Wednesday, November 12, 2008

How much is the value of your knowledge?

That’s a tough question to answer. We’ve all at sometime tried our best (mostly during interviews!) to answer the question, but somehow feel that we could have done better. How then do we give a satisfactory answer? I mean an answer that’s tangible, believable and most importantly acceptable by the listener. You definitely don’t want to be undervalued just because you cannot communicate your own effectiveness in a certain role!

I suppose the question is best answered when we read the question as: How much is my knowledge valued compared to my competitors? Now, we can answer that a lot more confidently. Right? Along the way we need to also understand that – “Comparatives are a necessary evil.” It’s the only way to really position you against another individual(s) who possess the same knowledge. Quite honestly, the best price for your knowledge is the amount that another person (employer, agency, customer, etc.) is ready to pay for your services. That value is directly arrived at, based on your conversation and selling abilities.

So here’s an approach I feel may work:

- Try your best to base your talk around tangible stuff that is easy to quantify

- Rate your skills on a scale of 1 – 10 (10 being the highest). Be honest and explain with reasons. Only pitfall is don’t over-value so much that it hurts your very chance of asking for a price

- Yes! There is a market value, a benchmark against which all skills are valued. So are you a bar-raiser/trend-setter? Or are you being compared to a better individual?

- Make your “Top 5-Selling-Points” pitch when you try and value your skills. When you use your skills to get money through the door, its highly appreciated!

- Get in to an agreement which allows you to showcase your knowledge for certain duration, like a dry-run. Let the firm know what your capable of and then charge the price you asked for (hence the agreement). This might work well with a customer. Honestly, it’s like offering your knowledge for free for sometime! You’ll find a lot of buyers for this idea. Worth a shot!

- Lastly, do your skills help the customer/employer/agency/hiring firm to solve their most critical problems? Do your skills translate into revenue generation for the firm? If the answer is yes, then ask for the skies! Else, be content with the market benchmark.

I love intangibles, if only there is a way to find its value! Really. It’s nice to have them, but unfortunately if you cannot find a way to price them – then you are better off selling them as complimentary services! That’s a service the firm/customer would love to buy!

In the war for placing a price/value for your knowledge, the only person interested would be YOU! So go all-out and give every idea a worthy shot!

- The HR Store