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Determining Your Market Value

Determining Your Market Value

How can you determine your market value as a mediator?

 

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Well, in the context of a mediator, what you charge is entirely up to you. I mean, there’s no better example of women defeating themselves by playing too small. This happened with me and my business partner. She was charging less than me, because I taught her to negotiate, and I taught her conflict resolution skills, and she taught me adult learning.

 

But I’m a lawyer and she’s not, and I have this experience in the commercial arena that she doesn’t, and so she always felt a little inferior to me, and because I taught her negotiation, I think there was just this thing, comparison. I was always encouraging her to charge the same hourly rate, and she couldn’t bring herself to do it.

 

Then one day, someone called me and said, “I couldn’t decide whether it was you or Lisa I should hire, but I saw that you were charging $100 more an hour, so I figured you were the right person to call.” So I called Lisa and said, “Okay, here it is. I was just hired for the sole reason that I’m charging more than you are.”

 

She said, “Okay, I’ll change it on our website today.” It’s how you hold yourself out in the world, and you need to know your market, obviously.

 

I was charging $350 an hour, because I was a new mediator and some guy said to me, “You can’t do that and get these cases. You have to charge $450. People will not respect you. They will not think that you’re capable of mediating these cases unless you charge $450 an hour,” so I raised my fee and I got more clients.

 

So you have to understand your market, and you need to understand that if you go into a women’s market, you will earn less than men. It may be your passion. I make less money speaking to women’s groups because women make less money. Hence, they pay less dues or membership fees. They have less money to hire speakers. But it’s my passion so I don’t care, you know? I don’t care. I’m happy to accept less, but it needs to be a conscious choice.

 

You need to understand the market. You need to understand the market forces. You need to understand that as a young lawyer, you’re going to join the employment practice, that you will be paid less. You will earn less over the course of your lifetime, because it’s not as respected as the antitrust people and the intellectual property people, because money draws money.

About the mediator

Victoria Pynchon Profile Pic

VICTORIA PYNCHON is an attorney, author, consultant and keynote speaker. She co-founded the premiere women’s negotiation consulting and training firm, She Negotiates, in 2010. Since that time, Pynchon and her business partner Lisa Gates, have spoken to and trained thousands of women to fearlessly negotiate compensation, flextime, price and fees in a culture that doesn’t always look kindly on women who ask to be paid their fair market value. ... View Mediator