So you just pitched a project to a prospective client. You know you are one of several possibilities this client is looking at for their new campaign. You feel good about your proposal, especially your ability to meet the client’s goals and the metrics you’ve recommended to measure success. What’s got you most worried, though, is the overall cost of the engagement. All things being equal, you wonder, “How do I compare to the other proposals?”

This week, I had an epiphany (big word, I know, but when the right word fits, you gotta go with it): When it comes to proposals, not all things are equal—and it’s got nothing to do with costs and projections and recommended steps. It has to do with the VALUE (features and benefits) YOU bring to the proposal. After all, none of the other proposals has you or your network in it. You are unique.

What’s this got to do with anxiety over your proposal’s price tag? It’s up to you to convince the client that the value only you and your network can bring to the project is worth it.

Whether it’s eating out, buying a new car, or hiring a local plumber, people always try to get the best price possible. But is the lowest price always the best price? What if it’s a lousy restaurant? Or the car breaks down when you drive it off the lot? Or the plumber doesn’t know his PVC from a copper tube?

We all know the adage, “You get what you pay for.” Well, whoever came up with that had a point.

Cheap is not where I want to play—and it’s not because I want to overprice my services. It’s not that at all. You can spend $10/hour with developers overseas, but how do you know if they are reliable? Who’s going to communicate with them? How efficient are they? How trustworthy?

What I bring to the table for my clients is VALUE. I have painstakingly developed quite a network of proven, trusted resources over the years and there is a great deal of value in that. You may pay a premium for this experience and expertise, but you do so with confidence about reliability and results.

Would you rather pay someone $200 for 20 hours of work and marginal results, or an experienced person $200 for two hours of the same work and the results you want?

All things being equal, I think you know my answer