Episode 135: How to be Fearless in Your Pricing with Filip Fučić – Transcript

Episode 135: How to be Fearless in Your Pricing with Filip Fučić

Rennie Gabriel  00:10
Hi folks, welcome to Episode 135 of the Wealth On Any Income Podcast. This is where we talk about money tips, techniques, attitudes, information, and provide inspiration around your business and your money. I'm your host, Rennie Gabriel. In past episodes, we spoke about how to understand the numbers from your business, how to measure the level of pleasure based on where you spend your money, how to track your money in 5 to 10 seconds, what determines how close you are to Complete Financial Choice®, and how to run your business without being in your business. And last week, we had Jay Jay, who leveraged his YouTube channel and created 57 million views as a magician. He knows how to get attention. Today, we have as our guest, Filip Fučić. Filip is a business analyst by trade specializing in price increases for undervalued solopreneurs, experts, and other service providers who offer great value, but find it difficult to explain what they do. Filip is also a founder of a crushed startup and worked on several IT spin offs as a marketing manager before his dad got sick, and he became a freelancer. This allowed him to spend time with his dad. Above all, he is a dad of two boys and a massive fan of Lego. Filip, welcome to the Wealth On Any Income Podcast.

Filip Fučić  01:47
Thanks, Rennie. Glad to be here.

Rennie Gabriel  01:49
Okay, Sort of-  I don't know - you talk about pricing for solopreneurs, but tell me a little bit more about what you do and why you do it.

Filip Fučić  02:01
Increasing prices is pretty straightforward. Like, you know, you press one, one thing and add a number, and that's higher, and now you did it. But that's like the old Monty Python joke of I'm going to tell you how to play the violin, right? I'm going to show you how to do that you, you hold it like this and take this piece and go like this. Now you know how to play the violin, right? Yeah, so the thing is, when you're an expert, when you're good at something, most people that you sell to don't really understand the full value of what you can bring them by definition, right? And nobody wants to pay for the value that they don't see. So I help people communicate their value in a way that is closer to their clients, because we can all speak pretty fluently in front of our colleagues. And they can be impressed, right, but people who can value like this, are your colleagues or your peers or your competitors, they're not going to hire you. So people who value you don't need you, people who need you don't value you. It's a paradox. I call it the experts' paradox. So I help people get out of the experts' paradox, because and let's come to why. Because it's a missing piece. Because people that are talented, really good at their jobs, can't catch a break. Because the schools assumed that we're all going to work for somebody all our lives, and that somebody else is going to take care that the clients appreciate what they're getting. And that support is very expensive as witnessed by anybody who ever worked for anybody else, right? But once it's gone, it cannot just be wished away, right? I'm good at my job. So I'm going to get enough money to support my family and my financial goals. That does not follow, and people are woefully unprepared. And I've worked now in the last five years, I work with people from across the world, 30 plus countries, and many, many industries. And the end result is usually 15 to 45% higher price within a couple of months. And I'm not magic, I promise. I'm not magic. It's a high number because people are inherently undervalued and under charging. People like that. Experts are inherently undervalued. And I found this to be true no matter if we're talking about solopreneurs, if we're talking about basically underdogs, there's so many things, depressing their price and basically nobody telling them how to get higher. So as Yoda says, I don't teach - I simply reveal. And then people say, Oh, right, well, that would be useful if I knew that one. That's why.

Rennie Gabriel  05:14
I want to validate one of your comments that I've seen, you know, in the United States as well, I know you're in Croatia, but here in the United States, the school systems are designed to manufacture employees, not entrepreneurs, not business people, but people who will go out and get a job and work for someone else. So of course if they're leaving that environment, they have no clue as to what to do when it comes to pricing. 

Filip Fučić  05:42
Absolutely. It's basically like that everywhere. I work a lot with Australia. I work a lot with Canada. I work with South Africa. I work with Vietnam, and of course, across Europe. It's like that everywhere. And I'm a business major. I'm a business analyst. And I actually taught entrepreneurship in my alma mater - in my Uni. And, yeah, it's still fine. You will make your own company, maybe, maybe that's going to be a tech startup, or maybe you'll start a factory. 95% of people that I see do neither. Okay, so tech startups are wonderful. But mostly I'm talking about somebody who has been a really good employee for 10-15 years, hasn't really been validated, hasn't really gone anywhere, and said, Okay, that's it. I can do this on my own - right? That's not a factory. It's not a tech startup. That's something completely different. That is still millions and millions of people out there.

Rennie Gabriel  07:00
And that makes sense. Now, you're probably aware that I donate 100% of the profits from the work I do from the programs, books and so on, to that animal and veteran charities. Tell me about what you do to support other people that could be viewed as being charitable.

Filip Fučić  07:19
I've worked with a number of people pro bono in general. I support businesses and business owners, basically, who cannot afford to hire me. So I have free Q and A's. I have a completely non selling newsletter that I write twice a week that I've done, about 150 issues of and that's something that has like a 55 plus percent open rate. And in this day and age, you know, that's because people like it.

Rennie Gabriel  07:51
That's enormous. 

Filip Fučić  07:52
It's very short. That's what it is. Also sometimes funny. But I work with local NGOs here who help people start their own businesses. And I can give you an example.

Rennie Gabriel  08:11
NGO, meaning Non Government Organization. 

Filip Fučić  08:14
Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. Exactly. 

Rennie Gabriel  08:17
This is in case some of the listening audience hears NGO, and it's like, Oh, what is that? Is that a farm?

Filip Fučić  08:23
I told you? I told you, I'm a business analyst by trade. So dumb acronyms are in my blood. So I wanted to give you an example. I was contacted by a frustrated young mother over LinkedIn. And she said, Please, you know, could you just meet with me for half an hour? I'm going, I'm really pissed. Right. And so she's in Pakistan. And she does web as many people from there do. And her rate is about $3 an hour. Yeah.

Rennie Gabriel  09:02
For Pakistan, if thats a lot or a little? 

Filip Fučić  09:04
No, that's not, that's not a lot. 

Rennie Gabriel  09:07
It's not a lot no matter where you are. Okay. 

Filip Fučić  09:09
Exactly. Exactly. And so I asked her what her dream rate was. So dream rate, and she said $25 an hour would be an absolute dream. So that's not I'm going rich rate. But that's like a solid rate. So $3 is not even close to close. So what happened? Well, she got, she usually does these web revamps. And she prices them at $700. And it's a significant chunk of time. So that's her price on her web. And she got an email that says I have an offer for this already for 600, can you go lower? Oh, and the $700, that's a three hours, three dollars per hour. Right, right. And she says, You know, nobody respects me. They can't even imagine what I will do. So, okay. And I said, Yes, that's horrible. Let's, let me give you a suggestion here. Firstly, would you even dream of doing this job for the money that he is proposing? He's not proposing, he's proposing that she goes against her own interests. Right? That's his proposal. Right? And she said, No, absolutely not. So I said, Okay, great. So you can't lose a client that you that you never had, right? Now, go and look at this person's current webpage. And it's going to be trash. And she says, How do you know? Well, you know, he did this last time, somebody did something for him and said, right, so so it's going to be trash. Then make a list of absolutely everything that you would change if you were paid properly, okay, on that webpage. Enclose this to the reply, and reply the following: Dear, Sir, I would be glad to work on this project. However, what you said that should be done is not everything that should be done. Everything that should be done is in the attached list. And I'll be happy to do that for 5000. And, she said, Well, he's going to say no, I said, Why do you care? Right. Why do you care? At least you're going to shock him back. She said, You know what, I'm angry enough. I'm going to do this. And she says she's going to do it. The next day, I get her pinging again. Please, please, please. Okay, what happened? What happened? His reply was, Can you do it for 3000? And she said, If I say yes, he will know that I caved. I said, Absolutely, he will keep on pushing. So we won't do that. We won't. This is what we do, okay. We say, Oh, that would be like, bare, you know, bare minimum. if I'm going to do that for for 3000, there's going to be four non negotiable terms. One is 20% up front. Two, is this little bit of text, somebody else is going to do it, I'm not going to do it. It's about us, I'm not going to research, you can do it on your own. Three, if I like how this turns out, I'm going to use this without asking any further for as a reference. And four, you only get two change requests. After that it's $25 an hour. So if you say yes to all of that, I can do that for 3000. End result, so it's not a very long story. End result, they settled for three and a half, because he didn't want to pay upfront, she did the job. He paid. 

Rennie Gabriel  13:08

Filip Fučić  13:10
I never charged her a dime. But since then, I get a lot of views from Karachi, because she told all her friends, and my materials suddenly started spreading over that part of the world and cliques or something. And the feeling that I helped was something. So this is something typical. I have a list each year of people who send me a message or tell me thanks, I use your free stuff, and I increase my price. You know, thanks so much. That's wonderful. That list is very close to my heart. And of course, to people who can pay I charge. But that's perfectly a good deal for me. So I do a lot of free stuff. And then I do some paid stuff. And that's about it. So that would answer the question of . . .

Rennie Gabriel  14:06
Yes, so you're giving back in that way to the people who really need you directly. So thank you for that, Filip. Now, let me ask you a couple more questions. This is kind of like a combined question. Tell me about what you see was your biggest failure, whether it was personal or business and what was the insight you gained from that? What did you do with that?

Filip Fučić  14:32
Well, you mentioned my crushed company. Right out of college, I founded a company based on an award-winning business plan at the time, and managed to reach eight employed people, so eight employees, before the financial crisis got us, because clients couldn't pay us. And so we owed like 1/10 of what we were owed, but at some point, we just simply got crushed. Anyway, this left me with a lot of doubt and debt, which took years to clear. However, as you said, I used it for something. Look, I realized just how hard valid communication is, just how hard they have to work in, in order . . . to clients to see what you see for them. Right. And it's a frustrating thing. When you know, when you look at the client situation, or he tells you the situation, and you know you would be really good for them. But they don't see it. Right. I call that luck leverage, right? It was if somebody was threatening you with a spear and you had a gun, but they never saw a gun. So they start laughing, What are you're going to do with that. Right? And you know, you can hurt them. But they keep on menacing. So you shoot the tree, and they say, Whoa, whoa, right? Yeah. Now we understand each other. Right? So it's luck leverage. That's a concept that I got from from there. You can be a very, very, very good thing for the client and them not see, and it doesn't really matter what you see, it matters what they see. Because they are making the decision. So . . .

Rennie Gabriel  16:33
So it sounds like the insight you gained from that is how to apply that in your current business.

Filip Fučić  16:40
Oh, and the pricing? I mean, I have a price, just like everybody else, which is using guesswork, and good, well, well wishing or copying other people's guesswork, also known as the going rate. Yeah, right. That's how, so I did many mistakes, Rennie, many of them in this area. And because I did them, and I was forced to recognize that I'm not bulletproof, and that those were mistakes. And that's a tough pill to swallow, I can tell you. And you probably know, because I was confronted by the fact that I did all those mistakes, I could learn from them and maybe teach some other people not to do do my mistakes. They're entitled to their own. Right.

Rennie Gabriel  17:33
Something I want to circle back to, which I don't want anyone to overlook was the conversation that you had with that lady in Pakistan, I think you said that's where it was. 

Filip Fučić  17:44

Rennie Gabriel  17:44
And in any kind of negotiation where someone wants to pay less, I learned two things. And one of them is the client who wants you to do a lot of work for less money will always want you to do more work, and even less money. 

Filip Fučić  18:05

Rennie Gabriel  18:06
So that cycle never stops. That's number one. And number two, what you said was, yes, she's willing to accept that price. However, there are things he has to take away from him that she would have done, or things that she's asking for. The the point is, you don't just back off the price, you say, Fine, if I'm going to do it for that, then these are the situations that you'd have to agree to for us to come to that price. And so I think that's very important for everyone to understand about their business is don't just lower your price because it reduces not only your value in the clients eyes, but your value in your own eyes.

Filip Fučić  18:50
Absolutely. And she didn't just try to haggle. 

Rennie Gabriel  18:53

Filip Fučić  18:54
And say, Oh, you know, I work very hard. I have a small kid, I deserve this. No, no, no, no. The reason why this worked is and so the guy ended up paying, you know, many times more than he offered. But the reason why that worked is because she corrected the brief. 

Rennie Gabriel  19:13

Filip Fučić  19:13
She showed him that if he did find somebody who will do it for 500, he would not get what he wants. What he wants is all of these things, and he can't know that all these things are wrong, because he doesn't understand enough about the problem. Right? And because without this correction of the brief, it wouldn't work. It wouldn't work. And she mentioned that the $25 range and everything and so it sounded like, I'm actually going to get more but by going with this lady then trying to find somebody to squeeze on the price. Because you know, I tried this and it didn't really work. My webpage is still faulty enough that I have to do this again. So this is why this worked. If she just tried to play hardball, it wouldn't work.

Rennie Gabriel  20:10
Yes, exactly. It was a negotiation, but an intelligent negotiation. And I'm going to assume, Filip that my listening audience, there will be people who will want to reach out to you, is there something that you can offer that also supports them? And provides them a way to get in touch with you? I mean, a free, some sort of free offer? 

Filip Fučić  20:34
Sure, absolutely. So I'll leave you the link. But I'll say so my webpage is fearless-pricing.com. So just fearless pricing basically. In there, I have a Start Here section, where there's now 150, or something like that, items that are free. They are divided into some subsections. So negotiation, pricing, scope control, things like that. So you can drill down into what you like. So these are like fixed assets that you can always go and look and use, they're meant to be used. And, of course, I have my free Q and A's, which happen every so often. But whoever has a question can reach out to me either through email, or LinkedIn. And I tend to use those questions. So gather them, and then make a live session where people either come and ask me in person, or I answer a previously asked question in writing. So I talk about it. I don't gate keep, as in I say, Well, no, this is the part that you get for free. And this is the part . . . I know, not everybody can afford this. And in return, I basically use what I say, as content. So if somebody comes and asks me, I will use their footage. I'll ask them a question and anonymized of course, but my answer could become content. So that's what I get out of it. And this way, people don't ask questions which were asked before. So they can look up. So I answered almost 200 questions like this in the last two years. So whoever has a concrete question that has something to do with value, communication, pricing, or negotiation, you're welcome to reach me with that question and the answer will reach them.

Rennie Gabriel  22:54
Got it. I have a link that you provided, which was fearless-pricing.com/starthere. Is that the link?

Filip Fučić  23:02

Rennie Gabriel  23:02
Perfect? Okay, so I'll have that in the show notes. Anyone who wants to reach out to you can start there. Is there a question that I should have asked you, that would also give some great value to those who are listening? 

Filip Fučić  23:16
So one of the more popular ones that people ask me, so it's easy to know, when your price is too high, people don't buy, right. But how do you know if, how do you know if your price is too low? Right? 

Rennie Gabriel  23:31
Yeah, no. Tell me. How?

Filip Fučić  23:34
So there's a number of symptoms, and I've spoken and written about it, but I'll give you the shortest one. And the most prominent one is if people say yes immediately after your offer. So this is why it's important whenever you can not to send the the main offer through email or anything like that. But to say, this is a ballpark. Let's meet. Let's talk. What's your problem? Aha. Okay, so this is my offer. Right? And if they say, okay, within two, three seconds of you saying the price, you know, it's too low. It's subconscious. They were expecting more, and they want to close down any negotiation before you add something, tack on something, right? So if you say your fee, and people say, okay, then you know, you could . . . There's nothing you can do for this one. That's lost, but next time, try aiming higher. And you will be pleasantly surprised.

Rennie Gabriel  24:41
And it's so funny you said that because it reminds me of a situation of mine many years ago. Oh, so far back. I was in the pension administration business. And I had a client who was building a house and the bank he was using went out of business. And he hadn't finished the house yet. And he needed funding. So I arranged for an individual to finish funding the loan that he lost. And I was going to charge him, I don't remember really the numbers, I think I was going to charge him $500 for putting him in touch with someone who could complete, provide him the money to finish his home. And I didn't, you know, let's say it was $500. And he said, Rennie, thank you so much. This really helped, you know, now I, my home is getting completed. I got a loan - da da da. What do I owe you? I said, You know, I'm really struggling with that, you know, you are a client. I'm not sure what to charge you. I'm not sure yet. And he says, Well, how about $3,000? I was going to charge him 500. And then he said, 3000. And I sat there because I was stunned by it. And he could see, Oh, Rennie, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you. That's what he followed up with the statement. I said, you know, don't worry about it, Steve. You know, you're a client. I appreciate our relationship. That sounds fine. And it was six times more than I was going to charge him.

Filip Fučić  26:23
Those those kinds of situations wake us up. 

Rennie Gabriel  26:27
Yeah, exactly. 

Filip Fučić  26:29
That's like, typical. When you luck into something like that, you start wondering, Am I usually charging six times less? And sometimes, sometimes the answer is yes. Yes, you are. I've seen cases like this.

Rennie Gabriel  26:47
Yes. Obviously, he valued what I provided far more than the effort I expended.

Filip Fučić  26:53
Absolutely, absolutely. I had a Canadian client that charged things in Canadian dollars, but she mostly sold to Americans. And just for for my sake, she tried out one month, she's doing masterminds, so a lot of recurring fees, right. So she charged the same price, but in American dollars with which at the time was 25, 24% more. And everybody just paid. Nobody mentioned anything. Nobody said anything. She said, How is this possible? Because you're undervalued. They're fine with charging, with you charging much more, so you charging a little more? Yeah, okay. Whatever.

Rennie Gabriel  27:39
Yeah, Filip, this has been a wonderful conversation. Thank you for being on the Wealth On Any Income show. 

Filip Fučić  27:47
Glad to be here, really. 

Rennie Gabriel  27:49
And to all of those who are listening, if you'd like to know how books, movies, and society programs you to be poor, and what the cure is, then log on to wealthonanyincome.com/TEDx, you'll hear my TED Talk, where you can request a free 9-Step Roadmap to Complete Financial Choice®, which is the cure for that programming. And you can also receive a weekly email with tips, techniques, or inspiration around your business or your money. And if you'd like to see how you can increase your wealth, and donate to the causes that touch your heart, please check out our affordable program, Wealth with Purpose. To my listeners, thank you for tuning in. You can listen to the Wealth On Any Income Podcast on your favorite platform. And please rate, review and subscribe. Until next week. be prosperous. Bye bye for now.

Return to podcast by clicking here.