Are you finding it difficult to get more clients saying yes to paying your current hourly or daily rate – even though you know your charges are within the scope of what your peers are charging?
Well, one cause could be the level at which your prospective clients perceive your value.
Let me explain…
If you are offering free consultations to prospective customers, you are likely sending the message that your time is freely available. People won’t eagerly pay for what they perceive to be free.
You’re also subconsciously presenting these consultations as an opportunity for your prospects to assess if you are worthy of working with them.
If you answer your own phone, it means that anyone who wants to call you can dictate when that conversation will take place.
E.g. you have an abundance of time available.
If you’re networking at local groups and events, you’re compounding the problem by commoditising yourself.
You see, if you’re a business coach, at an event with a handful of other business coaches who charge £50 an hour, you’re going to find it really difficult to charge – and get clients saying yes to investing – £300+ an hour to work with you.
You’re an apple in amongst a crowd of other £50 an hour apples.
If your goal is to make more money next year, it’s time to start thinking about making changes to how you position yourself.
The first step to multiplying your income is to increase the perceived value of your time.
How about, instead of scrabbling around for £50 an hour clients, you could multiply your fees by 6x-10x+?
How about if you could easily become a £300-£2,500 an hour orange, instead?
First of all, put an application process in front of your free consultations.
Instead of giving all of the power to your prospective customers to decide if YOU are qualified enough or worthy, ask them to fill out an application form so you can consider if THEY qualify to get any of your time.
The perception you’re presenting now is that your time is highly valuable, and only those who fit your criteria will be entitled to access your expertise.
You can use WuFoo or Google Forms for this – both free.
Secondly, outsource your call answering. Whenever anyone calls you, they will be greeted by a human and not an answering machine, but that person won’t be you.
Your call answering service can take down the callers’ details, then you can allocate time each day to return calls.
This again reinforces the perception that you are busy and your time is valuable. After all, unless you are part of their inner circle, you would never be able to pick up the phone and get straight through to Richard Branson or Alan Sugar, would you? Your time is equally as valuable as theirs!
Or, you could have your ‘PA’ return the calls and book them into your diary tomorrow.
For budget call answering service, I recommend Answer. They charge £1+VAT per call answered, and I’ve been with them for just under five years. They still answer our calls on weekends.
If you want a more sophisticated setup, like a Virtual Receptionist, who can do more than just take messages, then I recommend The Office Genie. We’ve worked with them for two years, and they answer our calls during the week.
By the way, that PA I mentioned just now, they don’t even need to be a ‘real PA’. Create a new email address, e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org and give them a name… let’s go with Jenny.
Have ‘Jenny’ email enquirers to book in a call with you. You can also have ‘Jenny’ chase your unpaid debts if you currently do credit control yourself.
Adding additional layers between you and your prospects covers the basics of increasing the perceived value of your time, but how can you multiply your hourly or daily rate, yet get more clients to invest in working with you?
Leverage what you already know.
How you can multiply your hourly and daily rate, yet attract a queue of pre-qualified clients, eager to work with you.
#1: Define the process you take your clients through in your work together. This is your Signature System. Have you designer create a graphic of this process to make it easy for your prospects to ‘get’ what you do.
#2: Run a survey to ask your ideal clients what their biggest struggle is with getting the result that you deliver. Collate their answers, and make a note of the top three most popular responses.
#3: Create an eBook, audio, or video that talks to the top three most popular struggles (e.g. reference them in your compelling headline and sub-headline), seed the complete solution your offer (your Signature System) and add value by sharing a few tips and strategies that they can take away and apply now to get some ‘pain relief’. This is your Lead Magnet.
#4: Promote your lead magnet far and wide to build a list of people who are interested in the ‘pain relief’ you offer.
#5: Host a webinar that talks to the most popular pains, reveals your Signature System, goes deep into teaching one step of your Signature System, and at the end of the webinar, invite your viewers to invest in learning from you how they can resolve all of the struggles they’ve told you they’re experiencing.
#6: Teach your Signature System via a series of weekly webinars. Record each session, and put the recordings into a membership site so you can sell access to your webinar recordings over and over again for unlimited passive income.
When Dominic hosted a 60-minute webinar where he revealed his Signature System and invited his viewers to invest in learning from him, he made £2,400.
But the best part is that’s just the beginning. Very soon he will relaunch his program, and any income he makes from future sales will be passive.
When you have an online program available, your prospective customers will be expecting to pay a much higher fee to work with you in person.
For example, if you currently charge £50 per hour, but you create an online training program that you sell for £97, your prospects will be expecting to pay at least £200 for an hour of your time.
If you currently charge £500 to work with a client 1:1 for a day, but you have an online training program available for £497, your assumed daily rate will become at least £1,500.
You’ll be in a position where you find it easier to attract paying clients at the higher rate than it is to get sales at the rate you’re charging now. I know that might seem a little impossible to believe at this moment in time, but it comes back to your perceived value.
When you are able to clearly define your unique process for how you support your clients to get their ideal result, and then you turn that process into an online training program, your credibility is elevated. And when you can demonstrate your high credibility so easily, without even being in the room, your ideal clients will be coming to you, pre-qualified and ready to invest because you’ve already demonstrated your value.
And now they perceive you to be high-value, undercharging for your in-person time will make them wary, and they’ll start doubting the value you offer. When your self-value aligns with their perceived value, that’s when the magic happens and you get to work with your most ideal clients.