How to fix undercharaging and over-delivering
Today I’m talking about the classic (but horrible) combination of undercharging and over-delivering
It’s so, so common – I see it all the time.
And I hold my hand up. I am guilty of this.
So before we get started, know that if this resonates for you, you’re not alone.
When I started out it was ridiculous how much I over-delivered, because I felt guilty about charging full stop for what I did.
I plied people with green smoothies and earrings, lunch and one-on-one coaching just for buying a place at one of my workshops.
As a customer, I actually find it confusing and overwhelming when people over-deliver, it dilutes the impact of the main offer.
But we do it because we don't think we're worth it. We think we have to bribe people. We feel uncomfortable selling something. And above all else, we want people to like us.
In this episode, you'll learn:
- All about my classic over-delivering: green smoothie anyone?
- The secret to creating value without overgiving
- Exactly what Oprah puts in her goody bags
- Why my refund request rate crept up
- How generosity can actually kill your business
So, just take a moment to think about all the things that you're offering in your business.
From freebies to opt-ins, products to one-on-one coaching. I want you to make a really honest assessment of where you are overstuffing because you feel guilty.
Ask yourself what can I simplify?
It's our responsibility not to overwhelm our clients.
Simplicity is key.
It’s your time and you’re ready for the next step.
CLICK HERE TO READ ↓
Hey, gorgeous. Welcome to another episode of Chill & Prosper. Whether you've been listening for a long time or a new listener, I just wanted to say hi. If you don't know me, I'm Denise Duffield Thomas. I'm a money mindset mentor, which is a totally just made up term. I talk to people about money. I give you some ideas about how you can feel better about charging and deal with any of those pesky mindset blocks and money blocks that are holding you back. If you need to come and check out some of my resources, I'm at denisedt.com. I realize I don't tell people about that, denisedt.com. And I'm @Denise DT on all social media. I always love hearing from people when they're listening, what their ahas are, or just send me a picture of your dog, that's always fun too. So denisedt.com and @DeniseDT everywhere.
So welcome, welcome, welcome. Today we are talking about a really big pain point I see in a lot of entrepreneurs. It's this horrible combination of undercharging and overdelivering, classic combination. Not even just overdelivering and charging well for it, but undercharging and overdelivering. And not even just undercharging and doing appropriate levels of work. It's just such a classic combination. So straight away, if that's you, we can fix it and we can deal with it, but just know that you're not alone.
I also do this too. When I started out in business, it was ridiculous how much I was overdelivering, because I felt guilty about charging full stop for what I did. And so, this is absolutely a mindset issue. It really is. You might think, "Oh, if I just get my price point, right?" It's not about what you're charging, it's the energy behind it. It's the mindset of, "I'm not enough. It's not enough. People won't like me. I want them to feel good. I want them to have everything they need." It really just comes down to that. It's a lot of guilt.
Now, when I started my business, I remember I was doing a lot of free workshops around town. I literally put up flyers in health food stores and gyms and stuff like that. I would rent a room for a couple of hours, and I would do a workshop on goal setting. Sometimes I'd have four people in the room, 11 people, but they were pretty small. But what I found was even in that workshop, I would just overcomplicate things. I would overdeliver. I would try and tell them everything I knew about goal setting in that one go. What I now realize is how much people need space and simplicity. When I buy something now, I don't expect them to solve every problem of my life. I am always paying for them to have space for me and accountability for me to do something or for me to learn one little nuance. That's it, that's what I'm paying for.
I find that when people will overdeliver and overgive, it dilutes the impact. It's confusing. It's overwhelming. And that's what I was doing. So these two-hour workshop, I'd be like, "Oh, does anyone need to go? I've got more to tell." It was just so overwhelming. People would leave and they'd be like, "Ah." It was overwhelming for me to do that too, because I realized I had a belief that it had to be in person. When I started doing things on Zoom and on online, I was like, "Oh, this is so much easier."
But I remember then I went, "I'm going to sell something at the end of this workshop. I'm going to sell a one-day goal setting workshop for $97." And so I'd be like, "Hey, if you liked this, come and join it." And then I was like, "And if you buy today, you get two one-on-one coaching sessions. And if you buy today, you get these earrings." Literally earrings. And so, it felt like it wasn't enough to say, "Hey, come for a whole day and spend this amazing day with other people working on your dream board." That was worth it for $97, but I didn't feel like it was. And so, it was almost like I was just trying to bribe people of going, "You'll get food, and you'll get lunch, and you'll get cookies, and you'll get snacks, and I'll make some green smoothies and all these things."
It was just too much, right? And then I did the same thing for any of my events that I did. I was like, "Oh, they need fake money on the table. And they need this, and they need fresh flowers." I realized that once I added up the cost for all of that overdelivering, because I was like, "Oh, they need pens. Oh, they need branded pens. Oh, they need this. Oh, they need a little something to take away," I wasn't making much money from it. And so this is one of the big pain points of overdelivering, is if you really looked at and added up the cost, even things that you think don't cost you money, you might think, "Oh, it's only my time." or "Oh, it's something I have anyway," it is still an opportunity cost. Your energy is worth something. It is worth something.
And sometimes the thing you're selling is enough. It was enough for me to say, "We're going to spend a day together. We're going to work on your dream board." Because so many people don't take the time to do it. So that was enough, I didn't need to throw in all of the other things. Actually, it cost me money. It cost me time and money. Imagine if 100 people had said yes. It would've been so hard to do all of those sessions, right? That is the big mistake, is that we overdeliver and it becomes a self-sabotage. We do it because we don't think we're worth it. We think we have to bribe people. We feel uncomfortable making an offer. We feel uncomfortable selling something. So we feel like, "Well, it will soften if I'm overdelivering." We want people to like us.
And also underlying that is that we want people to have a good result. We want people to feel happy. I always have to remind myself, "I am enough. I am enough." I did this with my retreats. Occasionally I'll do retreats at my farm. If you want details on that, it's at denisedt.com/retreats. I was like, "Oh, I need this and this and this and this." And Mark's like, "They're just coming to see you, have some space at the farm, and give themselves the gift of being in a beautiful space thinking about their business." I was like, "Oh yeah, that's right because that's what I want." When I go to an event I'm like, "I don't expect you to do all the things for me. I just need three days to sit and think about myself and my business."
So your work can stand alone without making you broke to justify it, without having to overdeliver. You're allowed to make profit. What? You're allowed to make profit and you're allowed to include your time in that as well. You're allowed to make profit. I do this, every time I create a new product or service, I have to fight the urge to overdeliver. We just do it all the time, right? So if you have got a copy of my book, Chill & Prosper, there are some great bonuses on that book, but one of them is a bonus matrix. I plug everything in and I go... It's okay to brainstorm and think of all these fun things, but I look at it and go, "What is a win-win for me and the client, and what's appropriate?" If you already have a copy of my Chill & Prosper book, it's got some great business stuff in there too, and pricing, and all those things. Go to denisedt.com/prosper, put in your proof that you bought the book, and you can get all of those bonuses, and fill in that matrix. But if not, just grab a piece of paper and just put it out, what's easy for me, and what's perceived value for the customer?
Because sometimes we are just chucking things in for the sake of it. I noticed this was a big trend a couple of years ago in the internet marketing world. People would go, "You get this, and the value is $3,000. And you get this, and the value is $3,000." It was just too much, and it got a bit cheesy. People don't always believe that value of things anyway, so you want to make sure what you're offering is appropriate, it's not just filler for the sake of filler, and it's not because you're feeling bad about charging it in the first place.
The other thing too, we don't always have to give stuff. I feel really guilty sometimes about the amount of stuff that I get at conferences. So if you were doing any events or anything like that and you think, "Oh, they need a branded stress ball." No, we really don't anymore. But a funny story, Oprah came to Australia a couple of years ago to do a speaking tour, a big stadium tour actually. But they had VIP tickets for before the tour. I think there were $2,000. I remember just going, "Oh my God, I can't wait to go see Oprah." And you get a photo with her and a gift bag and all this kind of stuff. I almost broke my fingers because I went, "It's going to be worth it just to meet Oprah."
We get there, first of all, we had to sign a waiver to say that we weren't going to give her any stuff, because imagine how much stuff she gets all the time. But then they gave us a gift bag, and it was full of the most random crap. I just thought, "Wow, even the people who brought Oprah out felt like they had to justify $2,000 for this VIP event." It was a random scarf that wasn't even branded, a random hair thing, just all that crap that you get in promotional bags, a couple of cool things, there was an Oprah mug, an Oprah pen. Well, I'm like, "Oh yeah, I'll do that." A USB stick. Does anyone even use those anymore? But you know what I mean? Even they felt like, "Oh, it's not enough." The best thing in there, I got a signed copy of Oprah's little book, What I Know For Sure. That's one of my most treasured possessions. Even just the photo I got with Oprah was enough. Asking her a question, that was enough. That's what I was there to do. I didn't need to be bribed into all of the other things.
So I want you to sit and think what all the things that you're offering in your business from freebies, opt-ins, low-cost products, high-cost products, one-on-one coaching, whatever, I want you to have a really honest assessment here of what things should come out, what things are inappropriate, where are you overstuffing because you feel guilty. After the break, I'm going to tell you why actually you do need to simplify because sometimes it can cause a detrimental impact on your business and on your clients. All right, I'll be right back after this very short break.
Speaker 2: Hi, I'm Jen Ruiz, a lawyer turned full-time travel blogger and Chillpreneur by Denise Duffield Thomas helped me feel seen. I love being a digital entrepreneur and the opportunity it provides to really live a chill life. It seems like it's the secret sauce that we've been missing all along.
Speaker 3: Hey, my name is [inaudible]. I'm an English-speaking coach, and I teach English to French people. I've read Denise's three books, and they have been life-changing for me. I've discovered what money blocks can... what impact it can have to my business. After that, I joined Money Bootcamp and I listened to Denise's podcast episode every single week. Knowing Denise and her work has changed my business and my life. I hit six figure last year, and I'm so grateful for all her work and everything that she's doing. So thank you so much, Denise, and I love what you do. Please keep going.
Speaker 1: Hi, welcome back. Today, remember, we are talking about undercharging and overdelivering, the classic combination that so many entrepreneurs are really struggling with. You might think, "Okay, this is all well and good, Denise," but you still feel guilty, you still feel like it's selfish to hold things back. Let me tell you a story, might have heard it before, my refund rate, it was starting to creep up a little bit for Money Bootcamp, and I didn't know why. I hadn't looked at it for a while, but when I did, I was like, "Oh, what's going on? Why are we getting more people refunding than before?" You know what? We get refunds every month. We probably have 50 to 100 people join every month, and then at the start of the year we'll have a couple hundred people. So people are going to ask for a refund. I don't know the stats exactly, but they do. It follows a predictable process.
But it started to creep up and I had to ask myself why. It was after I'd done a revamp of the course, which I do every two years. What I had done was I was stuffing it with extra information. One of my modules in Money Bootcamp is forgiveness work, so you can let go of some of the things that are holding you back. I wanted to belabor the point. I thought I was being generous and thorough, right, so I was like, "Here's me talking about forgiveness." And then I had all these extra tabs and it was like, "Here's Oprah talking about forgiveness." Because it's not enough for me to talk about it, Oprah needs to talk about it.
And then I was like, "And here's, I don't know, Wayne Dyer talking about forgiveness. And here's a book that someone's written about forgiveness. And here's another thing about forgiveness." Each lesson was like that. There's about 20 lessons in Money Bootcamp anyway, but then each lesson became this task for people to do. In my mind, I was like, "I'm just being thorough just in case people don't believe me." I was like, "I'm not credible enough to talk about forgiveness." So I was like, "Here's just more stuff for people to feel like they got their money's worth."
But it was actually having a detrimental effect because people were going, "I don't have time to do all of these things. I don't have time to watch all of that. Do I have to watch all of that or I'm not going to get the result?" And so, they were logging in, seeing all of the lessons that they had to tick off. It created this open loop in their mind. "Oh my God, think I have to do all this stuff." And so, people were then refunding. The reason why they were asking for a refund is they were saying, "I don't have enough time to do this course." I was going, "Yeah, you do, you don't have to do it all." But I was setting it up for them to fail. I was setting it up for them to have to do all this stuff.
So think about that in your own business. Are you requiring too many hoops for people to jump through before they purchase from you? Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not good. Are you making it overly complicated and then they go, "Oh, I don't have time for this."? Are you trying to be too thorough? Are you trying to solve all of the problems, not only of their life now, but their life for the next 10 years? So if you're a business coach, for example, you might be thinking, "Well, I need to put in all these scenarios. What if they're new in business? What if they're established in business?" And you go, "Well, sometimes that could be a second course." Sometimes you're trying to fit in versions one, two, and three into the one thing. You think of a university course where you do Marketing 101, Marketing 202, Marketing 303. You don't do it all at once because it would be overwhelming. It's okay for you to step your clients through a journey with you, even if it means they have to buy from you again.
If you are thinking, "No, I'm being generous, Denise. I'm trying to give them everything they need." But it's not. You're giving them overwhelm. You're giving them stress. Sometimes you're setting up an open loop in their brain that they're not enough. This was a really fascinating thing, I was talking to Reid Tracy, who is the CEO of Hay House, who's my publisher. I met with him recently and he was telling me about they have a course for writers. It used to just be a one-off course for a couple hundred bucks, whatever, I can't remember. He said that 70% of people wouldn't complete the course. It was a self-paced thing with a couple of calls.
And so, they decided to turn it into a membership and then have a very clear path for people. So they only have to do one or two things a month. And also so they're not overwhelmed. And then it feels achievable. I'm not saying turn your thing into a membership, that's the right model for them, but it really made me go, "Oh, wow." And then he said 90% of people renew for the first year, and then it goes to 80%, and then 70% on year three. I just went, "Oh my God, of course it does, because then they're there for the community. All those mindset issues will come up for the next book." But then they feel like they're achieving something instead of overdelivering them and going, "You have to do this in six weeks." And so, just have a think about what you're offering. Maybe you take things out. Actually, that's exactly what I did.
I just had that realization, I went, "Oh my God, I've done it again. I've overdelivered, and this is a detriment to my customers. This is stopping people who actually need this work, who have purchased my Money Bootcamp with the hope that I'll help them with their money mindset. And then that is on me. I've overwhelmed them to the point where they're not working on it anymore. It was ridiculous because I was like, "I know that this is long-term work. I know that you don't have to do it in six weeks." But I was setting up that expectation that if you don't do this in six weeks, then it's not going to work for you.
So I stripped everything out except for my own lessons. I felt so bad. I was like, "I'm being so mean and ungenerous." And this is just like, "I'm such a bitch." And so I stripped it all out, changed nothing else about the course. A funny thing happened, one, our refund rates went back down to just normal, but I actually had people go, "Wow, Denise, the course is so rich. What have you done?" I went, "Oh my God, I stripped things out." So it meant that they weren't dazzled by all the stuff. They could see what they had to do, and they felt like it was achievable. Does that make sense? It felt like it was achievable. They felt like they could win. They felt like they could actually do it.
And so, it made me money, and it actually helped me help them make money and do the things that they need to do. So sometimes we have to check ourselves and realize that it's our staff that we're overdelivering on, it's our problem, it's our fault. It's our responsibility to not overwhelm our clients. And also to realize that sometimes they need simplicity to win. They want to feel like they have won. And it's enough. It's enough. And then you might even think too, say for example, you've got an ascension model of business. Ascension model might be that you have a low cost, a medium cost, a high cost, a premium thing. Some people have all of those things, and they think that it has to be radically different at each step. But it's not.
So you might tell the exact same things in a free opt-in, and then your paid ebook might have the examples plus some how-to. You might have a done-for-you service where you actually do it for them, same thing. You might just teach the exact same thing on a one-to-one space. I have to remind myself that too when I run retreats or conferences. I'm like, "It's going to be the same thing, but they'll experience it in a different way." So don't feel like you have to add more and more and more. Actually, sometimes the higher price things are, the more simple it should be, honestly. But it doesn't work that way in our brain, does it? We feel like we have to give so much.
Here's another reason why it doesn't work, if you are a one-to-one service provider or a coach or something like that, overgiving can be very disempowering for your clients, incredibly disempowering. I had a friend who ran a mastermind a couple of years ago, and she learnt this... Oh, I'll tell you her name, Victoria Gibson. She's one of my bestest friends in the whole wide world. We had this conversation recently about how she's had to curb that overgiving because she's one of the most generous people I've ever met, and I'm so grateful to be friends with her.
But the first year of her mastermind, it was just this co-dependent relationship with all of the people in her group because they just didn't want to make a move without running it by her first. She was the sort of person who'd be like, "Oh, you're having a crisis with your launch, give me a call," even if it was 11:00 PM on a Saturday night. And it was disempowering. She had to learn that experience. We had this conversation recently about the way she works with her clients now is so much more simple because she knows you don't want your clients to be reliant on you. You don't want to disempower them and for them to question everything that they do. You are there to help and support them in whatever they need.
There's a couple of things, if you offer unlimited email coaching, unlimited Voxer stuff, it's still okay to put boundaries around that because it's not useful. When I was a one-to-one coach, I'd have people go, "Oh, how do I do this?" And it was like, "You could Google that." So I was teaching them that I had all the answers, and I was like, "Oh cool, we can talk about that on our next session." They'd go, "Oh no, I don't want to waste my time on that." I'm like, "Yeah, cool." But I had to stop that, and I had to make sure that I was setting the boundaries for them so it's empowering. You don't want to overwhelm people and then they never book with you because you've opened all of these open loops in their brain and they think, "Oh no, I have to do all of those things to please them." So if you are not getting clients rebooking, maybe you're overwhelming them.
Okay, so a little bit of action to take from this podcast episode, right? One is go and have a look at all of your products and services. Ask yourself, "Where am I overdelivering? What bonuses are inappropriate or actually a detrimental effect? Where can I break things up into more advanced or different target clients? What can I simplify? What can I simplify?" I know it's hard. I know it's hard because I do it myself, but that's some action you can take from this episode. And of course, if you need some help on pricing, I have a pricing resource for you. It's at denisedt.com/pricing. It gives you some scripts, it gives you some questions to ask yourself too, so denisedt.com/pricing. It's all of my stuff there, and then there's a ebook that you can download too. Okay, let's take the last final break, but don't go away because I've got one final thought for you right at the end.
Speaker 4: Hey, I'm Jane Curtis, a trainer, coach, and mentor for fundraisers working in the charity sector. I bought Chill & Prosper recently, it's the second time I've read it, but I'm finding so many more aha moments. There's just so much in there. It's an excellent book. It's really, really readable, and I'm just loving uncovering more of my money blocks. I'm also into Denise's Money Bootcamp, which has just been an invaluable resource for me in working through my many, many money blocks that I have had from working 20-plus years in the charity sector. Thank you, Denise. Brilliant book.
Speaker 1: Hi, there, and welcome back. Thank you so much for listening to the end. I know sometimes pricing is one of those things that you go, "Yuck, I don't even want to listen to it." But thank you, thank you. Please, if you liked this episode, share it with your business groups, with a business bestie, because the more we can talk about money, the better.
My final thought is just a very simple affirmation whenever you're feeling this need to overdeliver and it's just, I am enough. I am enough. I am enough. And you can extend it into, "My book is enough. My service is enough. My product is enough. My wisdom is enough. My expertise is enough. I don't have to solve every problem. My area of expertise is enough. I don't have to help everyone with everything." It could be something like that, but I want you to write that down somewhere where you can see it. If you're putting together a program or service right now, I am enough. I am enough. You really are. Thank you so much. I will see you next week on another episode of Chill & Prosper. Take care,.
About the Show
Chill and Prosper is your weekly dose of money mindset, marketing and humour from best-selling author and entrepreneur Denise Duffield-Thomas.
Denise's philosophy is that there is ALWAYS an easier way to make money and that's what she's here to help you do. Each week, you'll get actionable advice to help you make more money, with less work. There's no need to hustle - let Denise show you how to embrace the Chillpreneur way.
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