Pricing if you are 18 years old

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Well, yet another 18 year-old has asked how to price a website at $4500 like other firms when he fears that as an 18-year old he can only get away with $1000. See previous blog entry for his full question.

We’ve had this discussion before, a couple of times in fact, so search through previous blogs and articles on Sitepoint to learn more.

But here’s some thoughts in a nutshell:

1. People buy based on value. It is up to you to be someone who communicates your value in everything you do.

2. What creates a sense of value? All or some combo of the following:

– Focusing on a specific target market, so that the people in that target market see that you know their needs and speak their language better than anyone else.

– Creating a compelling marketing message that includes: the problem you solve, the benefits of your solution, why you are unique, proof that you are unique (e.g. testimonials, case studies).

– Using educational marketing approaches instead of sales pitches. In other words, provide valuable, free information that addresses your prosects’ top issues (e.g. how to make more money).

– Getting visible in ways that establish you as the “go to” person in your target market. This includes speaking, writing, publicity.

– Presenting yourself as a powerful, competent professional who wants the work but doesn’t need it. Dress great. Videotape yourself in action and get better. Make eye contact. As Brendon Sinclair notes, use an expensive pen (and leather note pad).

– Ask great questions, the kind of questions that show the prospect you know your stuff and understand their issues, and the kind of questions that help the prospect see that they get 10X your fees in value by hiring you.

– When people raise objections to price, be ready with some responses, and be ready to say “no.” I’ve listed objections elsewhere on sitepoint and on my own website.

3. If you don’t believe your stuff is worth $4500 instead of $1000, you’ve already lost. Why is your work worth $4500? Are you sure? Once you are, and can communicate that effectively, you’ll see some improvement.

Here’s a personal note:

When I first started in consulting, I charged about $2500 for a strategic retreat with clients. Now I charge $13000 – $20000 and win 80% of the bids I submit. Partly this is because I’ve followed the advice above, and partly because my business now comes from referral sources who have seen me in action and know what I can do.

So it may be that as you get more confidence and experience, you will figure it out naturally, as I did.

Finally, read SPIN Selling (Rackham) and You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bicycle at a Seminar (Sandler) this weekend!

Ah, youth! I envy you.

Andrew NeitlichAndrew Neitlich
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