My friend Andy is an executive coach. He had an enquiry from a big law firm about coaching some of their senior partners. Would he be interested? Of course he would.
But then came the question we all hate:
“What’s your hourly rate?”
Normally my advice is to stay away from hourly rates at all costs, but here we are dealing with lawyers. Their whole professional lives revolve around the billable hour. You’d have a better chance of persuading the Pope to convert to Islam than of getting lawyers to think about fees in any other way.
So I suggested this instead:
“My hourly rate for coaching is the same as the hourly rate of the lawyer I’m coaching”
This seems so reasonable that it would be perverse for anyone to disagree, but the result was that my friend started coaching senior lawyers for £500 per hour while another coach we know, just as good, struggles to get beyond £200 per hour because he works with industrial companies whose executives don’t have hourly rates. Imagine what a difference that made my friend’s practice, and what it would make to yours.
But, you may say, “this is a great little trick for coaching for lawyers, but I don’t do coaching, or don’t work with lawyers, so how does it help me?”
It helps you because it contains a principle which can be extended to the pricing of any form of professional service. And is rooted in human basic psychology.
The Principle is this.
THE FUNDAMENTAL LAW OF PRICING
Nobody, ever, evaluates a price in isolation. They can’t. They always evaluate it by comparison with something else.
It is your responsibility to give your prospect a point of comparison which makes sense to them and produces a good result for you.
If you do not do this, then they will evaluate your price either:
- By reference to a “going rate” – a market rate, or what they are used to paying or, even worse,
- The cost of doing the work themselves, which of course looks like zero.
If you are interested in how the principle might apply to your business and help you get paid what you are truly worth, I’d happily spend 30 minutes with you on Zoom. (Not a sales conversation; that can come later if we both think it makes sense). The link to book is here.