In this week’s blog, we explore strategies to protect and increase what you earn.
Recently we were lucky enough to be joined by Ben Johnson, the Founder of Buddha on the Board, who shared some absolutely brilliant insight on exactly how we can protect and increase what we earn, even in today’s uncertain market. Drawing from his expertise, we uncover the valuable techniques and approaches to elevate your earnings and financial success. So, let’s dive in and discover how you can safeguard and amplify your income under the guidance of Ben Johnson, an expert in the field.
The Importance of Meaningful Pricing
In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, a massive influx of new money was injected into the economy, primarily through companies. However, the past 12 months have seen a sharp turn in the cost of living crisis, with interest rates no longer working in our favour. This calls for a closer look at the basics and doing them exceptionally well.
The Journey to Discovering Pricing Excellence
Ben recently had a conversation with one of his clients who admitted to pulling numbers out of thin air. This got him thinking about the importance of moving away from arbitrary figures and towards meaningful pricing. He believes that there’s already a wealth of information on pricing excellence out there, thanks to industry experts like Blair Enns and Tim Williams. However, Ben wants to offer you a missing puzzle piece to complete the pricing picture.
The Power of Putting a Higher Value on Services
When Ben started his agency, he unintentionally found himself going around begging for work. Engaging in seemingly great conversations with prospects, the topic of money would eventually arise, and they would end up charging very little just to get the projects started. But these relationships would often fizzle out.
One fateful day, Ben accidentally quoted a price of £45,000 to a client, and they immediately committed to it. This sparked his curiosity about the decision-making process clients go through. It turned out that putting a higher value on their services brought them great new clients and made them more effective at selling. It created an environment where clients were more willing to buy.
The Emotional Aspect of Pricing
Negotiating oneself down is a common challenge agencies face. Ben refers to this as the missing piece of the pricing puzzle. And what he came to realise is, there’s an underlying emotional aspect to pricing that often goes unaddressed. Money is a charged topic, and the stories we tell ourselves about it influence our thoughts, actions, and responses.
Cultural Considerations: Negotiating and Discussing Money
In the British context, Ben acknowledges that negotiating and discussing money can be challenging. However, he believes there’s a better way to encourage negotiation while leaving room for flexibility without appearing weak. On the other hand, he notes that people in the States tend to be more upfront about money, so if a client is cagey and unwilling to commit, it might be a red flag from the get-go.
Selling as a Two-Way Process
As an agency leader, you may often find yourself worrying about making sales. But you need to remember that selling is a two-way process, and it’s crucial to communicate the importance of your work while separating it from the act of selling. Let your hard work speak for itself.
Estimating Costs and Recalibrating Pricing
Estimating costs can be tricky, and tools often fall short. You may struggle with accurately predicting the time required for certain tasks, but learn to take educated guesses and continually recalibrate your pricing accordingly.
The Journey to Protect and Increase What You Earn
Remember, to protect & increase what you earn, you must go on a journey that requires a deep understanding of pricing, negotiation, and the emotional aspects tied to money. By shining a light on the messy underbelly of pricing, you can find the missing pieces that will lead you to success.
Now, it’s over to you, agency leaders. How do you lay down breadcrumbs in your proposals and pitches? How do you communicate the value of your work? Share your experiences and let’s continue the conversation.
Until next time!
Ben Johnson is an agitator, innovator, and friendly problem child renowned for his diverse roles and contributions. He was once a co-founder of FreeState, a pioneering experience design and innovation firm, which he successfully led to its acquisition by HASSELL. Currently, he holds the position of Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Buddha on the Board.