Our latest Think Tank of Three podcast addresses the importance of defining and telling the story of your value – both internally to yourself and externally.
When you know your what you’re worth, you don’t settle for less. Less could be a lower paycheck, a boring job, etc. Knowing your worth and knowing how to talk about your value can not only make you feel better, but it can also lead to more money.
Take a listen to the podcast and hold your head high!
[AF]: Audrea Fink
[JH]: Julie Holton
[KJ]: Kathryn Janicek
[00:00:00] [AF] Knowing your worth! It’s imporant to define and tell the story of your value, both internally to yourself and externally in your professional life. It’s not just about the money; It’s about how you feel. But, this could also help you make a lot more money.
[00:00:47] [AF] Hi guys! This is Audrea, and today we’re talking about knowing your worth. With me today as always are Julie Holton and Kathryn Janicek. Hi ladies.
[00:00:56] [JH] Hey!
[00:00:56] [KJ] This is a great topic!
[00:00:57] [AF] So this is something that I’ve struggled with personally in my career and I’ve seen so many other women struggle with it so I’m very excited that today we’re talking about what it means to know your worth and not just in terms of the dollar dollar bills. But this will help you in your career and if you can learn to start telling your professional value story, you’re going to get a lot more bang out of your professional career. To start off let’s talk about what it means when we say Knowing Your Value. I want to offer a few basic definitions of the think tank has come up with for self-worth and valuations that were all on the same page.
[00:01:28] [KJ] Ok cool self worth is the opinion you have about yourself and the value that you place on yourself. A very simple example of self-worth could be your belief that you’re a good person who deserves great things or your belief that you’re a bad person who deserves bad things.
[00:01:47] [JH] Julie here… knowing your value means that you are an equal with everyone you interact with. You know who you are, you have confidence – whether it’s your clients your bosses, colleagues, or friends; you don’t feel any more or less especially less than the people you are interacting with.
[00:02:03] [AF] So knowing your value is immensely important in the professional world. What does it actually mean to know your worth though? So let’s talk about some of the ways that knowing your worth and your value can help you in your career.
[00:02:15] [JH] Let’s start by actually talking about the money. Let’s talk about salary. Especially as women; negotiating salary or fees for business sometimes out of fear for losing business. You know I find even for myself, personally; Kathryn I know as a business owner; we want to bring in more business, we want to keep our team busy– But sometimes women especially- studies show we will undercharge for our services. Sometimes for some of us that’s out of fear of not getting the job. Maybe people settle for a smaller paycheck or smaller bonuses than they deserve and will earn. So then generally we end up doing more work than we’re paid to do and we think we need to prove ourselves first and then get the value later which ultimately just means we end up undervaluing ourselves. So knowing your worth upfront allows you to state your value first. Don’t take on that client who’s paying less than your bottom rate and once a price or salary has been agreed to, then it’s your job to live up to those expectations instead of the other way around. They don’t hire you for free and you prove that you can do the job, they hire you- pay you to do the job instead of you proving first that you’re worth it.
[00:03:29] [AF] Can we just talk about how no one has ever said “I’m gonna take this job for less than I’m worth, work for a year, prove that I’m a rock star, and then get some huge amazing bonus where they now suddenly pay me.” Whatever you start with, that’s your baseline. So starting high is really important, because you’re not going to see- you’re just not going to see that swing; businesses just don’t do that. It’s not a moral issue, right, it’s not a ‘know your value’ issue. But once they start you at a certain salary, like, that’s your baseline. You’re not going to see a huge jump unless you leave the company for the most part.
[00:04:03] [KJ] Totally true. And I know I have-This is Kathryn-I coach people when it comes to public speaking and media but my clients, really, I become they’re confidant; I become their advisor, and I work with a lot of women who are looking to me for public speaking skills when it comes to interviewing for a job that they’re going for. And we talk about negotiating, we talk about how if you don’t get in at a certain number you’re just going to increase by a little bit of a percentage, you know, every year. And so, don’t just take it because you’re like, “This is what they offer.” Ask for, you know if it’s 10000 more, 20000- whatever you think that really the job should pay and that you’ve done the research and you know what the people are making already if they under you know they give you a number that’s under that you have to get to that number or it’s going to take you forever to get there unless you jump. I was in TV for 20 years and I had a job to another market or a station for someone to pay me more because the television station- when I first started it was like a 7 or 8 percent increase year after year. But that was the 90s the early 2000s; people don’t get an 8 percent increase really year after year anymore. And so you have to actually leave the television market and move up to a bigger market or go, or people go across town and go to a different television station to get that job. So it’s a lot more work to go get a new job so you might as well just negotiate for the number that you want at the beginning so you can get what you’re worth, right? Right from day one.
[00:05:34] [AF] Well on top of that I don’t think it’s even just money. I mean for sure money you start with right. You want make sure you get the pay you make, but are there bonuses you can negotiate? Are there benefits you can negotiate? Are there, you know, life work life balance that you can negotiate? Do have a work from home clause? What are the things that are really important to you at a career? Assign monetary values to those. You know I used to work with someone who said I never take my sick days, and I was like that’s crazy because your sick days are technically compensation. So if you’re not going to take your sick days you just know that about you. Then make sure that you’re at least getting compensation in. So when you know your worth. Right? You know you’re going to be in the office more than someone else and you’re not going to be taking that compensation, should you be taking a higher pay raise then, because you know you’re not going to be using that aspect of compensation. It’s really about knowing what you bring to the table.
[00:06:26] [JH] What a great point. I hadn’t thought about that. You know let’s talk about negotiation, can we? Because I think a lot of women will admit that they’re not great negotiators. I’m one of them. Not the best. You know I’d like to think I’m getting better at it. So whether it’s a personality thing or a gender issue I don’t know. But let’s talk about negotiation. So knowing your value is part of what makes you a better negotiator because you know going into a situation what your bottom line is and whether that’s actual dollars or whether that’s on some of the things you were just talking about, Audrea; knowing your bottom line allows you to stand strong and say, “okay if this client or this, you know, job position, if this boss isn’t going to accept my value and pay me what I’m worth or offer me what I’m worth then is it better to walk away?” That’s part of knowing your value.
[00:07:24] [KJ] Absolutely. And, boy, if you find out later that you’ve been undervalued as far as paycheck or vacation time or work from home time or whatever it is; you know it isn’t it going to eat into your positivity at work? Isn’t going to eat into sometimes your outcome? Because you’re going to find out; you might find out quickly that say all the men make more than you or everybody makes more than you at your job title. And when you find that out that’s going to wittle down on your self-worth. You’re going to feel terrible about that and you might not produce the way that you may have produced if you knew that you got top dollar or at least equal dollars. It does eat away at your self-confidence. And if you start, you know, if you’re annoyed at your work at your co-workers because you know everybody makes more than you, you know it’s your fault, but still it’s going to irk you so go in making sure that you’re negotiating and you’re getting your equal pay.
[00:08:25] [JH] And a quick thought along the same lines for all of the bosses out there listening. Know the worth of your, and respect the worth of your employees. And here’s why: because when they’re unhappy their work productivity goes down and they’re not putting out as good of a work product. So think about that, too. if you know that you’re undervaluing someone, if you’re underpaying them, you’re not offering them the same benefits, then you should expect that you’re not going to get that same quality of work that you are looking for. And it’s not that that person is intentionally doing it. It’s just human nature. And so think about that. I mean, if you want the best quality from your people then treat them that way.
[00:09:06] [AF] You know this is a really good segway. I think into another topic of what knowing your worth can help you with. And that’s settling, right, settling in a job that undervalues or settling for a job that underpays you or settling for a job where you aren’t seeing any growth and development.
[00:09:23] [KJ] When we undervalue ourselves we can actually settle into a job and stay in a job when we really should be moving on. And this happens- I sometimes have clients who will say you know they’ve got three kids at home or they’re going through some personal stuff and they can end up settling and staying at a job for a lot longer than they should and if they were to take a little time invest in a job search they could end up making a lot more money and moving on. It will solve all those personal problems, right? Because if you’re angry because you know you’re just like you’re totally not challenged anymore, you’re stuck in something where it just doesn’t motivate you, it doesn’t inspire you, and you also know that you could be making a lot more, it does affect your personal life. You’re not feeling like ‘the woman’ at home or ‘the man’ at home because you know you’re being undervalued at your job and that crosses over in all parts of our lives so sometimes we sit there like: But I don’t have time right now to launch a big job search. But who doesn’t have that time? Who doesn’t have that time to invest in ourselves to move on and make fifty thousand dollars more? Forty thousand dollars or whatever it is, or an extra week of vacation, or a job that maybe means less travel? You know some people are exhausted because they have a high travel job and if they could find something else that might be equal pay but they could be at home more with their kids or their spouse that they love or you know caring for an elderly parent that can be a huge pay raise in life. So never feel like you just have to sit there in a job that undervalues you because that’s just as bad as not negotiating from day one to the salary that you need.
[00:11:03] [JH] And not just about feelings. We’ve been talking a little bit about how things make you feel; but it’s not just about how you feel, it’s about your health. I mean when you’re unhappy or you’re stressed because you’re undervalued. We know that stress does a lot of damage on our bodies. And so there are a lot of health implications that happen there as well.
[00:11:25] [KJ] You’re absolutely right, Julie. I definitely was in jobs where I stayed a little too long and I got more migraines. I was frustrated. I was working a ton of hours and things weren’t changing and then I got you know, you just get angry, you get kind of– But that actually then causes health problems. So it’s really important that you mentioned that.
[00:11:49] [AF] And I think it’s also important to tie this back again to self-worth because when you know your value and you start to see that you’re in these places where you’re undervalued or you’re not growing, You know enough about yourself to get out. So you know, Kathryn you would mention staying at jobs too long. I definitely stayed in jobs you know six months to a year longer than I should have. They’d stopped feeding me. Right. They’d stopped growing, I was unhappy and unhealthy. But I for whatever reasons just couldn’t quite get the confidence to go out and tell people “Look I’m awesome” because it drags you down and makes you feel bad. And if you really are checking your self-worth and you’re really telling your value story on a regular basis, which we’re going to talk about in a second, how to do that, then you’re not going to stay in a place that is as hard on you for as long. And what that means is you’re essentially going to level up, right. You can get a job that is more growth, more professional development; you can get a job that’s more pay, a job that makes you feel energized and excited to start your day versus just staying where you’re at because you don’t know your worth or you don’t connect to your value.
[00:12:52] [JH] I was having a phone conversation earlier today with someone who said, “you should hear your voice when you talk about this. I can tell you’re just so passionate about this” and it made me stop and think, well that’s because I am! And when you know your worth, when you know your value, and you’re in a position that allows you to talk about it and share and help people grow or whatever it is that you’re passionate about, it changes you and it will change the people you’re working with because they can see it. They can feel it, it becomes almost tangible; and that’s what we all should be wanting out of our life’s work: that purpose, that passion. And if you’re in a position right now where you’re just making ends meet and you hate the day to day and you get the ‘Sunday scaries’ because you don’t want to go into work on Monday, well- do you know your value? Are you in the right place for that?
[00:13:44] [AF] One other thing that I’m really passionate about is the idea of office housework. When you know your worth, you’re less likely to either be assigned or to take on, what, what is the new buzzword? I think it’s office housework. How many times have you been in this situation when you’ve been the only woman in the room, right, and you’ve been asked to take notes? Or send out the follow up? On a regular basis; you know I work with attorneys, and for the most part they’re wonderful, but every now and then they’ll turn to me and just say “hey can you take care of this document?” And I don’t think they mean it because they mean to be problematic. But at the same time, Forbes had this article out on how to end that office housework gender bias and women have to deal with this. (Forbes on how to end the ‘office housework’ gender bias )We are regularly asked to do things that aren’t our highest and best use, that don’t actually help us get to a promotion, that a lot of times aren’t even our jobs. And it’s just because we’re there and women are you know there’s sort of this gender bias of being in charge of the housework. And when you really know your worth, when you really know this is not the highest and best use of my time, when you break it down to what I get paid to do, I would be significantly overpaid to go take care of this file for you, right. Ask your assistant who is paid appropriately.
[00:14:59] [KJ] Tell the audience, first of all just remind them like what your title is like what are you really. Because I want them to know like why this is so insulting.
[00:15:08] [AF] Sure, I am the industry group manager for two of our groups. And so what that means is I’m in charge of all of our business development efforts, our marketing as it supports business development, and our strategy for how we go to market. So my role is not to be filing papers. My role is to tell attorneys where they need to invest their time. Handing a file to me or saying “hey can you research this list that’s not really relevant to what we’re doing,” that is a waste of my time. And it’s not only that it’s not the highest and best usage of my time, it’s that it’s a waste of the company’s resources.
[00:15:44] [KJ] Yes yes.
[00:15:45] [AF] To ask someone with my pay grade to take care of these minute details is truly a waste of resources. And so when you know your worth, when you know what you get paid and you’ve negotiated for a quality salary, when you know the value that you bring to your firm and when you know what your strengths are it becomes a lot easier for you to turn around and say, I’m happy to help you. But I am not the appropriate person to help you one because is there someone who can do this better. Like your assistant, or the library which does research, right? Or somebody else on the team. It’s a better use of resources to not have my salary being paid doing these things. And also, you want me focused on where I can provide the most value which if you know me: filing things is not my strong suit.
[00:16:34] [KJ] Audrea, so I’m sure that this is something that a lot of women could relate to. So you are, you’re a high powered- you’re somebody who brings major value to a huge law firm. OK. You bring, you help them make more money. Okay, so when your time is spent doing some menial something like this it’s hurting the firm. Right? So can you take us through though, because someone is listening to this right now and they’re like this happens to me all the time, where just because I’m a woman, so I have certain, you know I look a certain way, so sometimes people look at me and think I could work the fax machine or something that I literally don’t know how to work, right? This happened to me where I was in a newsroom like- and I- I’m an executive television producer like I know how to run four hours of television shows. But I do not know how to use a fax machine! Like this was me some time in 2000. Like I don’t know how to do this like there are-.
[00:17:26] [JH] Do you have to hit nine first?
[00:17:32] [AF] I literally don’t know how to make copies guys it’s actually embarrassing.
[00:17:36] [KJ] When someone says like, “Can you fix the copy machine? Why Is Xerox machine-” like I don’t know where to find that clog, like I remember this happening me in the 90s or early 2000s like someone thinking that because I’m a woman I know how to fix the copy machine, like I don’t. So tell them, tell us all, like how did you react to this. How did you say it so it’s still like classy and you’re not looking at them like you’re going to bite their face off, right? So how do you; how do you respond in a professional way to tell someone that you’re, you’re just not the right one? Can you talk through the dialogue again?
[00:18:08] [AF] Yeah. So some of what I’ll do is I’ll ask questions. So I was in a meeting where someone had a printed document out and they said it was a list. And they said hey this is from 2010. Can you find out what the updated list is? That’s all the data they gave me, handed me this piece of paper. And I said, “You know I think this would be a really great task for your assistant to take care of. I’m sure she’ll understand more of why you’re looking for this and what you’re trying to get out of it.” And there’s a lot of other context in that discussion where I knew this wasn’t a strategic ask because of the situation I was in. So basically what this person was just doing was can you do a google search for me? And so I said you know I think this is a great thing for your assistant to do, I think she is going to be able to know what you’re looking for. And I think she’s going to be able to get this to you faster than I am. And he said, “Well okay but can I still hand this to you?” And at that point I said sure because I sit right next to his assistant. And so I dropped it off on her desk and said this attorney would like this Google search done and moved on. Because it was fine. Right. There’s no issue with me walking it three feet to his desk. Now in looking back I think what I should have said is, “It will be easy for you to hand it to your assistant when you walk to her desk because you work with your assistant.” But I also exist in this space where I- I don’t want- you know when people hand you those jobs, sometimes they’re not handing them to you because they think less of you. A lot of the time that you get office housework assigned to you is because someone has to do it and the person in front of you either doesn’t know what resource to go to or they’re too lazy to find the right one. And so as frustrating as it is to be handing this piece of paper off to someone, I want them to know I’m here to help them when it comes to strategy. And I’m here to offer them the right resources. So I think it’s really important someone you know says, “Hey can you take notes?” This one’s my favorite: I say, “You know I’m actually really bad at follow up when it comes to notes. When I take notes in a meeting. I don’t take anything logical. It’s a bunch of brain dump. It’s a bunch of ideas. I connect weird dots and stories in my head because as I’m listening to someone tell me something, I’m also trying to connect it to other pieces of data I know. So my notes are never sensical ever. Ever.
[00:20:34] [KJ] To anyone else. To anyone else but you.
[00:20:34] [AF] Well half the time I look back and I don’t really know what I was talking about either. But they’re like brainstorms, right?
[00:20:42] [JH] Another podcast.
[00:20:44] [AF] So there are a lot of brainstorming. So then trying to take those notes and turn it into something is it- I’m really bad at it. It’s not a strength of mine. And so what I will say is “I’m not the best person for notes. I don’t take sensical notes.” A lot of times I don’t ever look at my notes again because it’s the physical act of moving my hand on the paper while I’m thinking that helps me connect dots and then I remember that later. So I just tell people this isn’t- “I will take notes if that’s what you want you will never see them. So if we need something valuable to come out of this, I’m not the right person.” And then we move on from there. Now I think the flip side of that is I’ve also produced enough positive results in where I work to be able to say that and have some trust that I’m not just shunning the work. And I also work in a place where it is very fair to sort of jokingly come out and say “you would ask the only woman in the room to take notes wouldn’t you?” and then just decline to take notes. But that’s not everyone’s environment. So you know I’m lucky where I have a lot of really aware people, so that when they do that, they then are like “Oh yeah. Just kidding we’ll take notes over here.”
[00:21:56] [KJ] Yeah. Good good. Good to point that out. We don’t want to get anyone fired. But we also want to point out that there are ways to tell people when you’re being asked something that is not in your toolkit, in your wheelhouse, under your title. Sometimes you might be singled out just because you’re a woman.
[00:22:16] [AF] I also think it’s very important to note that if my job was assistant, or coordinator, or my role was secretary, that would be very different. I would probably take notes and that would be my role. So I think that goes back to knowing your worth, knowing your value, and knowing where you fit in your organization because you can’t say “hi I’m your legal assistant” or “I’m your secretary” or “I’m your executive assistant and I refuse to take notes for you because I’m a woman,” that’s asinine.
[00:22:46] [KJ] Right. So how do we actually tell our values story to make sure that we get- we make sure we get the right job, period, and then we are able to keep getting the right responsibilities within that job?
[00:23:01] [AF] So I’m in business development and what that means for me is I’m going to put this in a business development story because that’s how I function. But I think it’s important to look at it this way because I think that even when you are telling your story and it’s not business development these are the tools you’ll use. In BD we talk about showing the value, telling the value story. Our clients are less concerned with their- or your customers right, your boss whatever- they’re less concerned with the actual dollar amount of rates that are charged, the dollars and cents- they care about what are they getting for what they’re paying? What are they going to get out? What is the solution, or the pain point that you’re solving? What is the value add that you’re offering, rather than how much does it cost to use your time? And the reason this is important is when you’re talking about your own value, you have to talk about what are your strengths? What are your personal competitive edges? What’s your signature skill? So when you talk about yourself, your self-worth- first of all you have to know that stuff right. You can’t say “I think I’m really good at like basket weaving or crocheting.” Let’s talk about some of the ways that you guys set up your value proposition.
[00:24:15] [KJ] I recently realized that I’m not doing this the right way. I’ll be honest I’ve been in business now this is my fifth year and I spend so much time talking to my client about what they need and what they need in the first year, what they need, how they want to change their lives in the next five years, etc. And I don’t really do a good job about showing how I am different than my competition. And I know that like personally and I’m only sharing this because maybe somebody will be able to do something like this and change the way they get new clients or new people to sit in their restaurant, whatever it is that you’re trying to sell. But like I needed to learn to show my value faster in the conversation like in the sales conversation. I focus on their needs; I need to show how I’m going to be able to help them with the value they’re going to get if they choose me versus somebody else. So I know that that’s something that I need to to show right off the top. And we have great Website, I’ve got that on my LinkedIn, etc. And sometimes I assume that people have seen all that when we talk on the phone. And I’m wrong. I’m absolutely wrong, because maybe they were referred to me by somebody else. So they don’t know the whole picture that I coached NBA, I coach top people in healthcare, and big health care companies, etc. So what I’ve realized lately, and I hope this helps somebody, is that I need to show that up right off the top. People need to get that in an email they to see all the- I’m going to say the flash, but they need to see all that in one nice little package. So when I- when we talk about money when we talk about what it cost them, they already see the value proposition from the beginning.
[00:25:55] [AF] I think that’s a really great way to set up the meeting, too, so that you know what they’ve seen. So instead of making assumptions about your client you can say well in this video I sent you, it talked about this. In this PDF I sent you, I listed these things.
[00:26:08] [KJ] Yes you’re absolutely right. You’re absolute right. And it’s something- it’s a big piece of my sales technique that I’ve been missing since the beginning. So that’s- I’m really glad we talked about this subject because it’s really helping me realize what I’ve been- the little piece that I’ve been missing.
[00:26:22] It all comes back to knowing what you bring to the table. Know your value because when you know your value you’re going to think ahead to to bring it up, right? And you’re not going to make assumptions that they already know. And it goes back to what Audrea, you were saying about the office housekeeping when you know you what you bring to the table and you know your value and you bring it and you show it. Then you start to find that not always but over time most people who would ask you to do some of those more menial tasks that are outside of your job description they’re not going to ask you anymore unless they’re really in a rush and they really need something and you’re there in the right place right time and then of course you’re going to help but when they see the value you bring every day to the best of your ability to bring it, then they’re not going to ask you for those other things. And it comes back to what you were saying too, Kathryn, we can’t assume that people have seen all of our branding and all of our marketing material and everything we have out there. So by the time we sit down for that meeting we assume they know who we are and they’re ready to hire us. We have to absolutely position ourselves to show that value you know sends those e-mails out in advance that share that video or share that nicely designed PDF you have or whatever it might be that- use your branding in marketing in every way you can to show your value.
[00:27:43] [AF] So Julie would you say when you’re creating branding or marketing- are there like a choice of words or words that you’d avoid when talking about your self-worth? Are there ways that maybe you can promote yourself in your materials that sounds like promoting yourself without bragging?
[00:28:01] [JH] Yeah. So even- let’s go back to some of the basics. Even the e-mails we send and the words we say and some of this is going to take some practice but I don’t know about you guys but I find myself often using the phrase I think of when I worked in a law firm and I was sitting oftentimes as the only woman in the room and at a meeting and all great guys great man you know a very intellectual very smart people. When I would speak up to talk about something I found myself often saying, “Well I think” as a way to couch that I was about to give my opinion just in case someone didn’t agree with me, I was somehow protecting myself from what they would say or really just take that out. Anything you say, you better think it. Right? So just take that out and just say it with confidence.
[00:28:53] [AF] Right now I’m counting all the times that I said I think just in this podcast.
[00:28:57] [JH] Right? We- and I think- see? We are coached- Let me take that out of this sentence- We are almost trained to protect ourselves with the words “I think” or to- it’s like putting up this flag of I’m about to insert my opinion but it’s OK if you don’t agree. But just take that out and it again takes practice, so taking out “I think” is one way. Another word that we overuse is the word “just.” How many times do you send an e-mail where you say, “I’m just following up on…” And really what does that say? You’re downplaying the importance of why you’re reaching out, and how many times are you sending that e-mail out because this person has not gotten back to you in over a month, and the project is delayed, and you’re waiting on them, and you’re like “I’m just reaching out to see if you’ve had a chance to look at this.”.
[00:29:45] [AF] When what I really mean is, “you’re late!”
[00:29:45] [JH] Don’t soften your request; now that doesn’t mean you’re gonna say “You’re late. Where is this?” But, just take out the word “just.”.
[00:29:56] [KJ] I have to delete that from my e-mails all the time. I have to sit there and delete it. And also “I think.” I was told by, thank God I had a mentor tell me this, she was sitting in a conference room, and she would nudge me because sometimes I would do exactly what you said, Julie, is that I said you know, something like “I think digital is going to be bigger than broadcast some day.” I remember saying something like that like seven years ago. “I think people watch digital news more than broadcasters some day.” And it was literally it should be “Some day people will watch their news on digital more than on broadcasts.” I knew it. But I said I think because I didn’t want to seem too abrasive.
[00:30:39] [JH] Yes. Here’s another one that I know we’ve talked about before on a previous podcast using the word, “I’m sorry” and apologizing. And how many times do we use the word “I’m sorry” as a crutch when we’re not even the one who’s sorry, we’re even sometimes apologizing for something they’ve done wrong or something they feel. And so you take that word out of your vocabulary only using it when you actually mean it by the very definition of the word. And here’s even a simple example. You know you’re late for work because there’s a car accident on your way and you don’t have to be sorry that there was a car accident and you’re late. Just, “There was an accident. How can I catch up?” You know you don’t even have to apologize necessarily. I mean if you’ve missed something big, sure, if you did something wrong, OK. But just take the word “I’m sorry” out of your vocabulary.
[00:31:30] [JH] One last word. And this is going to be the opposite of the sentiment we’ve been talking about here. This is something that can rub people the wrong way. So it’s another word you want to take out that way they’re not taking away your value before you have the chance to show it. And that’s the word “actually.” So the word “actually” can rub people the wrong way. Someone says something and you want to add to it instead of taking away from what they’ve just said, you don’t want to suggest that they don’t know what they’re talking about or that they don’t understand the circumstances, and that you’re right and they’re wrong. So try and take the word “actually” out.
[00:32:06] [AF] One topic I’d like to talk about real quick is the idea of discounts when talking about your worth. I am really passionate about this. My attorneys don’t always agree with me nor do any of the people I ever work with who sell things but I really feel it’s important to never offer discounts. You want to be offering value pricing instead. And some of that is a little bit of buzz word but I think it’s really important to talk about how when you discount your work you discount your worth. So if you are offering 10 percent off, 15 percent off, 20 percent off, when you’re accepting a 10 percent decrease in pay you are not showing your value. There has to be a story for that. So if you need to lower the price of something in order to get a new client in or retain a client, there are lots of ways to lower their price without offering a discount or without calling it a discount because once you discount your rate that’s it, right. We talked about that at the very beginning: once you take a lower pay in anything, that’s the new baseline. You’ve just made a lower bottom.
[00:33:10] [KJ] Yes.
[00:33:11] [AF] So when you talk about how to offer value pricing. First of all your pricing should be inclusive of all of the things you’re going to do. You may need to write a scope. Scope’s suck but they’re awesome for talking about all the things you can do. Writing them is just tedious. You can offer early pay incentives. Notice I called them incentives, not discounts. So a very popular way to get paid quickly and to offer an incentive for a client is to say if you pay this bill within 15 days of receipt I will take 10 percent off your bill. If you pay it within 30 days, I will take 7 percent off your bill. And that way you’re encouraging them to pay you more sooner, and you’re still not saying I’m taking any discount off of my work; I’m offering you an incentive to pay quicker. Kathryn. I know you have had experience where you also incentivized your client to pay in a different form. So instead of paying via credit card, they paid via bank transfer or checks so that it takes the cost off of you. That’s another wonderful way to incentivize payment and add value. You can do block pricing or flat fees where you’ve basically said I’m gonna do this amount of work for this amount of money. Again that requires a really specific scope and a lot of conversations, and you may be adding a five or 10 percent discount in there, but you don’t call it a discount because then you’ve discounted your work. You can do volume discounting as well, which I know you said volume incentivizing; where you say “okay, I would normally do one hour’s worth of work for this much, but I’m going to do all of this. It’s going to include everything.” And so it’s going to cost you five times as much as this one hour, but it’s going to cost you 20 percent less than if you had done it piecemeal. Right. And I know that Julie and Kathryn do that a lot of their businesses because they’re complementary so if you can do everything at once you maybe pay a lower rate but at the same time you’re getting a high value and telling that value story is going to help you make more money and also keep your base up because you don’t want to be working for less. You can use this idea of never offering discounts in talking about how much you make as well. You’re not willing take less value but maybe if they can’t pay you more, they can offer you something in exchange. So if they can’t get you up to- I don’t know whatever the dollar amount is- maybe they can add in an extra week of vacation, or an extra week of flex time so that you can work from home. And I think it’s just really important that we don’t discount ourselves or our worth.
[00:35:39] [KJ] No and that’s what’s important. Once you know your worth, you won’t fall into this trap of offering discounts because you know your worth. You also might not say things like, “I think I know my worth.” “I’m just worth this” or whatever.
[00:35:56] [AF] “I’m sorry but I think this might be what I’m worth.”.
[00:36:00] [JH] “Actually-”
[00:36:06] [KJ] So this is all really key, but at the beginning, like from the beginning you have to know your worth in order to pull off the rest of this stuff. So you end up making more. So you end up making your worth. Or how about a little bit more than that right? So I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast. This was great. Audrea this was your idea to do today’s topic, know your worth. I think this was genius. I think a lot of people are going to benefit from this. I know it’s a work in progress for me. I know for a lot of men and women it’s a work in progress. But as long as we keep working on knowing our worth we can all make more money feel better and be happier.
So join us to continue this conversation online at ThinkTankofThree.com, we blog weekly. We also post the blogs a couple times a month. Subscribe and you’ll get a first alert email at ThinkTankofThree.com and find us on social media on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Be sure to also join our private group on Facebook if you want to talk about some of these things that might be a little uncomfortable to talk about publicly. And we can all just give and get some advice freely. Look for the group in the community section on our Facebook page.
[00:37:20] [JH] And now that we all know our value, our worth, we’re going to talk about setting healthy boundaries in our next podcast. This is going to be good. If you have questions or topics to discuss send us a message at ThinkTankofThree@gmail.com. or find us on social media. We’ll talk to you then.