In a recent CanSPEP webinar, Tara Gentile is an author, podcast talent and business strategist that helps entrepreneurs create successful and profitable businesses. Ms. Gentile offered her perspective on setting value pricing. While she offered a wealth of valuable insight, I was struck by her perspective on moving away from focussing on the minutia and rather on the value that event experts bring to the table. This shift in perspective will help to set realistic values for our time that will help us grow our business.
Much of my event planning network is made up of senior planners and many of them are independent planners. When we meet over a glass of wine, often the discussion turns to securing new business, sending out RFPs, setting fees and the constant debate of charging a management fee versus an hourly rate. It’s usually a fabulous conversation and I find everyone has great experiences to share that validate their perspective. What always strikes me as interesting is that what works for one is not ideal for another. Determining what is right for your business is an ongoing challenge.
It’s safe to say that a planner might respond to an RFP by setting a fee based on the tasks outlined in the scope of work and determining how many hours are needed to complete the work. Listening in on Ms. Gentile’s session helped me turn that perspective around and look at things in a different light.
Ms. Gentile takes the approach that as planners we need to understand the client’s goal and objectives for the event. We know this, but do we always do this when setting our fees? When we respond to the concept of our value, we are able to show how we are different, and why our client would want to do business with us, whether we come in with the lowest bid or the highest bid. The value is what will speak for us. In order to grow our business, we need to stop talking about price solely based on tasks, and ensure that we are talking regularly with our clients about the value that we bring to the table. We all need to begin having these discussions with our clients, and amongst ourselves.
Ms. Gentile offers a generous list of important notes from her interview. I chose to consider only one of the many. I encourage all CanSPEP members to take the time to listen in on the webinar. You’ll be happy that you did.