Do you know your value? You should, because it’s one of the keys to standing up for yourself in the business world. Having a good sense of what you bring to the table gives you the confidence you need to sell yourself and your product. There’s a reason why you started your company, and a reason you’ve achieved (or will achieve) the success you want. You need to know those reasons and use them in every negotiation, collaboration and new project you’re involved in. Here’s how.
Don’t Undersell Yourself
For whatever reason, all of us at one point or another have had trouble advocating for ourselves. Some of us are taught it’s selfish or arrogant. When you believe that you don’t go to the same lengths, or feel the same confidence, you would selling the services of an employer. Even the best salesman can falter when he has to sell himself.
One step over from underselling yourself is setting your internal value lower than others. Do you find yourself doubting clients will pay the same amount for your services as they pay other companies? Removing the “self” from the equation to see your fair market value can be difficult.
Establish Your Value and Stand Your Ground
Even if you know your value in theory, you might find yourself giving in during negotiations. You accept less than you’re worth, because you’re afraid of losing business. Or your desperate for new business.
That’s why you need to prepare ahead of time and firmly establish what you bring to the table, the value you provide the potential client or business partner and what you’re willing to accept in exchange—and what is unacceptable. If they won’t come above your bottom threshold, you need to be ready to walk away.
4 Ways to Know Your Value
#1. Realize your services are unique, and start building your case. Try just drawing up five bullet-points about what sets your business apart, why clients or partners should choose you. You’ll have a better sense of your value and solid arguing points in the negotiation. Memorize those bullets, and be ready to use them to stand up for yourself.
#2. Value yourself objectively. Since we tend to undervalue our own products, look up what other companies charge for the kind of services you offer. You’ll get a good idea of your market value. And you’ll have solid numbers to back up your arguments.
#3. Use past successes. Unless this is your first project, you’ve worked with clients or partners before, and something must have come out of that relationship. Did you boost their revenue? Create a new funnel that generated numerous leads? Those are real successes that help prove your value.
#4. Don’t fear rejection—and be ready to walk away. In a negotiation, the other person is likely to say no, maybe several times. It’s part of the process, so don’t fear it. But if someone isn’t willing to pay you what you’re worth, then they don’t deserve your services. Knowing you’re willing to walk away gives you power in the relationship. If you choose to work with that person even when they’re not willing to recognize your value, the partnership probably won’t end well in the long run.
Follow these strategies, and you’ll be in a good place to truly know your value. And to make damn sure your clients know it too!
Get off your duff!
image credit: Bigstock/ inamar