Do you ever find yourself not getting your full asking price or earning what you’re worth?
When I was 10-years-old, my very first job was to be a newspaper carrier. I was really good at delivering newspapers BUT when it came to collecting my “salary”, I felt bad.
Looking back, I realized that I felt bad asking for the money even though I've earned it. When I hadn’t been able to catch them for a few weeks the amount would be higher, so I wouldn’t tell them the full amount of what they owed me — ie. I would ask for $15 rather than $20.
I was cheating myself out of money. Now as a coach, I meet women and see how my clients have been leaving money on the table. Here are 6 ways you can make sure that you get paid what you’re worth.
1) KNOW YOUR RATE
Know what it is that you charge. It could be $50, $100, $15 an hour, or whatever it is. If you don’t know how much you should be paid, check what other people in your industry, at your level of expertise, are getting paid. It’s hard to stand confidently in your rate when you’re making it up on the spot. If you have someone ask you for something you haven’t figured out a price for yet, then ask them a few questions about what they are looking for and let them know you’ll get right back to them in a few hours or in 24 hours.
Another way to figure out what you should charge is to look at what you want to be earning for the lifestyle that you want to have. That's really important.
I have a client who realized she was charging way below what others in her industry are getting paid. What did we do? We bumped her fees up. She feared that no one was going to pay that fee, but she actually had three people book right away!
Extra Tip: If you feel uncomfortable sharing your rates verbally, have them on a price sheet that you can email over to your potential clients.
On the other hand, if you have a product-based business where you have specific pricing on your products, make sure you're sticking to that specific price so your margin of profit is going to cover your expenses and time.
2) BE CLEAR ON WHAT’S INCLUDED
Be clear so that everybody knows what they will get for that price.
If you can't tell people exactly what they get, they're going to be confused and they're going to take advantage of you with “scope creep”. This is where they're going to ask you or even demand from you more than what’s included.
I had a client who was asked to spend an extra hour at the event she was working, even though it wasn’t included in her fee. This happened because the hours weren’t clear with everyone involved. The problem with this is that it brings resentment and the feeling of being used. That’s your time away from your life, family, passions and you’re not getting paid for it.
What did this client do? She told her client that her hourly rate is $200. The client paused for a moment, and since the client knew how many hours she got and the rate for those two hours, she turned around, grabbed some money, and handed her $200 cash.
For those who are selling products, you also have to be very clear. What’s included in packages, when they get free products or points, and if shopping is extra. If you’re trying to put together a hosted event with products, like in network marketing you have to be very clear about what the host does and what’s included. For example, with a cooking class, will they be able to keep the jars of products you opened? Do they know if all the food is included? Will they take care of the wine?
3) SHARE YOUR ADD-ONS IN ADVANCE
I have a client who was very kind. When people asked her for a recording on a USB, she’d say sure and buy a USB and ship it to them. I also had clients where they were asked to go to a certain location to provide the service that was in favor of their client, but that cost them travel time.
These are add-ons. Sending a product that’s not part of the package is an add-on. Travel time is also an add-on.
If you have a sheet of add ons, then it's very clear to your client or your customer to know what’s included and what's not. If they want to add on things they can and you’ll be paid for it.
If you want to do referral fees, gifts, or other compensation plans then you need a system and a process put in place. This is the same if you have a team and you want to reward people. You have to be consistent, you have to think ahead, and let everyone involved know.
4) SAY NO TO PITAs
PITAs, according to one of my coaches, James Malinchak, means Pain in the Ass. These are people who will negotiate with you as much as they can and will not pay your worth. Then they’ll often be someone who demands more of you.
If you prefer to call them people who are difficult to deal with, then go ahead. Just be aware because they often don’t pay your worth, and they take more of your time than your other amazing clients/customers.
That’s where the mutual level of respect happens. You have to decide what you’re okay with and what you’re not okay with. Because if you continue to work with PITAs, they’ll drain you of your time, and they'll drain your bank account because they're always wanting more and demanding more.
I'm not saying you cannot discount your services. In certain circumstances, you can be generous with people who you know are struggling financially. For a product-based business, you might drop your margins a little bit on a wholesale or when you know your profit margins can still cover you. For service-based businesses you can have sponsored spots where people pay a reduced amount you both agree on. I have a couple of sponsorship spots in my business. For instance, I gave one to a woman who was a single mom and hadn’t received child support in years. She was doing such amazing humanitarian work, philanthropic work, and I really wanted to be able to support her in coaching, but she just couldn't afford it. It allows me to be generous and have planned giving rather than reduce my rate for everyone.
The funny thing is, sometimes I get PITAs. I know that they mean well, and they're good people and I maybe even want to work with them. In order to do this there is sometimes an inflated price because I know they will take more of my time and more of my team's time to really help them. Their increased needs are discussed in advance and then the investment will reflect this additional support.
5) SET SUPER STRONG BOUNDARIES
You should have really strong boundaries and contracts in place and have everything be super clear. So have your lawyer look over any contracts or agreements in advance and have your refund policy be clear. This way no one will be able to take your service or your product from you then demand a refund when they completely used it or when they haven't implemented things properly.
Cover your back because I've had that happen myself in the early days and heard it from people I have met. Some people wanted refunds when the work was already done or the product was already used, or they got service and ignored payment requests.
6) GET PAID IN ADVANCE
As much as you can, get paid in advance. With my amazing clients, they invest in advance to coach with me, attend my sessions, and join a program. The benefit of that is that we don't talk about the financial piece. Instead, we just get right down to business. We get to focus all of our time on coaching them towards their goals and coaching them to be the most amazing, fearless leaders, rather than spend time talking about where their payment is. They're all in. I'm all in. We just do the greatest work together in this situation.
I know many people who spend time and energy reminding their clients to pay them. I’m sure you don’t want to be using your time and energy for that. We want to be using it on our talents, our core competencies and on the actual income-generating work that we do.
These are the six ways you can get paid what you’re worth. Remember that you deserve it.
If you want to learn more ways on how you can succeed in life, download my FREE ebook Key 2 Success and learn the 3 dangerous trends professional women face that keep them overworked, overwhelmed, and pulled in a million directions.
Read my other blogs here:
1. Lets Talk About Money
2. Saving You Time (& Money!)
3. The Costs of NOT Having a 9-5
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