Our July meeting had an immediate and tangible effect on NSA-Michigan President Elect Greg Peters.  Greg is the Founder of The Reluctant Networker LLC.   He works with entrepreneurs and professionals to streamline their networking practice in order to bring in more clients, build better connections, and make more money.

One of the biggest challenges we face as experts who speak is in getting paid what we are worth. I don’t know a single one of us who doesn’t want to get paid more for an appearance. I certainly feel that way. The funny thing is, no matter how many people told me I should raise my rates, I had a hard time selling that number to myself. If I couldn’t do that, how was I to convince a potential client?

Enter marketing genius Ford Saeks. He visited our Chapter in July. If you missed it, you missed one of the most mind-blowing meetings we’ve had. I was especially lucky as I was the one who picked him up from the airport.

In the half-hour drive to the hotel, Ford asked me about my business and very directly about how much I was charging. I had recently raised my rates and was more than a little proud that I had already secured an engagement at the new rate. Ford let me down easy:

“That’s criminal.”

He insisted that I should be getting three or four times more — at least. I just nodded and smiled. Sure, I’m worth that much. Do you have a bridge you want to sell me?

But then he took me through a process that turned me into a believer. He asked me about the value I brought to my customer. For example, suppose I’m delivering a program on good networking to a group of thirty real estate agents. Further suppose each of them sells only one more house as a result of what I teach. What would the difference be to them? $100,000? $200,000? $300,000?

If I’m telling them that my program would make that much of a difference and I only ask what I was asking, they wouldn’t even take me seriously. Of course, I have to deliver good material in an engaging way, but I knew that already.

The upshot of this is I immediately doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled my rates on my services. Three days later, I booked a new coaching client at those rates and a day after that booked a multi-session training program with a local company — again with the new rates.

Take the time to do this for yourself. Ask yourself if you make a real monetary difference with your audience. Put a number on it. Then ask yourself, really, what should someone pay to gain that kind of value? It might just help you make that first sale to yourself.

And the second one to your paying clients.