Do you work with clients?
If so, tell me if this sounds familiar…
You work with a single client for a while and you realize you need more money. The problem is, you haven’t raised your prices for quite some time, so asking for more money is a very difficult conversation to approach.
If you’d rather find a new client to supplement your income, that’s perfectly ok.
But what you may not realize is this is the perfect opportunity to shift your business model to give you more time, help more people, and ultimately do less work.
How taking on multiple clients could kill your business.
If you’ve ever simultaneously worked with multiple clients on a “do it for you” model, you know just how unsustainable that can become.
Long hours, schedules that must be micro-managed, emails, phone calls, executing multiple strategies, speaking in different voices, dealing with the same issues over and over again, explaining what you’re doing, why you need to do it, gaining trust so you know how to sell ideas, and just when you believe in your idea more than anything, being told no.
The moment you take on a second client, two things happen:
- Your work load doubles
- Your attention span gets split in half
Now if you can handle that, more power to you.
Any time you want to grow on this model, you’ll always be multiplying your work and dividing your attention span.
Imagine yourself now with 10 times the workload and 1/10th of the mental bandwidth. Can you do this by yourself and still have a real life?
Probably not, that’s why you hire someone.
But hiring someone means getting them up to speed with your business, teaching them how to sell your ideas, then trusting they’re going to “do it right.” If their services don’t live up to your standards, ultimately it looks bad on you.
So either you run yourself ragged, or you’re lending your credibility to someone else. Neither one is very appealing.
Ideally, you want to deliver your services to fewer people at once without sacrificing quality.
The problem with your sales technique.
How much of the sales conversation do you spend talking about what you can do?
I’m going to hook you up with an online marketing strategy that will make you king of the internet. It’s going to include Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube and several niche social networking sites. I’m then going to get your email marketing going so I can point people in different directions to interact with you on every one of these channels.
I’m then going get you set up with a blog that is so SEOified you’ll take up the first 30 spots in Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Metacrawler!
While I doubt you say that exactly, think back to the last sales conversation you had.
Did you have a tendency to talk about everything you have to offer?
It’s understandable, you’ve spent a lot of effort generating that lead, so the prospect of a new deal is exciting.
But if you’re wondering how to sell services at higher prices, jumping on your prospective client like a dog in heat may not be the best approach.
What your prospective client hears when you’re “pitching.”
While it seems like you’re impressing them with all of your extensive knowledge of your field, you’re really scaring them away.
They don’t understand what you do. If they did, they wouldn’t be talking to you.
What they understand is they have a problem, and you might be the solution.
What you can do to make it better.
Spend as much time as you can listening to their problem.
Like Kevin Nations would say, think of yourself as a Dr. or a specialist.
Listen to them describe their symptoms, and probe to learn just how painful those symptoms really are to them.
- Are they losing sales?
- Are they not getting feedback? Are they boring?
- Do their s think they’re one thing, when they’re something entirely different?
Listen to what they’re telling you and use bits of what they’re saying to help them realize their problem is serious. Don’t scare them, but help them realize a serious issue should not go untreated.
And just when you want to tell them everything you do, resist, and listen some more.
Don’t live up to their expectations.
What you may not realize is they’re expecting to be sold.
They’re expecting to hear all the wonderful things you can do for them.
They’re going into the conversation expecting you’ll make them feel dumb. They’re just hoping it’s not by some crazy degree.
So by actually hearing their problems you’re breaking their expectations. You’re allowing them to express their deepest fears about their business in a safe environment.
Remember, not everyone does that.
Yes, at some point you have to make an offer.
The best time for you to make that offer is when they’ve fully experienced the gap between where they are, and where they’d like to be.
But even then, don’t inundate them with everything you do.
Make your offer be defined by them and their specific pain points.
If you’ve been patient and spent the time properly diagnosing the problem, something very interesting happens in their mind.
They’re not thinking about how much it costs to fix the problem, they’re thinking about how it’s costing them to not fix it.
Because they’re getting specific solutions to their problems, not a laundry list of stuff they don’t know how to sell to their superiors,your prospective client will be able to more easily rationalize the higher cost.
Will every new person you talk to convert to a high priced client?
No of course not. Some prospects will scoff at the idea you would charge so high. Chances are likely they’ll go with a lower priced service provider and get lower quality work.
But even so, think of the extremely valuable information you’ve gotten from just listening to them one on one. They might not work with you, but it’s not a total loss.
It really helps you help the client who will work with you to overcome their fears that much easier.
When you take the time to fully understand your prospect, you become more than just some service provider.
You become a life saver. And that my friend is worth paying good money for.
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