It Is Not Just Ten Minutes

My friend and collaborator in The Odd Couple seminars, Alan Weiss, PhD told this story in one of his thoughtful weekly messages:

The Odd Couple fight
Alan Weiss and Fripp. we agreed and disagreed to help our audience decide how to build their speaking and consulting practice.

“There’s a small tailor shop run by one tailor on Main Street who has been there for forty years. The place is a mess. Everywhere you look there are threads, samples, and tools. He has to clear the counter to write out a receipt. He’s busy and he’s one-of-a-kind.

I brought him a jacket with a small rip on the lapel. Without even looking inside he felt the material and said, ‘This is cashmere and entirely handmade.’

He examined the rip and the fabric, hunted around, sweeping everything out of the way, searching for the right color and size thread, a needle, thimble, and scissors. I thought he’d tell me to leave it with him and get it back in a week.

Ten minutes later there was no defect visible at all. I watched him the entire time and still didn’t understand how he did that. No automation, no machines, just skill.

‘There,’ he said, as he finished.

I asked, ‘How much?’

His reply was, ‘You pay me what you want to pay me.’”

Alan is a generous man who preaches Value Based Pricing. No doubt the tailor hopes he has more rips in his wonderful wardrobe.

This reminded me of an earlier time in my speech coaching career. I had my first corporate coaching contract with a large San Francisco company to work with three executives for three months. At the end of the project, the executive I had bonded with most asked for help with another presentation. In twenty minutes, I gave him ideas and scripting. The speech was a wild success. When he asked me to send an invoice, I had no idea what to charge for twenty minutes. I sent a blank invoice saying, “I know this project is now out of your budget. Please pay what you think.”

Imagine my delight to receive a check for four times what I would have billed.

What Alan preaches is to charge for value, not your time. It is not ten minutes to fix his expensive handmade jacket. It is the value to him to be able to continue to wear and enjoy it.

What my executive client was kind enough to remind me, and told me with the check was, “Patricia, I appreciate you have invested decades being able to give me the right advice, at the right time, and save me hours working on a speech that would never be as good as without your advice.”

Are you charging for what your services are worth? I admit, I often need to remind myself.

As a PS. Any book from Alan Weiss is worth reading.

If you want to up your game, no matter what position you have or aspire to have, good presenters get noticed, get promoted, and earn more. I can help you with my Fripp Virtual Training. (LINK)

“Patricia, you saved the day! I was summoned on rather short notice to speak as a keynote speaker for our corporate annual sales conference.  My task was to relate technical details to a non-technical audience. 

Lucky for me, a week in advance I found FrippVT. I worked tirelessly devouring the FrippVT content most evenings until 2 a.m. to perform at the highest level possible.

Can you imagine my excitement to walk off stage and hear, “You stole the show,” “Are you a professional speaker?” and “The audience was hanging onto your every word.”

I cannot thank you enough for creating FrippVT. Having your wisdom, advice, and guidance 24/7 throughout my preparation for this speaking engagement gave me the knowledge and skill to be a success. Consider me your biggest fan.”

Scott Lelii, Head of Digital & IT, Volvo Construction Equipment – Sales Regions North & Latin America