Are you under-pricing yourself?

Have you ever under-priced yourself, settled for a low pay-rise, agreed a lower salary, negotiated a low bonus system, sold yourself at a small fee…if so I may have an answer for you.  Read on.

My wife’s Volkswagen Golf car developed a rather nasty scraping sound one morning as she took the children to school. After she told me, I thought the problem might go away, kind of ostrich syndrome, but it didn’t. It was the last thing I wanted to take care of, being really busy at the time. Was it the fan-belt slipping, a stone in the disk brakes, or something more serious?

I phoned the local VW dealer and asked the girl what the problem might be, she had no idea but we booked it in for the next day. So the following morning, I popped into the local VW dealer here in Gloucester to have the problem fixed.

“The Chief Technician would like to have a quick look with you Mr Archer, is that OK?”

And this grizzled, oil stained 6 foot of a man climbed into the driver seat of my car with me as passenger and we sped off into rush hour Gloucester. Literally 4 seconds later he said he knew the problem.

“That’s the nearside front wheel bearing…needs replacing.”

How superb, how cool, how clever.

“It’ll take half hour of labour plus the part – about £150 Mr Archer”

“It’s a deal” I said, thinking £150 wasn’t too much to pay. In reality I’d already paid that price for 4 seconds of this man’s time. “So how did you diagnose that so quickly?” I enquired.

“That’s 28 years working wholly on VW cars Mr Archer…experience”

So I wasn’t paying for his 4 seconds, I was paying for his 28 years experience gained as a technician, his training, his trials and tribulations, mistakes and mastery of his craft.

So next time you’re looking to price your work, or ask for  a pay-rise, or negotiate a bonus, value yourself not by the time and effort but from your experience, skills, learnings, skills, practices that have happened to you over the years. Price accordingly and don’t commoditise yourself.

Later that day I sped off home and Claire was over the moon and I could now focus my attention on other things. Phew! But one week later….“darling there’s a funny smell coming from the car…can you sort it out please”