The Strategist For Those Impatient To Do Great Things, and Frustrated With The Usual Methods

What If You Can’t Calculate An ROI?

Sometimes there’s a clear way to calculate the return on investment of a project, but often there isn’t. If there isn’t, don’t worry. The video explains what to do instead.

There’s More…

This little tip is part of the Intelligent Pricing Architecture system.

It’s for you if:

  • You are a consultancy or creative agency with a track record of producing excellent results for your clients;
  • You can see that the value you create for those clients is worth more than you are currently charging;
  • If you have looked at value-based pricing in the past but not been convinced, or even tried it but had a bad experience, don’t worry. You were probably only been given step 1 of a 3 step process.

How The System Works

We’ll solve the three problems that are stopping you getting paid for what your work is truly worth (99% of what’s out there about value-based pricing, by the way, only talks to the first of these). Those problems are:

  • Not fully understanding or communicating the value you bring;
  • Getting compared to the wrong things (and hence undervalued);
  • Looking too much like the competition.

First, we have to create a way for you to talk completely convincingly about the value of what you do. To understand what this means, imagine two lawyers defending their clients in court. The first is passionately convinced that his client is innocent, and is relying on that passion to convince the jury. The second has a carefully worked out strategy and a series of arguments (and knows that juries think very differently from lawyers). You want to be like that second lawyer. To do this:

  1. We’ll get crystal-clear on the value you do provide. This is harder than it sounds. It’s basically impossible to achieve on your own – you are just too close.With an external view, many clients are amazed at what they discover.
  2. We’ll find a way to deal effectively with non-financial or non-quantifiable value; things like assurance or protecting brand or reputation, or improving employee engagement. If what you do falls into this category, don’t worry. There are ways of projecting value even if it can’t be quantified.
  3. We’ll build a discovery process to use in discussions with clients to make sure you get what you need in early discussions to build a compelling proposal.

Second, we’ll make sure that you are being compared to the right thing. No more “going rates” or “what is your daily rate..ooh, isn’t that rather a lot?” The truth is, nobody ever evaluates a fee in isolation – it just isn’t possible. We always do it by comparison to something else. If we leave our clients to find that “something else” they will settle on something that doesn’t help us. That might be the “going rate” or, even worse, the cost of doing it themselves (which of course looks like zero). It’s therefore our responsibility to offer a comparison which accurately brings out the value of what we are offering. To do this we’ll:

  1. Apply behavioural economics insights to the specifics of what you do to to find the best comparisons;
  2. Develop specific comparisons to hold ready;
  3. Work out a way of presenting our fee which makes it easy and natural for the client to agree – like persuading water to flow downhill.

Third, we’ll find a way of packaging and presenting your offering to make you look completely different from your competitors, putting you in a category of one. To do this we’ll:

  1. Dig out the process that you use and make it explicit, so that you can talk with greater confidence;
  2. Give you a convincing way of answering the “how do we know you can do what you promise?” question without getting into actually doing it before the contract is signed;
  3. Scan the universe of frameworks, concepts and methods to find one that can be adapted to what you do (you don’t need to reinvent the wheel here).

The end result is you’ll go into any pricing discussion confident that you have a process that produces a good result every time. No more doubts or anxieties. No need for random flashes of inspiration (these will still come, but they’ll be the icing on the cake; you won’t need them to get paid what you deserve).

Here’s How Everything Will Work

It’s very simple. We meet regularly, usually one a week, for 50 minutes. We agree at the start what we want to achieve and how long we expect the engagement to last; typically 3-6 months.

In the sessions I take you through the three stage process to achieve the result you are looking for. At the end, you have a system and a set of skills which will serve you for years.

The process is designed to be very economical of your time. In the sessions, I do most of the hard thinking. Between sessions, you do what you would be doing anyway – running projects, talking to clients and prospects, looking for new clients and developing proposals – but you do it more effectively.

The process is agile, so we adapt to changing circumstances and new discoveries.

Your risk is minimised. You pay monthly in advance, so at the end of every month you have the opportunity to assess whether to continue or not.


If you think this could work for you, the next step is to book a discovery session.

I’ll take you through a carefully designed process to discover what the potential is, and outline what you need to do to realise it. There’s no charge.

The session takes 45 – 60 minutes . You don’t need to prepare; you know your business well enough already. I do 90% of the hard thinking.

You can book a session via this link to my calendar.

If there’s anything you’d like to clarify before you decide, feel free to email me via this link.

What Other People Say

“In the first month, not only did the adjustments we made pay for Alastair’s fees, we identified enough opportunities to pay for the engagement 30 times over the next three years.

We unearthed highly valuable and unique skills that we had been underselling, and now have an entirely new vision for the future of the company. 

We made more progress in an hour a week with Alastair over 4 months than we had in the previous 4 years.”

Sarah Lafferty, Round Earth Consulting

Working with Alastair has had a massive impact already. Moving away from billing hours and £s towards focussing on value has been liberating. It has removed a lot of the noise and given us a lot more confidence in ourselves and the value of what we do. We’re looking forward to the results from 3-4 proposals we have out which are at much higher prices than before.”

Jo Hind, Bird Soup Consultancy

“At Curated we have an ability to look into our clients’ businesses and see things that they can’t because they are too close. It was amazing how an outsider was able to do the same for us, particularly an outsider who draws on multiple different sources. I have never met anyone like Alastair who can bring ideas from psychology, sociology, philosophy and even management theory to bear productively on business issues. We can’t properly calculate the ROI on our work with him because many benefits are still to come, but we are already beyond 10x”

Simon Douglass, Curated Digital