Information Technology Professionals: How to Charge Higher Fees

Written by Andrew Neitlich

I feel sorry for IT professionals who compete on price. I hope you are not one of them, because this is what you will face:

- A reputation as a cut-rate consultant or, if you own a firm, a reputation as a "body shop." Clients assume they get what they pay for, and will therefore assume that you must not be very good.

- Projects that are of marginal importance to your clients. If they were important, they would pay more forrepparttar right consulting professional.

- Clients that care about price, and not relationships. Every time I have cut my fees for a new client, I have regretted it. Clients that focus on price end up being more demanding, less grateful, and much less loyal than clients that understandrepparttar 133535 value ofrepparttar 133536 services I offer.

- Difficulty attracting enough clients to generaterepparttar 133537 revenue you want to make. Attracting a few clients at higher fees saves you time and hassle compared to chasing many price-sensitive clients at lower fees.

- Employees (if you have or want any) that are dissatisfied and look for opportunities at firms where clients valuerepparttar 133538 quality of their work. The psychology of pricing consulting services is not so different fromrepparttar 133539 psychology of pricing Vodka: The higherrepparttar 133540 price,repparttar 133541 better quality people think they are getting. Inrepparttar 133542 case of consulting services,repparttar 133543 price-quality relationship is often true.

Here is a strategy to raise your fees while attracting better clients:

1. Becomerepparttar 133544 authority in your target market in order to establish your credibility and value. Do this through a variety of strategies:

- Develop valuable educational and informational messages that help your prospects associate you with solutions.

- Compile a mailing list of prospects in your target market, and follow up in ways that are valuable and important to them.

- Be visible to your target market through a variety of media: speaking, articles, audio CD's, videos, fact kits, your web site, etc.

- Collect and post testimonials, case studies, and articles about you and collect references.

2. Talk less about what you do and what you know, and more aboutrepparttar 133545 specific business and personal results you get for your clients. How much money or time do you save them? How much do you increase profit? How do you help improve quality, reduce employee turnover, and provide peace of mind? Where have you done this before? The more results you can show,repparttar 133546 more you can demonstrate that your high fees are still very inexpensive compared to what their problem is costing. You should still provide excellent information about your service offerings, but focus first on solving your prospect's pressing problems.

3. Demonstrate that you have a consistent, proprietary, unique approach to get results, and that this approach goes far beyond whatrepparttar 133547 competition does. Describe your methodology. Tell them aboutrepparttar 133548 services you offer that competitors do not.

4. Explain why your experience and qualifications set you above others. Talk about your education, years inrepparttar 133549 field, certifications, and past clients and employers.

13-Point Business Development Plan for IT Professionals

Written by Andrew Neitlich

Here is a thirteen-step business development plan for IT professionals and consultants. It will help you becomerepparttar expert in your field and attract allrepparttar 133534 clients you need:

1. Identify your niche. Without a niche, it is impossible to aim your business development efforts effectively. You waste time and money chasing too many prospects. Onrepparttar 133535 other hand, by choosing a niche, you can reach your prospects more efficiently, develop more complete solutions, and ultimately become an established expert much more easily.

It may seem counterintuitive, but choosing a niche INCREASESrepparttar 133536 number of clients you attract, while REDUCINGrepparttar 133537 number of prospects that you try to reach. There are two parts to a niche. First, identifyrepparttar 133538 services you want to offer. Second, identifyrepparttar 133539 clients you want to hire you. You can identify clients by their industry (e.g. banking), demography (e.g. executives, home computer users), geography (e.g. San Diego), or interests (e.g. travel).

2. Identifyrepparttar 133540 compelling problem you solve. Prospects need a reason to call an IT professional to help them. No problem, no business. Develop a solid understanding ofrepparttar 133541 problems your target market faces, what these problems cost, and your solution.

3. Identify your edge compared torepparttar 133542 competition. In most cases, it is nearly impossible for prospects to tell one IT professionals from another. Find a way to differentiate your services by adding more value, being more efficient, offering more complete solutions, being consistent, taking risk away fromrepparttar 133543 client or by providing additional support or guarantees.

4. Compile a mailing list that allows you to stay in touch and follow up. The list should include past clients, current clients, prospects, referral sources, and influential people that can get your name out there (e.g. editors). This database isrepparttar 133544 most valuable tool in your business development tool kit.

5. Develop a series of informational messages that you can offer to prospects and clients. A web developer might offer a report entitled, "Seven secrets to designing a web site that will triple your revenue." A systems integrator might develop an audio CD called, "The ten dirty secrets inrepparttar 133545 integration business that other firms don't want you to know." A networking pro might offer a piece entitled, "Nine ways to prevent a system failure that dooms your business." Make sure that these pieces identify a compelling problem, offer a solution that works, and gives examples of how you have helped in these situations so thatrepparttar 133546 prospect associates you withrepparttar 133547 solution. Longer pieces, filled with facts, are better.

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