Should you charge more for bigger clients?

If you are a true believer in value-based pricing, the answer should be yes.  The bigger the company (in terms of revenues, product lines, profits, employees…choose your metric), the bigger the opportunity to make an impact.  If you successfully launch a new product at a small company, that might mean $10M in additional revenue.  The same launch at a Fortune 500 company could generate 10 times that amount.  Or more.

Input_VS_OutputSome people argue that the work is the same at both companies, so you should charge the same.  This approach only makes sense of you want to be paid by inputs.  Most businesses are better off focusing on outcomes.   The whole point of value-based pricing is to charge for the impact you make.  A secondary rationale for charging more for bigger clients is the fact that bigger companies, and more senior executives, often expect more seasoned consultants.  This fact is especially true in coaching situations.  It is much harder to build credibility as a CEO coach than as a run-of-the-mill executive coach.

When you are scoping projects with prospective clients, the most important thing that you can do is reach alignment around results.  How will the world be different (and better) after your  engagement?  To really prove that you are serious about results–consider offering a guarantee.  If the client isn't satisfied that you have improved their situation to justify the cost, they get their money back.

If you go into every meeting focusing on what you can do to improve results in the areas of greatest priority for your client, you are sure to find bigger projects, generate greater revenue, make a bigger positive impact on the world, and feel better about the role you are playing.  And after all, we're all here to fulfill our potential and do the most we can to make things better wherever we go, right?