What does self-esteem have to do with value pricing accounting services? A lot actually. Your self-esteem affects how you feel about yourself and your accountancy firm, therefore, you could say that it is quite a major factor in determining growth and success. This article explores how your self-esteem can determine your value pricing accounting services and how you can increase both your confidence and your prices.
The link between self-esteem and pricing
“Self-esteem is defined as having confidence in one’s own worth or abilities. It’s about how much you respect and value yourself.”
When your self-esteem is higher, you feel better about yourself and your firm, but you also have more resilience. Studies have shown that high self-esteem, and therefore resilience, means that you are:
- Less likely to find rejection and failure as painful as others,
- Less vulnerable to the effects of anxiety,
- More likely to bounce back from setbacks.
Not everyone naturally has high self-esteem and resilience of course. But both are essential qualities to have as an accountancy firm owner as they are vital to the sales process.
What we mean by this is that, to achieve the goals you have set for you and your firm, you need to charge what you are really worth and to charge what you are really worth, you need to have the resilience to get comfortable with some rejection.
By raising your fee level, you will become too expensive for some Clients and Prospects; not every client will want to pay your new fee level and not every great Prospect will want to come on board at the fees you are quoting. This means you need to be confident that you are charging what you are worth so that you can take the rejections. This confidence will keep you pushing ahead to find bigger and better clients that you actually want.(Discover how to stand firm when a client pushes back against a proposed fee increase)
Put simply, if your self-esteem is low and you don’t value you or your firm’s abilities, then why should your clients?
4 ways to increase your self-esteem
As you can see from what we’ve already discussed, the fees you quote will be limited by the level of your own self-esteem.
This doesn’t mean that if you have low self-esteem, you’re stuck with a life of busy work from lots of low-fee-paying clients. It also doesn’t mean that you can just “fake it until you make it” with your confidence to try and win better work. Most Prospects and Clients can spot contrived confidence a mile off!. This is a bad first impression to make as it introduces doubt in the mind of the buyer; the very person who you want to be confident in you and your firm’s services.
So what’s the solution to value pricing accounting services? Finding easy ways to increase your self-esteem!
We are not saying improving your self-esteem is easy, as low self-esteem is often associated with mental health issues such as depression which may need medical advice or a clinical solution to improve. We are saying it is worth the effort, however.
Here's an example of the “rewards” of self-improvement. One of my previous clients, Mohammed took years to build his confidence to move away from bargain-basement pricing (which resulted in a lot of low-fee-paying clients that restricted his resources and time) to price his services for what he was really worth. As a result of this newfound confidence, and requoting for his existing clients, over 12 months he was able to ditch half of his clients but actually increase his actual net profit by 50%! (Read - 10 signs that it is time to raise your accountancy rates)
To help you create positive daily habits to improve your overall self-esteem, here are some simple ways to build your confidence when it is low:
1) Play to your strengths
Doing stuff that we don’t like or know we are no good at over a prolonged period of time is enough to get anyone down. You start to doubt your sense of self-worth. One of the great things about being your own boss is the ability to delegate or outsource the tasks which don’t fill you with joy or play to your strengths. For example, if marketing is really not your thing, then give it to someone who is good at it; even if that means outsourcing it to a marketing professional or agency.
2) Give yourself time to review how far you’ve come
It’s very easy as the owner of an accountancy practice, particularly a growing practice, to get stuck in always being busy. Always doing something. Always striving towards the next milestone. As a result, you can often lose sight of exactly what you have achieved and how far you have come. You can feel like you are making no progress and this can bring you down. So, make sure that you give yourself a little bit of time every day, week, month, quarter and year to review you and your firm’s progress. This progress review can help you realise just how good you and your team are.
3) Eliminate people who get you down
Everyone is surrounded by people in life who either build them up or, sadly, bring them down. As much as you can do, minimise your interactions with people who act as a drain on your self-esteem.
4) Be kind to yourself
Everyone is always their worst critic. It’s our old friend the Amygdala at work again. When you find yourself being critical about yourself, turn it around. List the positive or good things that you did. Or list out your positive qualities. This is particularly good when your self-esteem has recently taken a hammering.
Be confident and charge what you are worth
As there is such a strong link between your self-esteem and value pricing accounting services, try to start implementing these 4 ways to increase your confidence so that you can start charging what you are worth. It may be difficult at first to deal with the initial rejections to your higher fee level, but you’ll soon see over time that you will win bigger, better clients at a much higher fee rate. If this doesn’t increase your self-esteem soon after, then we don’t know what will!
Learn more about value based pricing for accountants by reading the first 4 chapters of our new book “Profitable Pricing For Accountants” for free here!