Two critical mistakes stopping you from making more sales
When I started my business eleven years ago, I made a small assumption that had a big cost. Not only did it cost me a lot of money, but it also cost me peace-of-mind, which is oftentimes far more expensive.
I assumed that people couldn’t afford me.
And why wouldn’t I? One client kept telling me how much she owed on her credit card. Another client didn’t pay my invoices in a timely manner and built up significant debt. He took up a payment plan to pay these off in arrears.
Then, a few things happened that overhauled my perspective (invaluable!) and consequently changed the way that I did business. And I want to share them with you today.
Two critical mistakes that can kill your sales (and de-value what you do)
Mistake #1: You’re focused on price, not value (and so are your clients)
As I mentioned, a few things happened that completely changed the way I approached pitching and prospecting new clients …
First, there was the coffee date with a friend who worked in the same industry as me. She was moaning about how much her beat-up old car repairs were costing her. Then, she showed me her brand new iPad, one of the first on the Australian market.
Then there was the family holiday that my client took – the same client who was paying several thousands of dollars off my invoices in monthly instalments.
Then, the client who rejected my quote as being too expensive before heading off overseas for a holiday.
These three incidents in quick succession hit me over the head like a hammer – the problem wasn’t about how much money these people did or didn’t have. Nor about whether my prices were cheap or expensive.
The problem was that I sucked at explaining the value of my offerings and I sucked at setting up my terms and conditions in a way that worked for me.
Mistake #2: You’re talking to the wrong people
The majority of my “bad clients” have ended up being people who just weren’t a good fit for how and why I do business.
If you’re struggling to make sales and to find clients who “fit”, it’s likely you’re going after the wrong people or the wrong market entirely. And that’s where solid positioning comes in. When you position, package and market your service to the “right” clientele, you’ll begin to see a shift in the value placed on your work.
The right kind of clients — know you, like you and trust you. So if you’re only attracting crappy customers, then either you haven’t done a good enough job of building that trust… or “they’re just not that into you” and it’s okay to move on.
But don’t despair! Pricing is easier than you think…
Pricing and earning money when self-employed is oftentimes a quagmire of indecision, confusion and misunderstanding. But it’s actually far simpler than most people imagine.
Your pricing needs to communicate value. Your price should reflect where your brand is positioned in the market and your marketing must communicate why people should value it (this works both ways – too cheap as well as too expensive).
Too often, we think we’ve done enough to communicate our value. We hear from happy clients telling us how wonderful our business is. We list what’s included in our offerings and believe our job is done. But it’s not.
Here’s how to communicate your value with confidence, while still focusing on conversion:
Quantify your value: What does your prospect receive from working from you? What is the result they really want and is that what you’re selling? How is success measured?
What evidence can you use to show this value? What data and research can you use to illustrates problems and solutions? What research into your sector and industry can you draw on to demonstrates efficacy?
Qualify your value: How have you helped others in the past? How is your particular offer different, and why is that important to your prospects?
What case studies do you have that show the ‘before’ and ‘after’ of working with your business? What press coverage, testimonials and social media accolades can you draw on? And how can you turn up the volume on these?
We need to communicate the value of our offerings if sales are to be straightforward and successful. Value is not obscure. It can be quantified and qualified – and this is one of the things we cover in my Hustle & Heart program.
You don’t have to figure out how to communicate your value from scratch (nor do you have to do it alone).
There are very simple and tangible ways to explain your value in a way that’s easily understood. And when people really see and understand the value of our what you offer, they are far more likely to buy.
But there’s no doubt, that figuring this part of your business out can be tricky. And more often than not, we stall on even the smallest of steps, just because we aren’t confident with our approach, or don’t have the right words to communicate our offer.
Do you feel confident about communicating your value to your clients?
Can you clearly show the results they will receive?
Are you focused on a willing group of people who value what you do and will happily pay good money?
Are you ready to better communicate your value, perhaps raise your pricing, introduce an online product or premium service, or find a new market that appreciates the value of what you offer?
We cover pricing, packaging and positioning in our Hustle & Heart group coaching program. The doors open for enrolment on Wednesday August 28 – and there’s a special bonus for those on the interest list. Details are here.
People don’t really understand what something is worth from a rational perspective. Worth and value are determined in context. A cheap plastic knife becomes incredibly valuable when you’re on the road with no other knives available.
So it’s just a matter of putting yourself in the position that your value, relevance and usefulness are really bleedingly clear.
PS: Don’t forget – if you want to make more sales, grow your client-base and start working with people who value your offerings – check out the Hustle & Heart program here. We’ll help you price, position and promote your business with confidence.
PPS: Want to talk about the program with me? Book yourself in for a call here.