It’s imperative for independent consultants to charge the right rates. Charge extremely high rates and all clients will take off. Charge extremely low rates and the consultant’s business will suffer lack of cash flow. One way of ensuring that your rates are right is by studying the market. Checking what the competition has charged is an excellent way of avoiding costly mistakes that could threaten your livelihood as an independent consultant. Without any doubt, you should take more interest in the independent consultant rates that you charge.
Convincing clients to pay the rates you charge is not an easy. However, you can do it with a bit of creativity, dedication, and research. People employed to do the traditional 9am-5pm jobs understand that their pay is 30% benefits. For the most part, the independent consultant has no benefit to fall back on. All that’s available is the money charged to clients. The good news is there are many ways consultants can increase their rates and convince clients to pay the new charges.
Four of the smartest and most effective ways of convincing clients to pay the new rates are:
Believing in yourself is one of the most powerful tools worth incorporating into your career as an independent consultant. All successful entrepreneurs, including freelancers and independent consultants, have an unshakeable belief in their abilities. Believe in yourself and the excellent skills you possess before convincing or attempting to convince clients to follow suit. Independent consultants who believe in themselves can do whatever they want. Nothing will stop them from attracting clients who aren’t afraid to pay the high rates charged.
The world has millions of independent consultants. Therefore, it’s important to be as different as possible. To do this, develop a unique selling point (USP) that sets you apart from all other consultants. Let clients know that what they get from you isn’t available elsewhere. If you’re just another run-of-the-mill consultant, no client will look at your rates twice. Creating a unique selling point is all about positioning yourself and your skills better than anyone else. The USP can be anything from:
a) the type of clients you serve
b) your approach
c) the kind of clients you say ‘NO’ to
d) your chosen niche (there’s no success without a chosen niche)
You can sell two types of value to clients. These are:
§ inherent value
§ perceived value
Inherent value is the primary value that clients find in what you’re offering. Mostly, this type of value guarantees clients long-term results. Such value revolves around the quality as well as effectiveness of the kind of work you deliver. On the other hand, perceived value is different in that it’s not tangible. It’s the value that clients believe or feel they will get from you. It mostly revolves around the reasons that initially convinced clients to choose and go with you instead of the other independent consultants.
A few of the measures you can take to boost perceived value include:
§ increasing your prices
§ offering exceptional support
§ using social proof
Provide value and clients will pay your independent consultant rates without complaining.
Clients have no problem paying the independent consultant rates you charge as long as they know you will provide value for money. For example, a client who pays you $1,000 but derives more than $5,000 for any freelancing service offered will consider that a good return on investment. If you increase your rate to $4,000 and clients make $20,000 from that, they will not complain. In fact, they will never complain the next time you increase the rates. The reason is they know what you’re offering and what they are getting in return.