Do your prices reflect your true worth? Many small business owners keep their prices low because they haven’t stopped to think about the positive impact they have on their clients and charge accordingly. They hold themselves back by charging too little and working too hard, becoming stressed, tired and falling out of love with their business.
Dylis: Hi there, this is Dylis Guyan. Welcome to the Inspired Selling Podcast, the place where business owners and sales people who sell to bigger businesses discover how to attract, convert and retain more of their ideal clients quicker and easier than they ever would on their own.
Now, I have got a super splendid guest for you today, who has a really unusual backstory. It is Tony Winyard and he’s going to talk to us about money and pricing and why you should consider increasing your prices. I know this is a hot topic. I know from the clients that I talked to that often they get very nervous about increasing their prices, or in fact, sometimes they don’t know where to position their pricing. So, this is going to be a cracking interview with Tony. But before we get into it, let me tell you a little bit about Tony.
Tony spent 15 years as a club DJ working at iconic venues in London, around UK and abroad including Holland, France, Norway, Japan, Hong Kong and many other countries. He’s also performed as the DJ at prestigious wedding venues including Claridge’s, The Savoy, Grosvenor House, Emirates Stadium, I mean come on, what fantastic venues they are!
He’s also performed for well-known corporate brands and celebrities ranging from the cast of EastEnders to the Sultan of Brunei. He’s a regular speaker at DJ shows around the UK including the world’s biggest DJ show, BPM|Pro. Now, Tony helps people from different industries to increase their value and their prices through his keynote talks and the workshops that he delivers. So, I said to you that Tony has a very unusual background and I can’t wait to hear more about that backstory. So welcome, Tony.
Tony: Hello Dylis, how are you doing?
Dylis: I’m good thank you. It’s great to have you on the show. I just can’t wait to hear more about this. So, share your backstory with us. Tell us how you got to where you are now and where you’ve been in the past.
Tony: Okay, I’ll try and make it as brief as possible because otherwise we’d be here for the next two weeks. So, as you mentioned, I DJ’d abroad for a long time and had a fantastic time working all around the world, living in five star hotels and everything being done for me. It was great, but it did eventually get boring. It was the same and so I just eventually got tired of it.
So, after I’d been away long time, I decided I was going to return to England. I returned to England in 1998 and I was really out of touch with how things were in the UK. I decided I didn’t want to be a club DJ anymore. So, I came back here, and I was quite unsure what it was I was going to do. I didn’t really know anyone in that industry, which was good in a way, because I didn’t want to continue doing that.
But almost as soon as I got back, I started being offered jobs to be a wedding DJ. For someone who’s not a DJ, on the face of it, they’re pretty similar being a club DJ and a wedding DJ, but there’s actually a vast difference between them. But I didn’t really know what to charge, so I just charged what everyone else was charging which was £150 per wedding.
One day, I was doing a wedding in a venue in central London and the venue owner came up to me and asked me how much I charged. I said £150 and he said, “Well, you must be crazy. I have DJs charging double that regularly. Why are you charging so little?”
So, I’d been getting some similar comments and so I thought, okay, I need to change my prices. So, I doubled my price and at the time, I didn’t realise this at the time, I can see it now, but every single person I gave a price to, booked me immediately. Which now tells me I was way too cheap, but I didn’t realise that at the time. It was just the kind of, it was great that everyone booked me, and I thought, oh, I must be good because everyone’s booking me. I think the reason that everyone was booking me was because I was way too cheap.
From that period, and that was around about the year 2000 or something like that, over the next 15 years after that, I went through a series of…I kept increasing my prices, I kept increasing my prices. I would regularly do workshops and courses to add new skills to my repertoire. So, I was learning about public speaking, learning how to be a master ceremony, acting, comedy, improvisation, emotional intelligence, all sorts of different things, social media as well. I just really added to my skill set and that helped me to increase my price, because I was giving a very different service to my clients than most DJs were giving.
It got to the point where 15 years after that conversation I just mentioned to you, I was charging more than 15 times what I had been charging at that point. Then I won ‘UK Wedding DJ of the Year’ and it was from around then, people started asking me “How are you able to charge these prices?” So often I’d be invited to speak to different groups. Initially, it was just to DJs and then it was other people in the wedding industry. I would just sort of give seminars about how you can increase your prices and I took people through a series of steps. One day a professional speaker saw me do that and he said, “Listen, what you’re speaking about is relevant to everyone, not just the DJs.” So, he helped me create a much stronger talk and yeah, so that’s basically the story.
Dylis: Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. It really resonates because I’m just thinking immediately of my son in law and my daughter who run their own business, a builder-carpentry business. In the very beginning, he was charging rock bottom prices. He said, “Yes, but that’s all you can get for chippy.” I said, “But you’re not just a chippy.” He was doing magnificent work; bespoke kitchens oak conservatories, fabulous work but he had this mindset that that was all he could charge. I see that very often with my clients who are selling to corporate businesses. It really is a mindset thing and they feel “Oh, maybe I’m not good enough to be able to charge at a higher level,” and you’re kind of confirming that sort of thinking as you’ve just explained your background there. So, tell us, why should people increase their prices?
Tony: There are so many reasons. One of the… I don’t know where to start, because there are so many reasons. So one reason is often when…
Dylis: Give us your top five.
Tony: One is, if you are charging a low price, often that means you’re having to put in very long hours to make ends meet. That reduces your quality time with your family, with your friends and it puts more pressure and stress on you as well.
Another reason is by having to do a lot more work than maybe most people would like, it then often reduces the quality of that work because you’re just trying to get through as many jobs as possible. So maybe you’re not able to put as much time into those jobs as you would really like to. So therefore, you might only be meeting client’s expectations rather than exceeding their expectations. So you’re probably going to get less testimonials and referrals and just the general stress that you’re going to be getting from all of that whole situation. It just kind of builds up and that’s where people will start to get strokes and many other conditions because things are just getting too much for them.
Dylis: Yeah. Indeed and again, this particularly resonates with my son in law. He was working all the hours and he was really scared to put his prices up. But when we talked about the fact that actually, if you doubled your prices, you would you would earn the same amount working for half the amount of people, that was really when the penny dropped for him.
Dylis: He could see the value of what he was bringing. That allowed him mentally to be able to make that shift. What else do you think stops them then from putting their prices up? I know that I’m just giving an example of my son in law.
Tony: You hit the nail on the head before when you said it’s about mindset because it’s absolutely about mindset. We all have a number of self-limiting beliefs. We all have different self-limiting beliefs. But often we, you know, it is the whole imposter syndrome that we don’t think that we’ll be good enough or we look at other people, and we think that they’re much better. “Oh, I can’t, couldn’t charge what they’re charging because they’ve been doing it longer or they do this and I don’t do that,” or whatever it might be. We tell ourselves that, we stop ourselves from trying to increase prices because of all these crazy things that we tell ourselves.
Often, many of us as children, we’re told that you have to work really hard in order to earn good money but I’m sure everyone listening to this, knows someone who doesn’t particularly work very hard but is earning very good money. So, it’s about working smarter rather than working harder. Once you start to realise actually, I’m in control of what I charge, it’s not other… so many people think I can’t charge more because no one else that does what I do charges more. So therefore, they’re not really in control of their pricing.
But, once you have that light bulb moment, as you just mentioned with your son, where you realise that if I actually charged more, I can work far less. Then you can start to be selective about who you work with because when people charge a minimum fee, a really low fee, they end up working with anyone and that inevitably means they’re going to work with people they don’t really enjoy working with and that just leads to all sorts of problems.
Dylis: Again, this is really making me smile because I remember having a conversation with my son in law, probably two or three years into him starting his business, and I just asked him how things were going, and he said “Horrendous! I am sick to death. I wish I’d stayed in my employed role.” I said “What on earth for?” He said, because, well, it was a number of reasons. One was that people would ask for jobs to be done and they would ask for quotes. We would put hours into putting a quote together, only to find that they didn’t have enough money. Then late payers; there were payers, people who wanted jobs doing throughout the job, but they didn’t want to pay at the end. Then, there were jobs that I even hated doing.”
This was all because he was just working with anybody and everybody rather than being more selective about who he wanted to work with and those ideal clients that would be prepared to pay more anyway. Once he made that mind switch and we did some work around ideal client and value proposition, then he was able to put his prices up confidently but was working with people that he loved working with. They loved him and valued him and paid him promptly and paid him proper money.
So now, he refers to the people that he didn’t enjoy working with as his “skirting board” clients and we all refer to them as his skirting board clients. My daughter does all of the marketing and the admin and so on and she’d say “Oh, we’ve got an inquiry but they’re not our ideal client. They’re more one of our skirting board clients” and you’ve just hit the nail right on the head, Tony.
Tony: Once you get to that situation, it becomes a virtual circle because you enjoy working with the people because you’re selecting who you want to work with. They enjoy working with you. So work becomes a pleasurable experience rather than a chore. You’re earning better money. You’re not working so much, so you’ve got more free time and everything just becomes so much better and you just enjoy life much, much more.
Dylis: Oh, it transformed his business Tony, and it went from here and it went up here. He’s now getting contracts like £150,000, £200,000 contracts. He’s got employees now; he’s got vans and so on. It’s changed the face of his business but he had to change his mindset…
Dylis: …and think about his ideal client, think about putting his prices up and understanding his own value.
Tony: Yep, that’s the first step because until you understand your value and realise that you need to change your mind set…some people that’s very, very difficult but once you’re able to do that, then it becomes much easier and you’re able to take a series of steps to increase your price but for many people that’s difficult.
One thing I often say to people, and I touched upon it in my backstory, is if everyone is booking you, you have 100% or even if 90% of people are booking you then you’re way too cheap. So, in that journey that I mentioned, when I increase my prices 15 times, after a few years, I started to use the figure of 60%. So where more than 60% of people were booking me that told me my prices were too cheap and I would increase them again. That meant that a lot of people didn’t book me and I had to become comfortable with that.
Many people have a real ego issue. So in that situation, I would often be meeting DJs who would be bragging that 100% of people booked them and I would say well that means you’re too cheap. But it was satisfying their ego that 100% of people were booking. So I’d say to them, try and get to a situation where if more than 80% are booking you, then you increase your prices. So it means that some people will walk away from you because you were too expensive but that is a good sign. It may not seem…it sounds crazy but it’s a good sign.
Dylis: It’s a real yardstick….
Dylis: …to be able to look at right, what are my conversion rates?
Dylis: If its 80-100%, then definitely you need to be putting your prices up. So, what other advice would you give to people? What should they be looking at in terms of establishing their value and being able to change their mindset to be able to make that change and make it as comfortable as possible?
Tony: So, well, a few things that you can look for. One is what we just talked about, if everyone’s booking you that definitely tells you, you’re too cheap. Another is, if you are receiving testimonials, look very carefully at the wording of those testimonials. Go back and reread them all because if people are alluding to things like “Oh he was amazing value for money,” there’s a little hint there that you should be maybe charging more than what you are charging. If you are receiving lots of testimonials and lots of referrals, that’s a sign that you are giving great service so that’s another sign that maybe you should be increasing your prices. So a lot of these things combined, tell you that yeah, maybe I should start charging more.
Dylis: Yeah, yeah. There’s something else that just popped into my mind. When I was in financial services, we used to talk about ‘don’t assume what people can pay.’
Dylis: We often assume from our own perception of cost. What seems expensive to us isn’t necessarily expensive to someone else and we shouldn’t make that assumption when we’re approaching clients, and particularly in financial services, in wealth management and so on because there were some big numbers in there, for pension contributions and keyman insurance and partnership insurance and so on. There were big numbers and people used to curl their toes at having to say what the price was, what the investment was going to be to put this pension fund in place or whatever.
I remember having to do these big sessions around ‘Don’t assume what other people can afford from your own experiences, from things that have impacted as a child perhaps where, money’s been tight. What £100 meant to you was nothing to someone else and what £100,000 meant to you is not a lot to someone else. That’s quite a thing, isn’t it to balance out in your head? How do people cope with that?
Tony: Well, what you said there, it reminded me of so many situations I had where I…because all of the…for the last 10 years or so I never take a booking on until I’ve actually met with a couple and so I want to get to know them. There were, I don’t know how many, there were at least three or four, maybe five times where I’d go into a meeting and immediately, I’d look at them and I judged them. I know that it’s wrong but in my head, I was judging ‘can they afford what I charge?’ I’d look up maybe their house or whatever it might be. It is ridiculous but I was thinking, there’s no way these people are going to afford my prices.
I’ll give you one particular story where one couple, as I went in, he met me and it turned out he was a driver for the Council. So they had four kids under the age of five. There were nappies everywhere. The house was chaotic. His wife wasn’t working because she had four kids under five years old. I just thought…and at the time I was charging £2,000 per wedding. I thought, there’s no way these guys are going to pay that money. But they did. And when he…and the reason why he gave me this, is his backstory about how he’d booked DJs in the past for his 16th birthday and his 18th birthday and he had really horrific situations with both of those and both of those were very cheap DJs. So, then he made a mental note that if he ever booked a DJ again, he would look for a much better DJ, one of the best DJs. That’s the real reason he booked my price.
On the wedding day, it was really clear, that I was probably the most expensive service because he hadn’t spent much on a photographer or the venue or the food, but entertainment was important to him. So that’s why he allocated a much bigger percentage of the overall budget to the entertainment than most people would. So yeah, that taught me… and I’ve had that situation many other times where I’ve made a judgment, “Oh they can’t afford what I’m charging” and it was completely wrong.
Dylis: Yeah, yeah, we can be our own worst enemies at times, can’t we? It’s important also, if you are looking to put your prices up that you understand the value that you’re bringing. You’ve just explained that in your story there that the value that you brought to someone who was, that was very important to him. Was that a referral or had he just found out about you online?
Tony: I can’t remember actually, because that was a few years ago. I can’t remember how he found out.
Dylis: I always say, no one will pay £500,000, if they think they’ve got a £50 problem.
Dylis: You’ve got to ask the questions to identify…for them to be able to see the value that you bring, for you then to be able to confidently state what your price is going to be. So, are there any other things around mindset, around money and pricing that you would want to share, Tony?
Tony: Yeah, I would think because many people have the whole problem about trying to decide on what their value is and the whole imposter syndrome. So one of the ways that you can get around that, there’s something that I did. I started widening my skill set. I started by just being a DJ and not being able to differentiate myself from other people that do what I did. So that’s the reason I started to do so much training. I went to Toastmasters. I did workshops and courses and so on.
So when you start to widen your skill set and you become much more, you’re able to offer much more to your customers. That increases your confidence and that makes it much easier to be able to charge a higher price when you have increased confidence. I touched upon Toastmasters just now, I would also really have…this almost…regardless of what job you do, what industry you’re work in, I advise people to go to Toastmasters because it’s a very cheap organisation. For anyone who’s not familiar with it, it’s actually called Toastmasters International and usually their prices to join is something like £100 a year or £120 a year, something along those lines.
The reason why I suggest to people to join is because one of the most important things we do with our customers is communication. When you’re at Toastmasters, that’s what you learn. You learn how to speak better, you learn how to use body language better, you learn how to listen better, how to evaluate what you’re hearing, and it just improves your all around communication. That means that when you’re communicating with your prospects, you’ll communicate better and you’ll listen. You’ll be better at listening to what they’re saying and what it is that they want. That is absolutely important to really understand what your clients want and the difference between their wants and their needs because we get those mixed up and that can make a massive difference in what we’ll be able to charge and whether we meet those expectations that they have.
Dylis: Yes, yes. Absolutely, indeed. Tony has been brilliant. I could talk to you for so much longer and dig into the depths of your knowledge. I’m so impressed that you’ve gone from being a DJ, and you weren’t just any old DJ I have to say, you’re a really good DJ but you identified yourself that there was a need to increase your prices.
But then you’ve upskilled yourself in such a way and I know you give you talks and you run workshops to some very, very prestigious clients and that is testament to not only the quality of what you do, but the quality of your mindset and how you’ve worked on that to allow you to grow to be where you are today, which is just phenomenal. So how can our audience get in touch with you? Do you have any free resources that they can access or email addresses, a website, anything you can share?
Tony: Well, my website is www.tonywinyard.com and Winyard is W-I-N-Y-A-R-D. That has information about the workshops that I deliver and some of the talks that I deliver. I do a weekly podcast called ‘Exceeding Expectations’ and I interview a number of people about how, what kind of things can you do to really exceed your client’s expectations, to over deliver. Once you’re in a situation where you’re surpassing what your clients expect, it’s then much easier to increase your price. So that’s a resource people might find enjoyable. I’ve been lucky to interview some amazing guests on there.
Dylis: Fantastic, absolutely fantastic. That’s great Tony and thanks again for coming on and being our guest today. If anybody would like to get in touch with Tony, please feel free. He is a mind of information around exceeding expectations with your mindset to allow you to increase your prices. So Tony thanks again and we’ll speak soon.
Tony: Thank you very much Dylis. It’s been a pleasure.
Dylis: Bye for now.
Tony: Thank you.
Dylis: Great insights there from Tony Winyard. So don’t be frightened to increase your prices. If you are getting 100% conversion rate, it certainly is time to increase your prices. But even without that, if you can show the value through the questions that you ask your prospective clients, the value that they’re going to get from working with you, then don’t be scared to increase your prices. If somebody is getting a huge outcome from what you do with them, then they are very, very willing to pay your prices.
So I hope you enjoyed our podcast today. If you would like more insights on selling to bigger businesses, please come and join me on my free Facebook group which is called, funnily enough, ‘Inspired Selling.’ https://www.facebook.com/groups/InspiredSelling/ and I’d love for you to come and join us. So for today, that’s it. I look forward to seeing you the next time.
Bye for now.
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