Value you time – give but not for free!

Nov 26, 2019

A lesson in protecting and selling your value!

Last month I needed to have a word with myself. At the heart at what I do is helping people. It really does bring me joy. But I need to be careful and ask “at what cost?”. You see I had two occasions last month were businesses I know asked if they could have a quick chat with me about sales. Sure, no problem is my automatic response.

But it’s important that I protect myself, as in these two cases I gave so much and as a result I felt exhausted and kicking myself because the expectation did not match up with the outcome. What I mean here is the quick chat turned into hour long plus meetings on both occasions. At the end of which I didn’t speak up for myself and explain that I would need to bill them for that time. I walked away annoyed with myself and worried I had damaged my brand.

These were business owners after all, they must know the need to value their time and as such know they should value mine. But I need to set the parameters.

Now at the start of ‘quick chats’, I explain I only have half an hour and beyond this I’d need to charge. I’m finding the response is actually that they expect me to charge for even that first half hour. So I am totally to blame for not selling my time myself, before.
It’s so easy to do, isn’t it? We are so passionate about what we do that it can so easily be forgotten. I’m not saying I’ll charge people for a 5 minute chat but the person I am speaking to is doing so because they have probably found out I have over 30 years experience in sales, that I’ve worked for the BBC (the gold standard in training back in the day), that I’m a Fellow of the ISM which recognises the depth of my sales knowledge. So because of that they want my expertise help.

Take my pain away!

This week I was delivering some training to an online group in the form of a Q&A and someone asked about pricing as she had a bit on issue with it. She was worried that she would scare people off because of her pricing. I challenged her on this. Was this as a result of someone else saying this or was this her opinion and an assumption on the part of her customers? She felt that it was an assumption as she (she the owner) thought it was a lot of money for bits of paper! When we dug deeper and asked her about her time making her art works (they are lovely) she did agree she spent a lot of her time producing them, had been doing this for years, honing her talents. I pointed out if I needed a gift for someone I would much rather pay someone else who had a talent to produce this for me. By the time I’d bought all the materials, found 5 minutes in my day to sit down and try and produce something, cocked it up several times, screamed in frustration and thrown it in the bin.

I’d happily transfer WHATEVER it cost to have her do it!

It’s a classic case of “If I do this for you, what will you do for me?” – as business owners its to be paid for that service I’ve provided or product I’ve made.

So – today’s lesson, do you have it loud and clear?


I do not want to feel like I need to kick myself for not charging my worth. If some people decide not to work with me because I won’t work for free, then you know what, they would probably be the nightmare clients. I want to work with people who value my time, who understand that this is a business and that I know my trade.

If you need some help with your sales strategy, about understanding the value of your time or to help shift your mindset to a mindset of giving (but not for free) over getting, of selling with heart, then please get in touch. 07808129775