Recite After Me, "Pricing Is About Value. Period."

Recite After Me, “Pricing Is About Value. Period.”

The other day on LinkedIn, I noticed a question in my news stream — it was from someone I did not know and it was asking about pricing for sales. Maybe it was the way it was worded, or maybe it was because pricing and beliefs about money cut to the core of what I talk about, but I decided to have a look at the comments and replies that the person had received.


I am sure that everyone meant well, but again, ouch! Maybe the responders really did think that they were helping, maybe they were sharing their personal experiences, maybe they think that they have the inside track on pricing. but, really, ouch!

If I based my prices, fees and investment points on the advice of these people, I would be going out of business very soonm or, at the very least, downsizing my life. It is a fact that everyone with an internet connection and an opinion can position themselves as an authority these days. This has its uses but for things like pricing, which most people have really limiting beliefs about, this is not good. Not good at all.

Here is some of the nonsense that was written.

Work out what you want to earn, work out how many hours you want to work, and then charge accordingly.

Do the work and then ask the client to pay what they think is “fair”.

Look what other people are charging and then just undercut them.

Look what other people are charging and consider what you think is “fair” and “reasonable”.

Find out what the client pays currently and match that.

I am sorry, there were more; I just cannot bring myself to write them. It is too painful.

I decided not to respond. I do not want to waste my time having an internet spat with people who do not have a clue and, in any case, arguing with people with limited or no knowledge massively reduces your credibility. On top of that, whilst an opinion was asked for, mine was not, so I would rather share with my own “friends” (that’s you by the way), who do care, do want to know, and do want my opinion.

I see this kind of nonsense about pricing in recruitment all of the time… people charging the “going rate”, people charging what the client tells them they will pay, people being negotiated by some mythical “other person” who apparently does business with them at that rate. And most accept it. It makes recruitment no fun, their lives miserable, and their businesses shaky… but they still accept it.

As a sales director, my team were always telling me that the fees we charged were too high, that clients “will not pay that in this day and age”, and that there was “too much competition”. What with the online advertising and other options available to them, we had to reduce our fees to be “competitive”. You might think this was last week but it wasn’t, it was 15 years ago… and recruiters are still saying this today; as if it is something new!

Meanwhile, top recruiters, big billers, world-class performers… they go about their business, landing clients who want to work with them, clients who see the value in what they do, clients who know that all recruiters and all recruitment services are not created equally.

Let’s look at a few quick rules about pricing…

Rule 1: Pricing should be based on value; not what your client wants to pay.. as if everything they bought was equal. Your job is to prove that everything is not equal, prove your worth, and carve your niche in the market. Sounds hard? It is. Being a top recruiter is hard work but it’s worth it… in fees, in respect and in the relationships you will develop. You are trying to run a business; you should charge based on the value that you add for your clients. Period.

Rule 2: Fair has nothing to do with pricing. Fair! Fair! Fair? Who the heck defines what fair is? Your client? That’s not fair. One person will spend £15 on a bottle of water in a hotel because it is in a blue bottle and they think that it is awesome. Another carries their water in an Asda bag. Get my point? Leaving your prices, your profits, your business and your life to be dictated to by someone else’s interpretation of fair is somewhere on the South side of ridiculous and well on the road to just plain stupid. I refer you to rule 1, charge based on value.

Rule 3: Most recruiters undercharge; do not be one of them. Most people have limiting beliefs about price. Most people are stuck in price wars. Most people do not have a clue. Most people have scarcity beliefs. Most people are never going to charge what they are worth based on the value that they provide. Again, your fees should represent the value that you provide for your clients.

Recite after me: Charge based on the value that you provide. Pricing is about value; period.

Get it? Got it? Good.

I want this to be an awesome year for you and it will not be if you have limiting beliefs about price, if you listen to advice from really average people (no matter how well intentioned they are), or if you do not keep your focus on the massive value that you add for your clients.

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Copyright Gavin Ingham 2017


Gavin Ingham

Gavin is a speaker and author of “Motivate People” and “Objections! Objections! Objections!” Gavin has given over 1000 paid talks to over 100,000 delegates, spoken in nearly every county in England, all over Europe and in the US and Africa. With talks from small SMEs to the likes of Jaguar, UBS, The Royal Bank of Canada, Microsoft and Renault Trucks, he knows what it takes to motivate and inspire audiences to change and adapt to today’s competitive markets.

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