hire a new employee?
See what I mean? Even the most experienced value pricer won’t know your client. That’s your job.
Now that you have your client’s pain points, figure out how you are going to solve them. That’s creating value! Come up with three pricing options. Mark Wickersham, author of Effective Pricing for Accountants, says clients want two things: certainty and choice.
I know, I know. The “q’s” don’t stop there. Just how, exactly, do I carry out these value-pricing talks? Well, I’m virtual, so that means I use a virtual medium. Skype is amazing if you can’t meet the person in the flesh.
What platform can I use to monitor the engagement between me and my client? That’s simple. You need one application: Practice Ignition. It also happens to be a #JennieApprovedApp. It will assist you with the engagement and any scope creep along the way and ensure you are paid through one of its payment gateways. The bonus: it integrates with QuickBooks Online. Yeah!
Accounting pros often ask me what additional value they can provide. Here are a few options:
- Varying payment terms depending on the client’s cyclical cash flow
- Speed of service and when to implement
- Better turnaround time
- Access to you or a dedicated support agent
- Monthly meet-ups
- Team training
- Virtual support
- Cash flow projection
- Business plan support
- Financial forecasting
- Advisory services
- Implementing the Profit First approach
- Social media expertise
- third party applications like: Hubdoc, Invoice Sherpa, Wagepoint etc.
It is important to note that each value-pricing agreement should be unique to the client. After all, no two businesses are alike. I tend to advise my mentees to avoid placing their value pricing on their website. Doing that may limit you to the perception of a prospect. They may see you as too expensive or, worse, too cheap. Customizing your value pricing to each client is necessary. Granted, once you have a knack for it, you can duplicate your efforts with little effort.
Here are some resources to help you with your value-pricing process:
- Implementing Value Pricing by Ron Baker
- “Pricing on Purpose: How to Implement Value Pricing in Your Firm” by Ron Baker
- Effective Pricing for Accountants by Mark Wickersham
- Practice Ignition application
- Cloud Pricing App by Mark Wickersham
I’ll leave you with some inspiring words from Ron Baker. Perhaps we’ll catch you at Thrive 2016 in Toronto this November 20 to 22!
I would love to hear about your value-pricing process!