Presentation at Dietitians of Canada Conference

Presenters: Andrea Holwegner and Patricia Chuey 


I really enjoyed this presentation by Andrea and Patricia.

They opened by asking the audience, what is our profession’s biggest mistake? 

Answers included not being realistic, not being sexy, providing confusing information, and using too many facts when we educate.  Andrea and Patricia suggested it’s important to remember science is a verifier not a justifier and consumers make decisions based on feelings and belief rather than facts.  They stated that shared values are 3-5 times more important than competence, hence, people say that want more information, but they don’t, they want to know if they can trust and connect with you.

Presenters tips for breaking through consumer skepticism

– listen don’t judge

– ask questions and invite dialogue

– clarify their perspective

– identify common values

– share your perspective

– determine next steps


Another thought provoking question – What exactly is a dietitian anyway?  

Did you know that the word “dietitian” breaks down into “diet” and then “die”!  Not good!

But seriously, do we really know ourselves?

What are we great at?

What do we stand for?

The presenters stated how critical it is that we take a stand on issues – we can’t be wishy washy.  And that if we are taking a stand we are going to repel just as many people as we attract, and that’s okay.  But as a profession we don’t tend to do this, most likely because the fear of failure (perfectionism) is holding us back.  They also discussed that evidence-based practice might be holding us back as well; again because of the need to be “right”.


Andrea and Patricia then spent some time on pricing.  They discussed that there is no one size fits all when it comes to pricing, but that setting fees too low or too high can create a negative impression.  They suggested looking at related and unrelated services e.g. lawyer, caterer, hairdresser to see what rates these professions are charging. 

Warren Buffet has been quoted as saying “Price is what you pay, value is what you get“. The key point to remember here is that people are not buying hours, they are buying results!!  Therefore it’s essential to charge on value (not on time).  And where possible, deflect a fee conversation for as long as possible, so that you can discuss the client’s needs and build trust and a relationship.  And when you do outline your fees, offer three selections, and people will usually select the middle one.  And finally less is more – it’s better to have one client spending $1000 vs 10 clients spending $100!

5 pricing tips from Andrea and Patricia

1. use investment over price

2. there are no rules

3. confidence is everything

4. sell the result not the product i.e. sell benefits better than features

5. have confidence to increase your fees – 1/7 people buy on price; 6/7 buy on value


Click here to read more about Andrea and Patricia

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