When I started my own coaching and consulting business five years ago, I decided that instead of having a set fee for any of my services, I’d simply ask people who wanted to hire me to pay me whatever was comfortable and affordable for them. Not what they think my services are worth, or what value I will bring to them…but what is comfortable and affordable for them! I call this ‘Right-Sized-Pricing’. When I told people about my plan, most of them burst out laughing. “You can’t do that! That’s no way to run a business”, they said. “You’re crazy!” “You’ll starve!”, and “You’ll be out of business and back looking for a job before the year is out!” were some of the other things I heard.
Five years later, though, I’m still in business and doing very well. And in fact, during the pandemic, when many of my clients and potential customers have had a downturn, it’s a strategy that has both helped me help others (the reason I went into business in the first place), and also continue working while many other independent consultants have seen their business dry up. So how does Right-Sized-Pricing work? And why should you give it a try? Let me explain.
How Right-Sized-Pricing Works
Let’s say a business wants to hire me to coach them to get more clients, run their organization more effectively and efficiently or create new services. When I talk with the owner about how I can help them and they ask what my fees are, I simply say, “I don’t know your budget, and I don’t have a set fee for any of my services. Please let me know what’s comfortable and affordable for you, and we can go from there.” Most large organizations have hired consultants before so have some idea of what they’ve paid in past. Smaller organizations, or individuals, who haven’t previously hired a coach usually ask for some suggestions and I give them a range that other organizations their size have paid in past. With the caveat that if they can’t afford that range just to let me know! Usually, people take a few days to think about what price works well for them, and then they let me know. I do the same for coaching communities and workshops that I offer as well.
“Don’t people try to pay the cheapest possible price? Or get you to work for free? Don’t they try to cheat you”, people ask? Truth is, most people are unbelievably honest, and as I always explain, “Thinking that someone is going to cheat you says something about YOU and the way you are thinking. Not something about the other person!” In fact, in the five years I’ve been doing this, I’ve never had a large client suggest paying me less that I would have charged if I’d set the price. And small businesses and individuals often want to pay more than I think is reasonable, so I ask them to pay me less. And I’ve never had any client not pay me for services that I’ve given. Ever.
Why you should give Right-Sized-Pricing a Try
In today’s hard-hit economy people need help. Organizations of all sizes and individuals. Help to keep their businesses going, their families fed and a roof over their heads. And they don’t have a lot of disposable income. Using Right-Sized-Pricing will allow you to give people the help they need, when they need it. Without worrying about price. Just like it’s done for me. While other independent coaches and consultants sit idle, I’m helping people get through the crisis, continuing to earn an income and working towards fulfilling my business (and personal) purpose of helping people improve the world and creating a world of love before money. Just what, as a business, I’m supposed to be doing.
Still not sure that Right-Sized-Pricing is for you? Then my suggestion is that you give it a try with one potential new client. Ask the person what’s comfortable and affordable for them to pay and see what happens. Chances are they’ll come back with a price that’s acceptable to you, you’ll be able to give them the help they need and the world will be a better place. And for me, those are the best business — and human — outcomes possible!
Keep your eye out for more stories about how I’m working towards fulfilling my purpose and creating a better world through my business Karyn Ross Consulting (KRC) and my registered public charity, The Love and Kindness Project Foundation!