Friday, September 5, 2014

How to Charge What You're Worth and Get It: Part 4 of 6 - Communicating Your Value (Continued)

In my previous article, we started looking at communicating your value to prospective clients and that in order to do this, you need to reflect both the value of your service and their pain back to them.So in this article, we'll continue looking at ways to communicate your value. Once you've found out what the client needs, then you can ask, "What will that mean to you when it's done?" In this way, they will be able to focus on the benefit of using your services, rather than just the features. I've noticed that in particular, technical-type people (accountants, lawyers, financial advisors and others) have a tendency to speak in features rather than benefits, because that's what turns them on. But it's not necessarily what turns everyone else on.Features are what your services are. Benefits are what the features of your service mean to the client. So to turn a feature into a benefit you can add the words "which means that".For example, if you tell a client, "I can do your compliance work for you" that's you describing a feature of your service. If you add, "That means that you'll have more time to work on your business which means that you'll be able to bring in more business, which means that you'll make more money." That's the benefit loud and clear. Then you can ask, "so what would that extra business be worth to you?" If you don't first demonstrate the value of what you do, prospective clients will always regard the quote you give as high, no matter what price you offer.You have to get them to shift from looking at the price to seeing the value of your service. Once they understand the value, the price you quote will actually seem relatively low by comparison.If a prospective client asks me what I charge, I explain that I only work with people who I'm pretty sure I can help so that the return on investment is worthwhile. This means that I must have a meeting to find out if I can help them. Before I quote them a price, I make sure that they understand the value of what I will deliver. If the need is great enough, they understand the value I provide, and they are ready for it, they will go for it. The cost is almost incidental.

It's really about learning a new set of behaviours. To change any behaviour, you must first recognise what you're doing and why it's no longer working for you and then choose to do things differently. The behaviour can become so ingrained that you need someone like me to point out what you're doing and how doing things differently will improve your life.I know from my clients how easy it is to get stuck in one kind of behaviour or one pattern of thinking and not realise how it's impacting their businesses or their lives. For instance, one of my clients was not in control of her business because she wasn't taking responsibility for her communication with clients. She would go into meetings feeling fearful and expecting negative outcomes. However, since working with me, she has now taken control and this has had a significant and positive impact on her business and relationships with her clients. As a result, she's gaining more business at higher rates and feels more confident and relaxed.It's really important for you to realise that what you have to offer is incredibly valuable to your prospective clients. By hiring you, they can get on and do the things they're best at. You take care of the things they can't or don't want to do. They can do the things they want to do because they know their company is in a safe pair of hands. You give them peace of mind and that is priceless!In summary, to communicate your value to prospects, you need to:Understand your value
Reflect their pain back to them
Focus on the value you're creating, not on how much you're charging.In the next article, we'll be looking at getting comfortable asking for fees.

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