Two big pricing mistakes many accounting professionals make

value pricing Aug 08, 2016

As an industry we don’t want to make mistakes.

Yet time and time again I see two massive mistakes that accountants and bookkeepers keep making. And it has a real impact on their businesses.

So what are those mistakes and how can they be avoided?

Mistake 1 – Using fixed prices on a website

Don’t do this. Seriously. Don’t.

Fixed pricing is not value pricing. You cannot value price until you have found out what actually constitutes value for that particular person. The only way to do that is to have a conversation – either face-to-face or online.

Understand the potential client’s circumstances, what they value, what they want, what they need and what their pain points are.

You need to understand all that before you even begin to price.

As well as implying you don’t understand the client’s needs (beyond price) fixed prices on a website are usually far too low.

It’s no surprise really. We are used to using the internet for price comparison. Low prices on a website therefore attract price-focused shoppers – the wrong clients.

And most importantly they put off the right ones.

Those great clients we all want look at that price and question it. “That’s so cheap? They can’t do that. The quality must be poor,” they cry.

That was the ambitious business owner looking for a great accountant. Only now they’ve gone elsewhere.

Price and quality are linked. That’s why some of the most profitable companies on the planet are also the most expensive.

Take Apple for example. High quality, high price and high market share.

Similarly, Starbucks. Does the price tag of their mochas put people off? Of course not – there are Starbucks everywhere.

Very often when you increase price and quality you actually win more business. It might sound counterintuitive but it’s true 

So don’t put your prices on your website. Ever.

Mistake 2 – Don’t post or email your proposals

Ok so I’m going to admit something here. I used to do this back in the 90s when I was running my accounting firm.

I’d have a meeting with a client. It would go really well. The client would love what I’d do and they’d say “How much Mark?”

The deal was in my grasp.

Only I’d say. “Let me think about it. I’ll put together a proposal and stick it in the post to you.”

Yes, I said post. It was the 90s remember.

Oh and the effort I put into that proposal. It would cover everything I would do for them and it was so nicely bound.

But did they care about my binding or what I’d written?

No. They skipped straight to the price. I’d lost control. That still happens with many people today – even if the process is faster with email.

Clients are still just interested in price. You have still lost control.

They use your pretty proposal to beat the price of a competitor down (often whether they actually thought it was too high or not). Your nicely bound document, your carefully created email, becomes a bargaining tool.

And you never hear from that client again.

Instead you need to have a pricing conversation in the meeting with the client. That means you need a system. And that’s why I created Cloud Pricing.

No more mistakes.

Find out more about the two big mistakes you mustn’t make in your business by watching this video 

You can watch the video here.

Every month I provide free online training helping accounting professionals get results from value pricing. If you want to get access to that free training click here to register your place on the list of people I invite.

Wishing you every success on your pricing journey

Mark Wickersham
Chartered Accountant, public speaker and #1 best-selling author of
Effective Pricing for Accountants

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