How to become comfortable with charging higher prices

value pricing May 21, 2019

As a profession, accountants and bookkeepers are pricing way too low.

We’re too cheap. We’re working crazy long hours for too little money.

Part of that is because we feel uncomfortable charging higher prices. This is a huge problem. We value ourselves too little. 

But accountants and bookkeepers have the potential to make profound differences to peoples’ lives. We are hugely valuable. We can change peoples’ businesses, we can increase their profits, help them improve their cash-flow, save them time. We can really have a profound impact on what we do.

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We need to become more comfortable with charging the right prices. That’s part of value pricing.

Value pricing means that we should be putting up prices and charging based on value.

Sometimes, doing that means, for some services and for some clients, we should double our prices. I’ve seen some accounting firms treble or even quadruple prices for doing similar things for clients as they did before.

Some people are shocked to hear that and may think it’s impossible to do. But you should recognise these really important points:

When you charge higher prices, you can do more for the client. 

Most clients - the ambitious business owners and entrepreneurial clients that we like to have - want more from their accountant or bookkeeper. They want more help, support or advice.

The trouble is, we are unable to give them more because we are so busy. We are spending all of our valuable time crunching numbers, producing tax returns, reports or doing the bookkeeping. 

Whilst that stuff is all valuable, where we really deliver even greater levels of value is when we help them save taxes, improve the efficiency of their business, grow their business or increase the value of their business. That’s where the real value sits.

When we price too low, we find ourselves working crazily long hours, so we just don’t have the time to do those extra valuable services.

But when we charge higher prices, we can work with less clients for the same amount of money, and therefore have less work to do, and we can spend more time with our clients. 

Spending more time with clients and having the opportunity to give them that extra support they were after changes the value proposition completely. It changes the clients’ lives.

When we charge higher prices, it’s actually in the client’s best interest. That’s the interesting thing about value pricing. Value pricing is charging based on value. If we add more value we also put up the price. Both parties win. We can feel comfortable knowing that.

The final point I want to make is, when you are value pricing and you’re involving the customer in the pricing process, and you’re giving them choices, ultimately the customer is the only one who can determine value.

If they choose one of your particular options or packages, even if you think its a high price, they have chosen it because they consider the value to be worth more than the cost.

If the price were too high the client would not choose it. 

Don’t feel uncomfortable about charging higher prices. The client will be happy with those prices, and you can then go one step further and over-deliver. I think, as a profession, that is what we should be doing.

We should be focused on the client and give them the very best service we possibly can.

If you need more help with this topic I run a free monthly training session where I discuss topics such as this one and help people to become more effective and confident with value pricing. You can sign up for that here.

Or if you would like to join a community of like-minded accounting professionals learning how to better value price then you can join my Facebook Support Group here.

Wishing you every success on your pricing journey.

Mark Wickersham

Chartered Accountant, public speaker and amazon #1 best seller of “Effective Pricing for Accountants”

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