Want to know if you have a badass brand? Take this short quiz:
- Do you magnetically attract ideal clients?
- Can you charge a premium price (in other words, more than your competitors) and still win the business?
Being able to charge a premium price for your services is the cornerstone for having a badass brand and business. Not because we want to gouge clients out of money, but because you’re a badass if you’re worth a premium price, and you should be paid appropriately.
But raising prices can be scary, another reason raising prices is for badasses only. It means you have to raise your prices above anything you’ve been paid before, and then you have to say NO when someone wants to pay you less.
And you cannot waver.
At the moment of our first “No,” we were definitely looking for clients. So, I went networking and met a potential client who needed exactly what we were selling: a full rebrand with a logo and website.
I poured my heart into a beautifully devised, long-ass proposal, rich with benefit statements and fancy design to make them go WOW.
It worked. They loved us.
But they didn’t like the $16,000 price tag, so they asked us to bring it down.
Know Your Worth
Now, $16,000 is nothing to scoff at. And this was also the most we had ever charged at that stage of the game. But I also knew that for the amount of work we were doing, we needed at least $16,000. (This is before we had a tightened-up badass process—when we assumed this project was going to take 4-5 months and I had to pay my employees the whole time.)
I told them we could do it for the $13,000 they were asking for, but I’d have to drop a few things from the proposal. They couldn’t make that deal, they said. They needed everything.
We had a couple of phone calls, and they told me they were looking at other companies who were charging even less than $13,000, and they couldn’t justify paying $16,000. But they definitely wanted to use us and we were at the top of the list.
Perfect, that’s exactly where I like to be.
Top of the list and just a little too expensive, but the client wants it anyway.
Make the Tough Decisions
The knot in my stomach tightened, and I politely told them on the phone, “Look, this would be a great project. I know we would kill it for you, and I’d love to knock this baby out of the park. But if you want everything, it has to be $16,000. And if you need to pass and use someone else, I’ll totally understand.”
He said ok, that he was disappointed, and then he hung up.
And that was it. I told Steve what happened, and I just couldn’t go into a project like that. I couldn’t accept just taking a discount before the project even begins.
I’ve been in this situation a few times, and that’s often the end of the conversation. It’s hard, but I always look at it as dodging a bullet. Though we needed work, it freed me up to find a client willing to pay what we needed.
Confidence Pays Off
In this instance, however, that same client called me up a week later. Surprise! He hired us for the full $16,000. I still get butterflies thinking about it. Victory!
Victory because I stuck to my guns. I knew what we were selling had value, and I wasn’t going to compromise.
Victory because now this project was going to be a breeze. They hired us—the most expensive company on their list—and shelled out way more than they wanted because they knew our work was the best.
And, as long as I maintained control of the situation, this project was going to go smoothly.
By hiring us in this manner, they were also saying that they understood we were experts in our field, and they trusted us. And so, they were wonderful clients every step of the way, and they got great work from us.
Especially because—for them, too—we purposely did way more than $16,000 worth of work. After that project, we doubled our rates.
And that’s how we started raising our prices like a badass… stay tuned!