What is Price Anxiety?
Price anxiety is a term that I use to describe feelings of uncertainty and insecurity that Athletic Therapists (or anyone selling themselves, for that matter) can experience while discussing or deciding how they would like to price themselves.
Here are a few reason why some ATs suffer from price anxiety:
- Insecurity or doubt about your skills or abilities
- Unaware of the true value of the service you provide
- Developed to please everyone… but yourself
If you are an AT who experiences anxiety due to pricing, you can probably identify with at least one of the points above. Don’t fret, you are not alone.
Insecurity? Who, me? No way!
Are you confident that your treatments are making a difference? Are you actually solving the client’s problem? Are you the best person for the job? If you didn’t answer yes to all of the above questions, then you may be suffering from price anxiety.
If you do not truly believe your service will solve your clients’ problems — then you cannot expect them to believe you. As a result, you will not have the confidence to ask for the price you deserve.
This does not mean you should fake it.
There is a big difference between simply convincing yourself and knowing that you are able to help someone or provide good service.
Take the necessary steps to make sure that you have the skills required to provide your services to the best of your abilities:
- Practice regularly and frequently (this includes so-called “veterans” and “newbies” alike)
- Stay up to date with advances in research
- Keep learning
Your patients and clients will notice the confidence, consistency and fluidity in your practice — that alone is enough to put them at ease. They will know that you are the best for them.
Know Your Worth
Perspective is everything. On the outside, there are individuals who see Athletic Therapists as walking band-aid dispensers. Things that are easily replaced, even disposable. These are the same people who think the coach (ignoring the blatantly obvious conflict of interest) who used to play football in high school, and who essentially possesses zero medical knowledge, should be responsible for dealing with the emergency care of his players.
“But wait, Thomas!”
“We provide expertise in the recognition, prevention and management of acute musculo-skeletal injuries, and we are trained to handle emergency care situations!”
Do you think the average person understands this? Probably not.
Here is what we actually offer: peace of mind knowing that players, students, sons and daughters are being taken care of by well-practiced, trained professionals from the moment they walk into the taping room before the game to the moment they get into their cars to go home. We are the only professionals who focus on the dangers of sport and actively do everything possible to prevent and manage injuries so these athletes can safely go back to play as soon as possible.
The value may be obvious to you, but unless your potential employer, client or patient understands it in his/her language — it is useless.
I Don’t Do It For The Money
Yes, it is true: most Athletic Therapists are not financially motivated. I can’t remember ever discussing money with my classmates. It just wasn’t a topic of conversation. It was simply implied that you would graduate, get certified and get a job…wherever that may be.
That being said, I think athletic therapy attracts a certain type of personality and character: one that finds satisfaction in helping people, not only in making money. Why else would we do what we do? The lifestyle of an AT is difficult to sustain without a passion for making a real difference.
The good news is: you can learn to find a good balance between helping people and being compensated appropriately for it.
The Nasty Effects of Price Anxiety:
Price anxiety usually contributes to:
- selling yourself short
- working harder than sustainable
Which leads to:
- more anxiety at work
- feeling overwhelmed
- leaving the occupation entirely
Stay tuned for the next topic: What is the best pricing strategy for Athletic Therapists?
I will leave you with a great quote from Seth Godin: “Anxiety is experiencing failure in advance”.