By Julie Oshins, “Play It Forward”
The most accurate measure of our worth is how much we value ourselves. When we value who we are, we are sure to draw to us others who value us as much. We cannot convince others how wonderful and marvelous we are if we do not believe it.” -Iyanla Vanzant
I was talking with some of my DJ peers* about Iyanla’s quote and the challenges we all face around pricing. Charging what we are worth can be a difficult conversation to have with clients, for various reasons: self-worth issues, lack of confidence, or fear of losing the sale to someone cheaper etc.
This self-doubt translates into discounting your services. You can thank your two-faced Ego for that distorted self-worth. The inflated, overrated Ego gets offended, and insecure Ego gets hurt then looks for proof that you are NOT fill in the blank enough! Plus or minus, they both declare “ you don’t know who you are dealing with!”
Lack of self-confidence looks like believing you are not good or talented enough, thinking small, having a ceiling on what you feel you are capable of, not taking risks.
And in many markets there is a fear of charging too much or losing the sale by being undercut.We’ve all been there, forced into a perceived need to compromise our prices because something is better than nothing, right? We need to transform that perception by realizing we provide an invaluable service that is an integral part of the event and overall client experience.
Next time you go to pitch a potential client use the following tools in establishing a relationship that honors your value rather than your fears.
Confidence creates value. Knowledge, experience, practice, and masterfully handling objections well is what creates confidence.
Invest in your personal growth. Shadow another DJ, practice your craft, listen to motivational audio books, take seminars,attend DJ Shows and expand your capacities to build the confidence that only comes with experience.
Be your own cheerleader Have a mantra, or a chant; your own personal pep talk. For example, log positive feedback from successful events that you can reference when you find you need help in ” sticking to your guns”. Repeat this enough you’ll replace that negative tape that used to play in your head.
The right clients know how much you are worth and will pay for it. You provide the same great service whether it’s the Ritz or a backyard wedding, and charge the same rate. Clients don’t dictate what you charge, only what they can afford. You will eventually start saying no to more people, not because you don’t want to do their event, but because they just can’t afford you.
Know your market. You have to know what the industry and market is dictating. Anyone can hire a DJ or MC, or even use an (gasp!) iPod. A great salesperson sells. By asking great questions to get great answers, that is what creates the “value” behind what we do.
It’s Not about You. It’s about the client.Help anchor them and ease their nerves. Be calm, collected, professional, focused and present. Leave your ego out of the equation; competition is the easiest way to lose the client.
It’s About You.The client buys you, not the music. If you don’t get hired, look at how you were being at the presentation. Sometimes the client is just testing the water, not invested in the outcome at all, and when you are rock solid in your services and value they become invested too.
DJ Family, Charge What You Are Worth, and Don’t Apologize.
* Shout out to my local DJ family, the DJ Roundtable Los Angeles for being in this inquiry and conversation with me.