Episode 129 | Pricing is Positioning with Paul Klein

On today’s show, I’m talking with Paul Klein, who has moved through the business world into consulting.  Paul’s story is a very common one, he worked in the corporate world for 18 years and around the age of 40, realized how unhappy he had become and decided to make a change.  Although he was experiencing a very successful career, he felt unfulfilled and miserable and just couldn’t take it anymore.  Fast forward 9 years and he’s started three successful businesses generating well over 6 figure incomes with no debt.

What is the process for someone who wants to price out their products or services?

Most people don’t value their expertise.  However, what’s common to you may be gold to someone else.  And it’s not about trying to pull one over on people and charge an exorbitant amount of money.  It’s more about finding that win-win so that you have high value for yourself and great value to your client. Another component is determining whether or not you and the client will be a good fit with each other.  If your services are not a good fit – you get so much more credibility by referring them to someone who is.

Once there is a revenue plan in place, how do you coach people on who to invite into the cause?

Whether it’s in for-profit or nonprofit, the answer is the same.  At the end of the day, donors are seeking outcomes.  If someone is going to make a donation to a cause, they want to know what the end result is.  What is the value?  How many lives are you going to change?  You have to make a tangible connection between the results and the outcomes. 

Why do you think people undervalue themselves?

It goes back to what’s common to us; if you see a really great guitar player, you may think that talent is a rare find but to that guitar player, it’s what they do every day, so they see it as common.  In the pre-Internet society (and still today), there was a common belief that the harder, or worse, a job is the more you should get paid.  We associate something that is difficult with charging more or making more money, but this just isn’t the case.  As buyers, we buy outcomes not time – we want results and value, not how much time it takes. 

When you tell people don’t sell your hours, what are trying to get them to understand about the work they are doing?

It all comes back to value.  In the nonprofit space, you can’t really put a dollar amount on something that is valuable.  And value is so subjective – what’s valuable to you is totally different than what’s valuable to someone else.  You have to focus on the value and the outcomes of the organization or cause.  It’s great if your donors have a good experience, but the deeper meaning is that that we are impacting lives or making a change. 

As a businessman, what have you seen nonprofits doing well?

The most effective organizations I’ve seen have adapted to the new knowledge economy and the new environment we’re in.  Pre-Internet is over – we can’t market through snail mail and phone calls anymore.  The organizations that have effective online marketing, content marketing, and bringing people in through workshops is where’s it’s at. 

Can you help demystify the businessperson for my audience?

It’s not good to stereotype any group, but the overall majority of businesspeople I know who work in the Fortune 500 companies, are good, loving people who want to help but they are very busy.  Make a connection with them and make it easy – here’s our cause, here are the donations needed, here are the lives we’re going to affect.  Simple is always better.  Don’t overwhelm them with facts and figures – just provide the basics.  And, don’t have the stench of desperation. 

Tell us more about your podcast.

The podcast is called Pricing is Positioning and it’s geared toward freelancers and consultants who want to charge more based on value.  I just hit 38 episodes and I’ve had some great guests – Mike Kim being one of them.  You can find it at pricingispositioning.com or my website paulklein.net

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit maryvalloni.com and to download our free Fundraising Freedom Roadmap, go to maryvalloni.com/roadmap

Interested in joining the Nonprofit Executive Club?  Check out nonprofitexecutiveclub.com 

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