If you want to get paid what you’re worth here are seven ways to sell value – not price:
- Be Unique. If there is nothing that differentiates you from your competition you become common. Webster defines the word common as, “ordinary or not special” and the only way buyers select one common service over another is price. Take inventory of your skills, experience and knowledge. Are you a specialist in some area? Are you an expert in certain facets of your business? These and other differentiators can make you unique and valuable to a select group of clients.
- Choose Your Clients Carefully: Don’t ever let your clients choose you or you will be at their mercy. If a deal is going to close successfully, the true professional should be in control, not the client. To begin controlling your business, write down the attributes of the people you want as clients and then go out and get them with targeted marketing. I hope the first item on your list of attributes is that they are people you enjoy spending time with. Being a business owner is far too difficult to work with people you don’t like just to earn a living. Turn away people who don’t meet your criteria. When you reject or refer clients it tells the world that you don’t just work with anyone, you are selective which raises your perceived value. It also makes you unique from other businesses who will work with anyone who can bring them a paycheck.
- Set High Standards: If you work with anyone and everyone your value drops. If people have to qualify to work with you your value increases. Of course you know that there are prospects who will ask you to give them a bid with no intention of ever buying from you. They’re planning to use your bid to leverage a discount with their current vendor or any one of a dozen other reasons that they want your knowledge but not your services. Then there are buyers who will waste your time and then purchase through another vendor (probably a relative). Don’t ever meet with a potential client until you ask a logical list of questions to determine their seriousness and loyalty. You need to know their motivation and if they are interviewing other vendors. You also need to know if they’re financially qualified. If you don’t have serious, financially solvent, and loyal clients, why waste your valuable time with them?
- Compete On Value, Not Price: No disrespect intended to other business models, but it doesn’t take any special skill, experience or knowledge to compete on price. All you have to do is be the cheapest, but this is a losing game. Some people may remember the gas price wars of the 1960’s and early 1970’s when there seemed to be a gas station on nearly every corner. To gain market share, one would cleverly lower its price, but then all the others quickly followed suit and the only result was that everyone’s profit margin was reduced. The way to get paid what you’re worth is to visibly demonstrate your value to your clients. Competing on price does not create value.
- Create Value In The Eyes Of Clients: Clients don’t know what it takes to do what you do – this is something we forget, because we are so used to doing our jobs! But if they could do your job, they wouldn’t be talking to you. If a prospect asks for a discount, simply show them a list of everything you have to do to get their results and say, “Here are just some of the activities I must complete to earn my money. Why don’t you point out the things that you’d be willing to do instead of me. If you save me time then we can talk about saving you money.” Help them to understand what you DO for them and what you are saving them from.
- Provide value that no one else offers. Give bonus products or perhaps an extra bit of your time. Throw in a book, a report or a checklist that makes life easier. Go look at what your competitor’s are doing and just make sure you have one truly valuable extra that they don’t.
- Reject price shoppers. Studies show that only 15-18% of people make their decision to purchase a product or service primarily based on price. This means that the majority of clients appreciate value and are willing to pay for it – if they see it. Don’t waste your time on the 15%.
Don’t forget that real professionals earn their money by helping clients maximize value, minimize costs, save time, and much more. If potential clients don’t appreciate this then feel free to refer them to your competition.