Article by Jane Tweedy, Business Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre
As an advisor I too often meet business owners that are praised by their clients yet lack self-belief. It is okay being modest, and we don’t want a world of narcissists running around, but you must believe in yourself, and value your work accordingly.
It’s a fact – if you don’t believe in yourself, why would anyone else believe in you? You need to display a level of confidence so that your customers feel comfortable dealing with you, and believe you will deliver to their expected level. Regularly review your SWOT Analysis for yourself and your business (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). When you’re doubting and questioning yourself then focus more on your strengths and opportunities, though looking at your soft spots is still of use – if you don’t dwell on these areas.
If you find it hard, consider what values your business exudes and compliments it receives. There is something behind that praise!
Hand in hand with self-belief is self-worth. If we don’t believe in ourselves, we tend to drop our prices well under competitor pricing, and continue to drop them whenever queried. Sometimes we use the excuse we are portfolio building, or testing out a service, and therefore can’t justify a market price. However, if you find yourself continuing to do this, you will not be doing yourself or your industry any favours.
If a customer queries your price, if the automatic reaction is to drop it further, first consider is their justification in dropping that price. Did you articulate the value the customer is getting? This is often missing in the sales or quoting process. Customers must understand the combination of scope, quality and timeframe that contributes to the price. If you need to adjust the price, then one or more of the other factors should change. For instance, a builder may reduce the quality of a building material to offset a lower price.
Learn to know your real worth and walk away if people won’t pay – they’re not your customers!