I’ve decided to try something that might sound a bit crazy. I’m going to let my customers set my prices.
My Price is Your Value
I’ve heard of two restaurants, and a guy who wrote a book, all of who sell their product and/or service by value.
One restaurant is in Australia and one is in my hometown of Toronto. I’ve never eaten at either.
The guy who wrote a book is Philip Dignan. He wrote the fantastic, Secrets of the Wealthy Mind, and his thoughts have helped inspire this decision.
Interestingly, in Wealthy Mind, Dignan writes of innerpreneurship too, and on a much deeper level than Karma Queens, Geek Gods and Innerpreneurs.
Money as a Currency, Literally
The laws of physics state that energy can be converted in form but cannot be destroyed nor created. In a similar vein, we can conclude that individually whatever energy we give will be returned to us.
Money is a means by which two people can exchange a current of energy. As the seller I am providing energy in the form of my product, and as the buyer, I am providing energy in the form of money. With every business transaction, we are exchanging energy as well as money. As such, we can see currency or money as a tool for two people to exchange a current of energy.
For a long time now I have been giving thought to the nature of the current I am exchanging. I desire to be conscious of my energy around money. But I still feel subservient to it. There is more I can do to raise my consciousness.
Your Energy and Money
Unconscious Approaches to Money
- The energy of ‘taking’ – you drain energy from the other person as you are terrified of losing what you have worked ‘so hard’ to acquire.
Result: You get a few ‘cheap’ transactions but you establish a pattern of guilt and projection. The ultimate result is someone taking you for a ride or you hoarding your money for fear of it being taken.
- The energy of ‘take from me’ – you holding yourself unworthy.
Result: You will typically find yourself in situations where others take advantage of you. You find that you never have any ‘luck’ with money and that you are always undervalued.
- The energy of ‘I fear money’ – you placing money outside your conscious self.
Result: When you receive money you fear it rather than celebrate it by questioning if you will have enough next time.
- The energy of ‘I work hard for the money’ – you are your own generator.
Result: You insist that every ounce you have earned is because you ‘made it’ happen. You do not allow money to flow freely.
- The energy of ‘too much’ – you have more money than you will ever need.
Result: An internal void and a lack of respect for money and people.
Conscious Approaches to Money
- The energy of ‘what can I give?’ – you enter an exchange not focusing on what you can get but rather what you can give.
Result: You receive what you give and your current of giving is amplified.
My Energy and Money
I float between ‘what can I give?’, ‘I work hard for the money’, and ‘take from me’. I always want to help. I often feel like I need to be working harder. And when I do price my services, I undervalue them. No more.
Using exclusively the “what can I give?” approach I establish money as an instrument of consciousness and every transaction becomes an opportunity for me and my customer to extend our true Self.
While I care about money, as I understand the freedom it allows, it is not my driving motivation. The innerpreneurial motivation is to express our wealth through our gifts and knowledge (intelligences) and to extend our true Self via our work. Thus, it makes perfect sense for us to offer the product of our intelligences for sale, not for it’s monetary value, but for it’s contribution.
How Do People Know What to Pay Me? or How Will People Know How Valuable I Am Without Me Telling Them?
While I know people value ‘websites’, I doubt they understand the time, money, love and energy that go into making a good one.
You can replace ‘websites’ with your service and/or product. I am certain you had the same question about value (or what you can give) pricing and it’s a good one.
How can we really know that we will be paid fairly? We can’t. Just the same as we can’t know that our businesses will be a success. There is no guarantee. You must simply silence your doubt and believe in the power of universe.
But, if you want, examine your past customers. You’ll likely notice that you attract a certain type of client, one that does value your work. If this statement isn’t true, you likely need to examine your energy around money.
My Problems with Value Pricing
The idea I keep getting stuck on when it comes to value pricing is customer education. I keep thinking that in order for someone to accurately value my work, they must be educated about it.
I’m not sure if I am right. I wonder if customers will feel uncomfortable setting a price without having been properly educated.
I’m also conscious of material costs. Without setting a price, how does the customer know how much money went into the product/service upfront?
Ideas on Approaching Value Pricing
– Customer pays material costs + value, e.g., $12.92 + value. This addresses the issue of material costs and at first I liked this idea but now it doesn’t seem right.
– Make available to the customer the estimated number of hours spent working on the product/service. I still think this is a good one. I am certain that each of us would argue that no one understands how long our work takes.
– Make available to the customer detailed information on your process and the hours spent on the product/service. Perhaps this is the best option. Though I wonder if the best approach is simply to let it be without bombarding them with information. Am I missing something by feeling as though I need to inform and educate customers? Am I invariably sending out doubtful energy?
– Let them set the price. Period. They don’t need education only experience. This answer worries me… I have reservations about it.
How I’m Structuring My Value Pricing
This is where I need your help a bit. I don’t know of any services who have used value pricing before so I am making this up a bit. For now, I’m thinking I will ask for a value payment for every exchange. For every business exchange I have with a client, I will invoice them afterwards with a description of the service and hour(s) worked but without a price attached. They will fill in the price. The price will reflect the value they received.
Or won’t it? Is providing service and hours worked information swaying the value they may place on my work? Should it simply be an invoice with a description, without hours? How would you structure your value pricing?