The 3-Tier Pricing Model™ (for money-anxious entrepreneurs…)

1. Don’t worry too much about the price you start off with.

I heard Deborah Francis-White say that in the first year of acting you shouldn’t be aiming to get jobs from auditions, but to get data about what’s working and what’s not.

2. It is less about the number you ask for, and more about how you FEEL about that number.

When we tell someone a price we are not only saying a number, but are also communicating something energetically about how much we feel we should be paid.

3. THE 3 — TIER PRICING MODEL™

4. Meet yourself where you are.

Please note — naming a piss take price is not about having low expectations for yourself or not believing you’re worth being paid well.

5. Using the model to find a price.

  1. Find your resentment, feel good and piss take prices. Write them down.
  2. Set a number just below the piss take price, at the upper end of the feel good price. This is because we tend to underprice things, and it’s good to stretch. It also means that you’ve got lots of room to manouevure if they say no.
  3. Ask for that price.
  4. If it’s on the phone, PAUSE. If it’s via email — forget about it and give the client space to come back to you. We often assume silence means a NO, but it can mean so many other things. Keep the faith.

6. You can use these phrases to show value but also be open.

‘I usually charge similar clients x amount.’

7. ‘But isn’t some money better than none?’

It is tempting to take a job at a resentment price because we need the money, but here’s a warning of what can happen if we choose to do that:

  • You won’t prioritise the work and will be underprepared/lacking energy — this is not good for you or the client — you will do a shitty job, they won’t recommend you and you won’t get the results you wanted.
  • You will prioritise the work and give far too much to it than you’ve been paid for and then feel totally exhausted.
  • You might even deliberately bring your A-Game to prove to the client that you’re worth more, which brings a weird dynamic into a business relationship.
  • Or, you will bring the resentment energy into the session — you’ll already feel annoyed with the company before you start — once again, you won’t do your best work and they will feel you don’t really want to be there.
  • And here’s a sneaky one… because you’re not getting paid in money energy, you will want to be paid in their appreciation and will need even more feedback and love from the group. This will make you come across as needy and under-confident.

8. Why we shouldn’t take a Piss Take price

  • Similarly, I’ve found if I’m paid too much, I’ll want to offset this perceived imbalance by over-delivering and being needy about checking they got the value they wanted.
  • Or I won’t be present in the delivery of the service, because I feel I’m being scrutinised for whether the work is worth what they’ve paid.
  • Essentially, I’m not relaxed and that means I’m not delivering good quality work.

When you are setting your price, check in with how you would feel doing the work the next day at that price. What is your body telling you?

9. Aiming for a Fair Exchange

Remember: The price has to be high enough for you to feel valued, but not so high that you feel stressed.

It always comes back to how it feels. You intuitively know what feels good for you.

10. Some examples of a fair exchange that isn’t money.

Sometimes when the client cannot pay what you want, there might be something else you can ask for.

11. Some stories of getting the price wrong

1. I accepted £100 for a team-day workshop because they were a really cool company and I wanted to get in with them. I felt really annoyed having to do it for so little and therefore didn’t give my best and felt overly reliant on their positive feedback at the end. No further work came from it.

12. It doesn’t have to be the end of the conversation!

I once quoted a client an insane PISS TAKE PRICE. As I pressed send I knew it was too much. Fundamentally I didn’t believe they’d say yes. They came back immediately saying ‘there is no way we can pay this.’ I felt initially terrible, but I didn’t lose the client, we just agreed on a lower amount.

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Sarah Weiler

Sarah Weiler

I’m a multi-passionate TEDx speaker, writer, coach, framework-fanatic, quitting researcher & ukulelista/composer. www.sarahweiler.com // tinyletter.com/Carousel