I’ve seen scores of workshops run by consultants who want to tell other consultants the best path to success. And it’s all the same message:
“You need to double or even TRIPLE your rate to clients!” they all exhort. Before they even KNOW the rate being charged. Seriously?
It hasn’t escaped my notice that these very consultant-teachers have also double or tripled their rate to give the guidance that others should do the same.
Now, that’s not the only thing they teach, don’t get me wrong. But this one thing they say right off the bat really, really bothers me.
It’s all about the money
It bothers me because they assume that it’s all about the money. In fact, they make it all about the money. Bad business advice.
Now look. Money is not inherently evil. It’s good. I like the things money can buy. I like having money more than I like not having money. A fair rate is …only fair.
But this emphasis on (what looks to me like) overcharging other people so that you can get rich? It’s the wrong focus for a business.
Advice I get often:
Look, I know I can raise my rates for my products and services at A Healing Spirit. More than one person has advised me to raise my prices. I get that I might be the only person offering grief and healing products at such a low price. I know that I am the only vendor I’ve seen selling candles stuffed with crystals and botanicals at these low prices.
“I don’t want to raise my prices,” I tell people who give me that advice.
They look at me like I’m crazy.
“I don’t need to.” Again, that crazy look.
Hey, I get it. Few people are in my position. It is my retirement job. I do it mostly for the love of it. Sure, I want a return. But I don’t aim to get rich off helping people who, well, need help.
But. Even when I was working for someone else and to pay the bills with my income, I chose to limit my income and have more free time and less stress. My choice. I never wanted to trade quality of life for money. Or trade anything for money.
Raising rates shouldn’t be the focus of a business: ADDING VALUE is a a better focus. How to better serve the customer should be the focus.
Not how to get rich. Serve the customer, charge a fair rate, and you’ll do fine.
Oh, one more thing: don’t you think a consultant should actually evaluate your rates versus that of the competition before advising you to raise them? Because when I hear that advice right off the bat, when someone knows nothing about what I do and what my mission and values are, I know they’re just all about the money.
I can’t shake the feeling that one day the whole consulting industry is going to implode because I see very few consultants focused on better serving the actual customer. Maybe I’m a dinosaur. But to me? Wrong focus.
I’d love your thoughts.