Are you being hired based on expertise or cost?

There’s a question. A question at the crux of your career. It’s simple. But it’s weighty. Are you being hired based on expertise or cost?

This question, my friend, is the compass for your professional journey. It defines the path you walk. It establishes your market value. It is the fulcrum upon which the seesaw of client relationships teeters. Expertise? Or cost? The answer isn’t just about you, it’s also about them – your clients. It becomes their expectations, their perception of your value.

Consider this: you’re a bottle of wine. Are you a top-shelf, aged Cabernet savored for its nuances and richness? Or are you a discounted table wine, picked for its reasonable price tag? Both have a place. Both serve a purpose. But the connoisseur and the casual sipper expect different things.

Here’s where it gets complicated. Imagine the casual sipper unknowingly orders the Cabernet. Their palate isn’t ready for it—their wallet certainly isn’t. They don’t appreciate the richness, the complexity. They expected something easy on the tongue and the pocket. But they got you. The chasm of understanding yawns wide.

Likewise, imagine the connoisseur—ready for an exquisite wine experience—gets the table wine. The taste, while adequate, is nothing spectacular. The complexity they crave is absent. They feel shortchanged. The disappointment seeps in. Once again, the chasm of understanding emerges, dark and deep.

Your clients are like these wine drinkers. Each with different tastes, different budgets, different expectations. When their expectations don’t match the reality of your services, misunderstandings emerge. Bridges are burned. Reputations tarnished.

Clarity is key. Know why you’re being hired. Understand what your client values in your work. Align their expectations with your service offerings. This way, the chasm is bridged. The relationship is harmonious.

The wine, whichever it may be, tastes exactly right.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.