Dear Danielle: Can You Just Give Us a Ballpark Figure When It Comes to Pricing?

Dear Danielle: Can't You Give Us Just a Ballpark Figure When It Comes to Pricing?

Dear Danielle:

I recently purchased your Value-Based Pricing & Packaging guide which I LOVE! I love where your head is at! I was tired of reading about, seeing, experiencing and potentially lining myself up for selling hours in my business. Your Value-Based Pricing model has given me a fresh and positive outlook for amazing client relationships to come. I understand that you can’t single-handedly put a finger on exact prices for everyone, but perhaps a ballpark figure in examples would help? Kind of where I’m at now. I totally get the Value-Based Pricing model now after reading, listening and watching your guide. I’ve organized my service line and am ready to price each offering and…I’m stuck! How is one to know how much each service block should cost?! I understand that expertise is a major factor, as well as determining what you need to make annually to survive based on your AWESOME Income & Pricing Calculator, but a bit of guidance surrounding actual ballpark figures would be a MASSIVE help, just to kick start the process.ย  โ€”NH

Thanks so much for your feedback. It is MUCH appreciated and I’m so glad my guide is helping you. ๐Ÿ™‚

Regarding the ballpark figures, it is HIGHLY against U.S. antitrust laws to provide even ballpark figures.

We just aren’t allowed to do that in the U.S. Having any kind of conversations about setting fees within an industry (which constitutes price-fixing), it’s a very serious, prosecutable offense.

I know it sounds crazy because it seems like such an innocuous thing, and I know that we do see pricing conversations going on in the industry occasionally; however, that’s only because those people engaging in those conversations are ignorant of antitrust laws and the serious consequences involved.

When I first heard about antitrust and price-fixing in relation to our industry back in 2004 or so, I didn’t want to take anyone’s word for anything so I investigated myself.

I’m a firm believer in going straight to the source to get the facts, not hearsay and opinion from those who don’t know, so I spoke with our state attorney general office, as well as two federal attorneys with the U.S. Dept. of Justice Antitrust Division.

They assured me that talking about fees within one’s industry with colleagues was no small matter (e.g., how much to charge, starting prices, coming up with standardized fees), and those offenses are taken very seriously.

In fact, after explaining how new people in our industry didn’t know what to charge and that it was common to see conversations where colleagues were talking about how much to charge, etc., they started trying to get me to give them specifics, asking for names and where these discussions were taking place. They were not amused. It was very scary!

The bottom line is that we absolutely cannot have pricing conversations as it goes against our entire system of free and open competition and carries very serious criminal penalties if found to be engaging in them.

The other thing I wanted to mention is there is no “should” when it comes to pricing. It’s whatever you deem appropriate and well worth what you offer and the results and benefits you achieve for clients.

Of course, there are considerations to take into account when setting your fees. Here’s a blog post that might be some additional help to you with that:

How Do You Price Your Service?

Beyond basic business economics and practical matters (i.e., profitability), pricing is largely a marketing effort.

And what is marketing but simply the communication process of educating and informing your audience of would-be clients and illuminating for them what you do, who you do it for, how it helps them and all that they can expect to gain by working with you (as well as what they stand to lose if they don’t).

When you get good at articulating that value to potential clients and helping them to see and understand that value in the context of their own business and life, the sky is the limit with regard to what you can charge.

But only YOU can decide what that will be. No else is allowed to tell you, not even a ballpark starting point.

5 Comments Posted in Dear Danielle, Legal, Marketing, Pricing. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses

  1. Perfect! This helped me clear a few doubts I had as well. Thank you!

  2. Kim Scott says:

    I had no idea! Wow! Thank you for that! So is it ok to just research what others charge? We can put our prices on our website, right? I am not sure I am seeing a difference between that and say, Walmart checking out how much Target charges for a toaster to make sure they are competitive. So its just that Walmart and Target CEOs can’t go out to lunch and discuss both raising the price of that toaster to $xx so that they will both win out? (Sorry for the analogy lol)

  3. Natalie says:

    Thanks so much for turning me into a blog post :o) I really appreciate the thorough and honest response to my query. Stay amazing!

  4. Thank YOU for the asking the question that inspired the blog post, lol.

  5. Sonia says:

    I also was not aware that discussing with others in the industry what to charge is illegal. Danielle, thank you so much for bringing this to my awareness. I have had that question posed to me on many occasions by participants of my workshops or by coaching clients, however, I have never GIVEN them the answer simply because I felt from a Spiritual and self-worth vantage point that it was necessary for them to land on an amount from within themselves. I had no idea that it was also illegal to do so. I will certainly keep that in mind as that topic often comes up. Thanks again. ๐Ÿ™‚

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