Know Your Worth
I saw a woman drop a quarter the other day on the subway platform and was a little surprised at her response. She didn't bend down to pick it up, or really even glance back. The man walking behind her bent down to pick it up in stride and said, "Ma'am, you dropped this quarter." She said, "It's okay," and just kept walking. On the other end of the spectrum, my 2 year old son will find a penny on the sidewalk and hold onto it like he's never seen anything worth much more. Yes, he does the same with sticks and rocks sometimes, but the point is we're taught value.
I think the biggest revelation I've had about value and worth in relation to pricing, is that we as humans place value on goods and services and we make judgements based on our ideas about value. Think about that for a second.
How many different types of water and prices for water are there in the world at this very moment? Probably more than you think. Water can become more or less valuable depending on a lot of different variables. Where am I? What is the temperature? Was I eating extremely salty food? Now that you've thought about water, go watch at least the first 2 minutes of this video, The Value of Puppies by Jason Blumer.
First things first
In my experience, when someone reaches out to me personally with a work inquiry the first question they always ask is, "What's your hourly rate?" Now the dynamic of the conversation needs to change. Just like water, our hours' value can shift from one person to another, and generally speaking, as you get more experience you start to work more quickly.
But experience isn't the only factor that goes into hourly billing. There are many other factors that go into an hourly rate—many of which the potential client doesn't care about or need to hear (e.g. how much work you currently have, when your bills are due, etc.)
Slowing down the sales process can actually build value, as well as disqualify unwanted prospects.
Contrary to what you might think, this actually works pretty well. If you have the freedom to experiment with it, try adding a wait time for any client to work with you. During this wait time of 1-3 months, find out more about their business and learn to speak their industry's language. This is to both build your knowledge and to find ways to create more value for the client.
More value created means more value to be captured.