How do you go about suggesting pricing for your clients?

Recently I was asked this question on Facebook.  And it’s one I’ve been asked quite a lot over the years.

Here’s the short answer: “My thoughts on pricing? Only that it’s one of the more delicate and vulnerable and complex parts of a service business. That’s all. :)”

And, the beauty of a blog post is there’s space to dive deeper …

Pricing is NOT Charging What You Are Worth

Tara Gentile is a heart centered entrepreneur who I highly respect.  She wrote a great post, Stop Trying to Charge What You’re Worth.  In it, she says:

“There’s really no way to quantify what “you’re worth” because you can’t measure the value of your precious life.

I couldn’t agree more.  You are priceless.  And so are your clients.  Even though you’ve never met her, Jane down at the corner coffee shop buying her latte is priceless too.

While I’m a BIG fan of you getting paid well for your skills and expertise, there is hidden ego focus in a “Charge what you deserve!” approach.  At a deep level, it’s saying your needs and desires are the ONLY thing that matter.  It implies that your clients and prospective clients are like human ATM’s without any feelings or needs of their own.

I’d suggest that conscious business owners would do well to hold every human being as precious.

Conscious Business, Pricing and Vulnerability

One of the reasons spiritual entrepreneurs tend a) struggle with right pricing and b) look for easy answers is because it tends to bring up vulnerable feelings.  Jealousy.  Questions of worthiness.  Sadness.  Anger.

Money is a charged subject for many conscious business owners.  And the tendency I’ve observed in myself and others is to want to find a way to protect ourselves from these feelings.

Paradoxically, there is tremendous power and information in acknowledging the discomfort.  When we do, a much more spacious and authentic awareness of what Right Pricing in your business looks like can emerge.  Creativity and innovation tend to flow much more easily when the emotions aren’t on lock down.

Pricing Can Be An Act of Deep Connection

Your perspective client is really longing for two things:

  1. To feel safe and
  2. To understand why you charge what you do.

With an open heart, it’s much easier to accomplish this.

For instance, I currently charge $350 for an individual coaching session. Mark Silver, someone I greatly respect, charges $500.  Another business coach I know charges $150.  On the surface, our services look VERY similar.

Last week, in a conversation with a perspective client, we explored several layers around all this.  For instance, Mark has more experience and a larger network than I do.  And I have much more experience, training and confidence than my colleague who charges less.  I’m happy to report, I have a new client!  🙂

With steady loving presence, you can help your perspective clients understand factors like:

  • Ways you are uniquely prepared to deliver results in situations like theirs
  • The training you have
  • Your level of experience
  • The level of passion you bring to the work
  • How your network benefits them

 What’s Your Experience?

As you can tell, in my world there are many layers of the onion when it comes to pricing.  What have you found to be helpful when setting your prices?  What questions do you have?  I’d love to hear about it in the form of a comment below!

Paul Zelizer
Paul Zelizer
Paul Zelizer is one of the first business and marketing coaches to focus on the needs of Wisdompreneurs – people who have a business is based on the principles of wisdom and spirituality. In addition to conscious entrepreneurship, Paul is passionate about just about anything you can do in the mountain high country, power yoga, dark chocolate, sustainable living, ecstatic poetry and deep centering breaths. He lives in a solar adobe home in the mountains near Santa Fe, New Mexico.