What is Your Value to Your Client?
(What are you worth?)
Are you a consultant or independent contractor? Are you getting paid what you are worth? Whether you answer, “Yes” or “No” what will be interesting to know is – according to whom. What do you think you are worth? How do you determine what you are worth?
Have a look at the online salary surveys such as those you will find on www.robertwalters.com.au or www.hays.com.au/salary/salarysurveyrequest
These will give you the industry average when it comes to contract rates and salaries for various roles in all industries. However what YOU are WORTH to your potential client or employer does depend very much on your ability, your contribution, your attitude and your negotiation skills. In a nutshell, it rests on your Credibility, your level of Confidence and your Currency, or relevance, to the role.
Let’s consider the following:
If someone were to look you up on www.linkedin.com what would be said about you in the recommendations section? In fact, do you have any recommendations? If so, what do others say about you? If you don’t have any written recommendations is it because you never asked for them or are people unwilling to provide them? Others enhance your credibility through their endorsement. Your credibility builds value in the eyes of your employer. Are you a specialist in your field? Are you the person to whom people go when expert advice is required in your area? Ensure that you provide examples of what is meaningful to your employer, examples of your accomplishments that have added value to your role, as this will build your credibility and also your personal self-confidence. Then others can make well-informed decisions about what you are worth.
Your Level of Confidence
How confident are you about charging for your services? Are you confident that you always deliver on your promises, consistently add value and should be financially rewarded for doing so? If not, then you cannot put a number to what you are worth. You must be confident of your ability to deliver, on time, within budget, to expectations. Once you’re confident to charge for your services, the next step is to be confident about the amount you charge for those services. If you charge too little you’ll feel undervalued and over time this will affect the quality of your delivery. If you charge above the rate of your competitors then you must ensure that you deliver above and beyond the norm. Test out what is right for you and ensure you also include large quantities of Credibility and what we will discuss next, Currency.
Your Currency or Relevance
You need to be able to express why you are the one to do the job, and why you are the one to do the job NOW. Work out what their return on investment (ROI) is likely to be if they engage you and ensure that you can discuss this in detail articulately. Facts and figures, supported by research and endorsements will ensure you stand out from the competition and consequently this will boost your confidence in your rates negotiations. To support your Credibility make sure you include relevant and current information that will demonstrate that you understand the industry, the organisation and the requirements of the assignment. Make sure it is what is relevant NOW and not what was relevant in the past.
You are in the strongest position to negotiate what you are worth if you are confident of your ability, can demonstrate your credibility and ensure your currency.