Here’s a great conversation about perceived value.
PLEASE NOTE: This clever story is not mine. I’m sharing it because it’s such a beautiful way to highlight perceived value. It’s done the rounds many times on social media and I’ve no idea who is the original author. If it’s you, thank you.
So a customer asked a contractor friend of mine how much it would cost to do this project to build their deck?
And my friend gave him a proposal for $4,500.
And the customer responded, “wow, that seems really high.”
So my friend said, “well, what do you think would be a reasonable price for this job?”
And the customer answered, $2,500 maximum.
And my friend responded, “yeah well, okay, for $2,500 I invite you to do this job yourself.”
And the customer said, “yeh but I don’t know how to.”
So the friend said, “alright, for $2,500 I’ll teach you how to do it, so besides saving $2K, you’ll also learn a valuable skill that will benefit you in the future.”
Customers said, “great, that sounds good, let’s do it.”
So my friend said, “alright, to get started, you’re going to need some tools. You’ll need a chop saw, a table saw, a cordless drill, a bit set, a router, a skill saw, a jig saw, a tool belt and a hammer.”
And the customer said, “yeah, but I don’t have any of those tools, and I can’t justify buying them just for this one job.”
So my friend said, “alright, then well, for $300, I’ll rent you all of my tools, and you can use them on this project.’
The customer thought, great, that’s fair.
So my friend responded, “super, let’s get started on Monday.”
And the customer said, “but hang on, I work on Monday to Friday, so I’m only available on the weekend.”
And my friend said, “well, if you’re going to want to learn from me, then you need to go to work when I work, and this projects going to take three days, so you’re going to need to take three days off work. “
And the customer said, “well, alright, but that means I’m going to have to sacrifice my pay for three days, or I’m going to have to use my holiday leave.”
And my friend said, “yes, wel, that’s true, if you want my help.”
My friend also said that “remember as well that when you do a job yourself, you need to account for all of the unproductive time and work that goes into it as well.”
And the customer said, “well, what do you mean by that?”
And my friend said, “well, doing a job from start to finish also includes things like planning the project, picking up materials, travel time, petrol, set-up time, clean-up time, getting rid of all the waste, amongst a whole lot of other things.
And that’s all over and above doing the actual project itself.
So speaking of that, as much as we’re going to get started on Monday, I need you to meet me at my lumberyard at 6am in the morning.”
And the customer said, “six o’clock, but my workday doesn’t even usually start till 8am.”
And my friend said, “well, you’re in luck, because the plan is that we start building the deck by 8am, but in order to be ready and prepared with all the materials loaded up ready to go, we’re going to have to meet at six.”
The customer said, “you know what, I’m actually realising that so much more goes into this job than what we see in the finished project.
What I’m actually now seeing is that project proposal of $4,500 now seems really reasonable and I think I’d like you to do the job. “
The conclusion here is that when you’re paying for a job getting someone to do something for you, whether it’s a physical project like building a deck, or giving professional advice, the client or the customer is paying so much more than just the time it spends to do it or the material or the input that goes into it.
They’re also paying for all of your knowledge, your experience, your skills, tools, preparation time, planning time, your professionalism, your work ethic, your excellence, discipline, commitment, integrity, taxes, licenses, sacrifices, liabilities, insurance, you get the drift.
There’s so much more that goes into it.
And sometimes it takes stories like this for not only the service provider, you to realise how much actually goes into doing a job, but also for a client or a customer to realise that they’re paying for so much more than what they could do on their own.
So just thinking about all of your expertise, all of the value that you bring to the table.
Firstly, making sure that you do factor all of this into any prices that you’re quoting.
But second of all, is believing in the value yourself.
And if ever you’ve needed a sign to make sure that you are charging properly and communicating that value to your clients, this is the sign this is the sign you’ve been looking for.
Because you are valuable and the work you do is worth it.
Just make sure that the price displays that worth as well.
And as I said, don’t forget You are Valuable!