As a Virtual Assistant, I have been in contact with many small business owners and independent professionals. I have replied to numerous “job ads” online and I network on social media sites and forums to look for clients. And usually the very first thing I get asked is “What do you charge?”
Well, here is the thing. I charge more than an in-house employee, yes. I charge more than an entry-level secretary, yes. I even charge more than an experienced administrative assistant, yes. But why? Why do I charge so much?
I came across this article today on Entrepreneur.com:
3 Ways Your Start-Up Can Earn the Trust of Prospective Clients
Here is #3:
3. Don’t charge low prices.
Many entrepreneurs believe that if they charge below standard pricing, they will get the business. While that does work with some decision makers, others see a red flag. Why is your pricing so low? According to a study from McKinsey, price is not the most important consideration for buyers of B2B services. In fact, the McKinsey study found that “low prices” ranked last out of 13 brand themes that B2B companies use to market their products and services. Low prices actually had a negative correlation to B2B buyers’ perception of the B2B companies’ brand strength.
Remember to know your industry, and any perceptions in the marketplace. This will help you to better formulate your sales process, and ultimately close more deals.
I may get asked “What do you charge?” a lot, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they want a cheap rate as the answer. I charge what I am worth. I charge more because I know what I am doing. I am good at what I do. I am an expert in my field, not just another secretary or entry-level administrative assistant. I also use my own equipment, provide my own supplies, work in my own office, and my clients don’t have to worry about having to find things for me to do to compensate for down-time at the office, or pay me vacation time, or give me sick days off. I am available for them when they need me, on an as-needed basis, for any task they may need help with. Yes, I charge more and most of my clients would tell you that they would prefer the higher rates, especially because they know their projects are done right and on time. The stress that is taken off of my clients, knowing that I am always here for them, is so worth the extra money to them.
Consider reading WHAT IS A VA: http://www.businessvirtualservices.com/what-is-a-va.html
But, in the long run, most of my clients SAVE money. Since they don’t have to take extra time out of their busy day to do mundane tasks, they now have time to network, to connect with their clients, to wear the hats only THEY can wear, and to do it well knowing their projects are taken care of by their VA.
In other words, I do earn the trust of prospective clients and keep the trust of current clients. I provide the best service I can to anybody who can benefit from using a VA to grow their business.