Are You Letting Technology Define Your Value?
You have just acquired new technology that gives you cutting-edge capabilities in your field. How do you handle this new technology from a pricing point of view? As you promote your newly expanded services, how do your clients perceive your value? Are you in danger of letting technology turn your professional services into a commodity?
In today’s society, the general expectation is that everything should be faster and less expensive. As a result, we don’t value our time like we should. Remember the story about the TV repairman who spent 5 minutes and charged $70 in labor and $5 in parts to repair the TV? Would you consider his service to be professional or a commodity?
Before you answer, consider that $70 for 5 minutes of work equates to $840 per hour. I don’t even think lawyers charge that kind of rate. However, the repairman’s ability to fill a need made his services valuable.
When working with a prospective client that wants commodity pricing, it can be tempting to lower your rates because you need the work. There is always a very real risk that you will price yourself out of the project if you take a professional pricing approach.
However, you or your company has spent a great deal of money on technology and training, and you need to get an ROI from this effort. Where does the ROI come from? One place is from your client fees. Add the value you, your staff and the technology provide to your client, and provide them with a fair and honest assessment of the fee.
As technology advances, we often walk a fine line between providing a professional service and selling a commodity. We need to appreciate and recognize the value that our expertise brings to a project.