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When talking about your rate with a client, how do you convey that your services aren’t a commodity? How do you express that even though you’re providing the same service as the planner down the road who is charging half as much, you’ll offer more value, less risk, and a better outcome?

If your answer to this is negotiating your price and rates, you’re selling yourself short. Instead, it’s better to change the focus of the conversation to the topic of value.

What is value?

Value is what the client gets for what they’re paying. So, if you’re having a conversation with a potential client who is focusing on the price, it’s important to keep the focus on the results.

In addition, you don’t just want to focus on what the results are, but also what the risks are. The live nature of events means that if the event or meeting isn’t executed correctly, there are no do-overs. Thus, helping your client understand the risk of not focusing on value and only focusing on price will help them comprehend why it’s not always the best route to opt for the cheaper option.

Differentiating Your Brand

If you want to avoid getting sucked into the price war, it’s essential that you differentiate your brand. Remember:

1. Be mindful that it takes time to build up your brand

2. Seek external validation

  • Industry awards: wins AND nominations
  • Testimonials and satisfaction surveys
  • Media profiles

3. Show thought leadership

  • Give away your ideas
  • Let the client see your thought process
  • Mention where you’ve found inspiration

4. Demonstrate your expertise

Remember, your points of differentiation only work if the client:

  • Knows about them
  • Understands them
  • Finds value in them

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