“How much is my work worth?” This is a question we all ask ourselves, whether we’re an employee wondering what salary to demand or an entrepreneur wondering what price to charge. 

For Anna Lamb, the 373rd person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, this question is even more important, because it’s the essence of her business, Uplifting Value

Anna is a pricing expert who helps companies – especially female-led ones – establish their pricing. To do that, the business not only needs to understand its costs but also the value it brings. 

During Anna’s corporate career, which included a series of pricing-related roles, she discovered that companies often use a different model, which involves calculating the cost of delivering a product/service and then adding a margin – irrespective of the value delivered.

In this model, pricing is purely a finance-related function. But Anna believes pricing should have both a finance and marketing component.

Anna says the best way to promote a product/service is to aim at both the customer’s head and heart. So the marketing should include stories that highlight how much better the customer’s life will be after using the product/service; and hard data that quantifies the benefit. The pricing should then align with that marketing.

Most of the businesses that Anna works with turn out to be undercharging, because they don’t understand how much value they’re delivering.

Sometimes, this is an information problem – the business hasn’t collected the relevant data from its customers. Sometimes, it’s a social problem – the gender pay gap has been transferred from the corporate to the entrepreneurial world. And, sometimes, it’s a confidence problem – the entrepreneur doesn’t believe they deserve more.

In the end, pricing comes back to that surprisingly confronting question: “How much is my work worth?”