One of our favorite Key Predictive Indicators at VeraSage is the HSD—High Satisfaction Day.
Nothing gives us more HSDs than receiving an email like the one I did yesterday. Even though my computer’s hard drive crashed in the morning, which is a lousy way to start the day, getting this email from Brett Kreykes makes it all worthwhile.
Keep up the great work at VeraSage! You have been inspirational to me and my small I.T. Consulting company! Indulge me, if you will, in my “story.”
Five years ago I journeyed out on my own as an independent I.T. consultant. I was billing by the hour and things were going pretty well for me. After 2 years I was very busy with small to medium sized companies and residential work. I soon discovered that I was unable to grow my income due to the limited number of hours in a week. How terribly depressing! I wondered for days if I was going to be ‘stuck’ at a fixed income. I didn’t know how to address outside of raising my rates, but I didn’t think my customers would put up with that for long.
After seeking out advice from those wiser than myself, a friend of mine introduced me to VeraSage and I dove head first into the 3 ACCA Booklets available on your website. I immediately knew FPAs were the solution. I continually had situations in my work that bothered me. When one customer had a new problem, it might take me 3 hours to fix it. A second customer then had the exact same problem, which I could solve in 10 minutes. This was really unfair to the first customer and to me! Now, realizing that selling knowledge/skills (and not time) would remedy situations such as this!
I introduced my first FPA to one of my larger customers, which they warmly received. My fees increased 50% without having to do any more work! As my hourly based contracts expired, I introduced FPAs to my remaining customers. I occasionally received some resistance, but nothing unbearable. Once my customers understood how an FPA would benefit them, they soon saw the value of a FPA.
Now, the beautiful part of it. I’ve been firing customers, specifically all of my residential customers and business customers who were not good customers. I now have more free time, less stress, and I can better take care of my FPA customers and provide a higher level of customer service. Now, if any business wants to ‘hire’ me, I sit down with them and determine their needs. If the engagement is not worth at least $10,000 a year, I pass. This way I ensure of having customers who are as committed to me as I am to them.
I have never enjoyed work so much as I do now. I earn a fantastic wage and I don’t have to work myself silly. I even get paid sick days, holidays, and vacations now! (try that with hourly billing) My family life has even improved as I now have more time for my wife and children.
Ron, you and VeraSage have made a huge difference in my life, and I want to say “Thank you!” As comical as it is, my friend who first introduced me to VeraSage has yet to get his CPA firm utilizing FPAs. I brag about my success to him all the time and continually remind him of all the money he’s leaving on the table. It drives him nuts.
Best wishes for the future!
Kreykes Consulting, Inc.
Thanks Brett. Nothing is more humbling, nor more inspiring than hearing stories such as yours.
Value Pricing works, and to all those cynics who say it can’t just read all of our Trailblazer stories. This is empirical evidence from the real world.
It also illustrates that Value Pricing is not just about pricing. It’s a business model. It changes everything about a firm, from shifting your thinking that you sell time to thinking you sell intellectual capital. It impacts how you treat customers, how you select them, communicate with them, and more.
When we say “all this we do only for the price of seeing you, our colleagues, succeed,” we truly mean it. This type of confirmation of our work is priceless because it furthers the posterity of the professions.
Congratulations Brett, and continued success in the future!
As a follow-up, I asked Brett if he trashed his timesheets. Here’s his response:
I did in fact dump my “timesheets”…what a sheer joy that was in and of itself. I didn’t have sophisticated software, I tracked my time using Microsoft Outlook’s calendar. At the end of every month I would then manually transfer it into QuickBooks so I could do my billing. It was an awful process that was tedious and prone to human errors. I’m glad that ‘chapter’ is done!
That’s worth another HSD!