The Art of the Discount: How to Never Lower Your Rates Again

Posted in: Managing your Business, Sales- Jul 03, 2017 No Comments

It’s happened to every service provider at one time or another—probably more than once.

You offer a proposal or contract, only to have your potential client respond with, “That sounds great, but I can’t afford it.”

What do you do?

For a lot of service-based businesses, the first response is to lower their rate. After all, they reason, the client really does need my help. Plus, it’s good karma, and they’ll talk about me with their friends, and refer business to me later.

Maybe, but more likely than not. What you end up with is a client who takes far too much of your time, for far less money than you deserve. You wind up resentful, and wondering why you aren’t earning the living you know you’re capable of.

Sound familiar?

I want you to make a promise to yourself right now that you will never again lower your rates to appeal to a client. Doing so devalues your services, makes the client less likely to follow through, and worse, makes you feel terrible later.

Now, I’m not saying you can never offer special deals, bonuses or gifts, but I do want you to change how those offers are made. Here’s how it works.

Let’s use a consultant, coach, wellness practitioner or life-organizer as an example.

If your package includes:

  • 1 45-minute call per month
  • 1 email per day
  • 1 in-person meeting per quarter
  • and 1 mastermind retreat per year

and your potential client claims to not be able to afford your asking price of $1,000 per month; rather than offering to reduce the price, you offer to reduce the price and the package.

So, the offer you make to her now includes everything BUT the mastermind retreat. Or everything BUT the in-person meeting every quarter.

You have not lowered your rates so far that you feel used, but at the same time, you’ve worked with your potential client to create a plan they can afford and that still offers massive value. It’s a true win-win for both of you.

The same technique can be used for any type service provider, unless you’re charging strictly by the hour. If that’s the case, take a look at how you can reduce the number of hours you need to invest while still providing value.

For example, rather than offering four one-hour calls, change your plan to just two calls, with email follow-ups. Your client will still get plenty of value, and you’ll free up some time by inviting email questions rather than blocks of time on the phone.

Next time you’re asked to reduce your rates for anything, take a closer look at how you can also reduce the work you’ll be doing. That way you’ll never feel as if you’ve been taken advantage of, and your clients will still get great service, lots of value and they may even ask to upgrade at some point.

To Your Success!


The Real Way to Sell High-Priced Packages

Posted in: Dreams, Pricing, Sales, Vision- Jun 19, 2017 2 Comments

No More ROI: The Real Way to Sell High-Priced Packages

Do you want to know what keeps a lot of coaches, consultants, financial advisors, accountants, educators, health & well-being practitioners and other service providers from charging what they’re really worth?

It’s that all-too-common belief that “I am not a sales person.” Combine that with a healthy dose of “It’s rude or uncomfortable to discuss money,” and you can see why it’s just easier to keep your rates low. I am sure you know what I mean.

But, now it’s high time to think of your services from a different angle. It is not about selling; in fact it never was. It is all about how oyu can support your client live the life they yearn for or run the business of their dreams. Once you get this, not only will you see things in a clearer light, but ‘selling’ suddenly won’t feel so…salesy.

Here’s how traditional pricing discussions go:

You talk to a potential client, and you explain what you can offer, how your service works, what he or she can expect (how many calls/emails, phases of work, length of contract), etc. And then you say, “My rate is $XXX.00. per hour”

Your client either says yes, no or maybe.

Let’s turn that around, and rather than focus on what he or she will get from YOU, take a look at what they will achieve when they hire you.

If they have a business, talk about attracting more clients, talk about improved cash flow and talk about hiring a team that would not want to work anywhere else. Talk about their initial vision they had for their life some years ago. Talk about how much more profit they will make when they hire you; how much weight they will lose when they start your program or how they will be able to save up and buy their dream house one day in the not-too distant future.  Show them that by working with you, your price is inconsequential because they will earn it back three times over or more for the rest of their business or personal lives. 

Who wouldn’t jump at that with arms wide open?

What you’re doing here is not talking about the cost of your service, but rather the cost of not hiring you. Because if your potential client doesn’t work with you, they would be standing still or even worse, go backwards. If they do nothing, nothing will change, grow or improve. It is important that you show your client the cost of their inaction; the cost of their indecision and the cost of not doing something differently to what they are doing now. “What will change if they do nothing?”

Inaction, indecision and exaggerated adversity to risk might mean years unhappiness, non-fulfillment and unsuccessful business ventures. Imagine what it might be worth to your client to lift that depressing scenario for them and instead open the door wide and let them look at what is possible.

Your services could:

  • Add invaluable happiness to their lives
  • Help skip years of wasted effort and cost without much reward in their businesses
  • Save loving relationships. That’s priceless.
  • Create lifestyles that otherwise would have seemed impossible.

You just have to paint the picture of what is possible when they get the right support at the right time. Paint the picture of what is possible when they take make a choice and decide to do something that has been proven to work.

What will life/business/health/finances/ love look like without your services, and what can it look like with you? Once they see the difference, pricing becomes nearly irrelevant.

It’s not about the pricing; it’s about the authentic, genuine and long-lasting value you can add to their lives.

With Love,

19 June, 2017

Easy Pricing Strategies to Determine Your Rates

Posted in: Pricing- Jun 12, 2017 No Comments

It might just be the most stressful decision you ever have to make: what to charge?

You’ve got the competition to consider, or maybe not. If you are very credible and have enough evidence of that in the form of repeat business, charge what you know you are worth or another way to do this is charge the value of what you are delivering to the client. Write down all the things you do for your clients and what value that adds to their life and business and then put a number to that value.

Other aspects to consider are your own skill set, what you perceive to be your skills (yes, this is different from the former for most of us), what your market will pay, your location, and a host of other variables. Working it out can feel like a hurdle you can’t quite get past, but the more informed you become, your answer starts jumping out at you. 

But what about all those other questions? Creating a solid pricing structure requires you to do a little more digging. So with your starting number in line, take a look at:

Your Competition. This might take a little detective work, since a lot of service providers don’t publish rates. But if you pay attention to their websites and social media, ask a few discreet questions, and get on their mailing list, you can figure it out.

Be realistic about who, exactly, your competition is, though. Don’t undervalue or over-sell yourself. In other words, make sure you’re comparing yourself to another provider who shares the same skills, market, and track record, rather than simply looking at who you strive to become.

Your Skills. In some fields, this is easy. There are certifications and educational programs that allow you—by virtue of having achieved them—to charge a certain rate. If you’ve followed this path, then pricing will be easy for you. If not, take a solid look at what you can legitimately claim as a skill.

Look, too, at your track record. Have you proven yourself by helping former clients (and do you have the testimonials and case studies to show for it)? Have your former clients moved on to bigger and better things after working with you? (That’s a good thing!) These are all reasons to maybe consider a higher price range than you might have first thought.

Your Market. In the game of setting rates, they say that it’s your market that has the final say. As any first year economy student can tell you, the price of anything lies where what the buyer is willing to pay meets what the seller is willing to accept, BUT if you can introduce the market to something they do not even know that they want or need you may just be able to bypass this ‘ law’ because no-one can put a price on what does not yet exist. Just think of some companies who have done this such as Apple for one.  

If your goal is to give newbies a helping hand and lead them down the path to success, that unfortunately means you can look forward to low paying gigs. That’s not a bad thing—everyone has to begin somewhere—but it can be a long and hard road to go down this path. If, on the other hand, you’re target market is more established and economically stable, then a higher fee isn’t just warranted—it’s a must. They will expect a higher price, and will not find value in the lowest-cost provider of anything, whether it’s coffee beans or business coaching.

Finally, don’t forget that pricing is never set in stone. It’s flexible. If you find you’re attracting the wrong market (or no market at all) you can always change your rates. Working too hard for not enough return? Raise your rates.

There is a lot, lot more to pricing, but this may be a good starting place and remember, it’s your business. You get to call the shots.

 

 

Kim Knight

12 June 2017

p.s. If you are a solopreneur and want to achieve deep-seated figures monthly … within a year or less. Log on to: http://www.entrepreneurilk.com … where the tribe of entrepreneurs meet.

Just Change ONE Thing

Posted in: Motivation- May 11, 2016 No Comments

Sometimes it seems like nothing works the way it should. If you’re a human, you have probably hit that point where work is no fun, relationship is a struggle and you don’t even feel comfortable in your body.

At times like these, changing your life can seem overwhelming. There’s so much to do…where do you even start?

It’s quite simple, really…just change ONE thing.

Read a magazine article you would never typically even consider. Try a new type of restaurant. Take a different route to work. Any simple change of scenery can shift your perspective, and has the potential to drastically transform your life.

Brainstorm new product ideas for your business. Try networking. Create a Master Mind group or maybe you need to get a new accountant or pay for skilled employees who will help grow the business.

It’s like a ship at sea…if it changes course even one degree, 100 miles later it’s in completely new waters.

Of course, the most profound shifts are the ones you make on the inside. Annoyance can easily be turned into fascination. Frustration can be flipped to become gratitude. Even anger can be transformed if you simply turn it into a song.

You don’t have to tackle the whole enchilada, just make one simple shift.

And the best part is…it’s all experimentation. If you don’t like your new perspective, you can always go back to your old one.

What “one-degree” shift can YOU make TODAY?

What Are Real Goals?

Posted in: Vision and Goals- Mar 30, 2016 No Comments
Goals for life and your business are important. Everyone knows this. That’s why there are goal-setting retreats, workshops, seminars and journals. If you never pick a point on the horizon, how do you know which direction to walk?

However, most people’s goals and even many business’s goals aren’t really their goals. Many people set goals in reaction to the responsibilities, expectations and demands they face in their life. Maybe your goal is to make six figures this year, but you are motivated to make that money because you have bills to pay and mouths to feed. Maybe your goal is to finish writing your book, but it’s not because you care about the book…you just want the approval of those who’ve said, “Hey, you should write a book!” 

Maybe you are striving to get that advanced degree, but it’s only to satisfy the prodding of your parents or you think it will give you more credibility as an entrepreneur and business owner.

Real goals are the ones that YOU actually care about. They light you up, give you energy and make you feel excited. They make you want to jump at 5 am so that you can get into your office as soon as possible to start working on an innovative business idea or start putting systems and processes in place. Real goals have nothing to do with expectation or obligation, and everything to do with what matters most to YOU. You know it is a real goal because the very thought of it excites you and brings a great big smile to your face at the very thought of accomplishing it. 

Of course, we’re bombarded every day with expectation and obligation. We have to react to a constant barrage of requests, demands and last-minute emergencies. And when those are handled, it’s time to rest so we can get up and do it all again tomorrow.

Well, I say that it’s time to break the cycle. It’s time to dream.

In order to get in touch with the things that will make your life amazing, you need to take quiet time to reflect on and listen to what it is you REALLY want. What is it that you really, really want for your life and for your business? 

Leaving your family and responsibilities for a long weekend to venture into the woods for a journey of self-exploration may not be feasible.  But you can start with a simple “sit-down”.  A “sit-down” is a five-minute meditation followed by 20 minutes of journaling. Ask yourself, “What do I really want?” The real answers will feel thrilling. Write them down. Circle the most exciting ones, put realistic deadlines next to them, and create your action plan.

Often our dreams feel far away, impossible to achieve, or unreachable for a variety of reasons we’ve made up in our minds, or others have told us.  But MANY goals are achievable when we think them through, plan them out in simple steps, and consistently allocate time to them. 

Life is too short to spend it chasing someone else’s goals or dismissing your own because someone else said it’s not possible.  Don’t’ wait another moment – pursue your real goals today.

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30 March 2016

Success Step 1: Set a Goal!

Posted in: Vision and Goals- Mar 20, 2016 No Comments

There are so many tips and tricks out there on how to best set and manage your goals, and at times it can all seem a bit… overwhelming.

The most important tip anyone can ever give you on goal-setting is this: Just set a goal.

Once your goal is set (and hopefully written down), it becomes a real thing. Before that, it is just a dream, an idea…something intangible in your mind. Once you state it clearly and write it down, your play is set in motion.

Setting your goal is the first step toward success, and thus the most important one. After that, the universe will align and conspire to assist you. Doors will open, opportunities will arise and things will start to fall into place. Before you know it momentum will be carrying you forward.

Of course, after you get started you can refine your goal, strategize how you will keep moving down the field, and fine tune how you handle the challenges you’ll encounter along the way. But you don’t need to know all these things to call the first play…just call it and get started.

As the old saying goes, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”

What goals will YOU kick off TODAY?

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20 March 2016

What Does Being the HERO in Your Life Mean?

Posted in: Motivation- Mar 10, 2016 No Comments
  • “I don’t have enough time in one day”
  • “There isn’t enough money.”
  • “I don’t have enough resources.”
  • “It’s just too complicated”
  • “My partner always expects me to understand”
  • “Why can’t he do it?”

I am sure you have found yourself using one or more of these complaints in a week. Complaining never seems to serve us. It does not solve the problem and it just leaves us felling more helpless than ever!

So why do we complain?

I have a theory…

Our complaints are our way of excusing ourselves from taking risks and moving forward. We justify our excuses for not taking action by means of so called believable complaints. However, no matter what, at the end of the day after all that complaining, you are still in the same position as you were before the seemingly valid ‘complaints’. If you unpack each of the complaints mentioned above and all the others in your life, you will discover that, although, they do represent difficulties, they are not truthfully valid reasons for not doing something. 

There is always a way around most complaints or difficulties, whether big or small. So the first step in moving forward is to recognize if your complaints are in fact excuses for you not living the life you want and for not running the successful business you dream of.

…What’s YOUR reason for complaining?

Are you willing to stop complaining and instead make the decision to be the HERO in your life?

Be different, stop complaining, stop making excuses and take charge of your destiny!

Commit to winning at work and succeeding at life. Strive to grow, improve, progress and reach your potential and in this way you will create a lasting impact in your life and leave a lasting impact on your world.

You can! You have come this far and I am sure you can go a little or a lot farther. 

In Love and Light

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10 March 2016

Top 10 Ways to Lead by Example

Posted in: Leadership- Mar 09, 2016 No Comments

Good leaders must lead by example. Through their actions, which are aligned with what they say, they become a person others want to follow. When leaders say one thing but do another, they erode trust, a critical element of productive leadership. Here are 10 of the dozens of ways to lead by example.

  • Take responsibility. Blame costs you your credibility, keeps team members on the defensive and ultimately sabotages real growth.
  • Be truthful. Inaccurate representation affects everyone. Show that honesty really IS the best policy.
  • Be courageous. Walk through fire (a crisis) first. Take calculated risks that demonstrate commitment to a larger purpose.
  • Acknowledge failure. It makes it OK for your team to do the same and defines failure as part of the process of becoming extraordinary.
  • Be persistent. Try, try again. Go over, under or around any hurdles to show that obstacles don’t define your company or team.
  • Create solutions. Don’t dwell on problems; instead be the first to offer solutions and then ask your team for more.
  • Listen. Ask questions. Seek to understand. You’ll receive valuable insights and set a tone that encourages healthy dialogue.
  • Delegate liberally. Encourage an atmosphere in which people can focus on their core strengths.
  • Take care of yourself. Exercise, don’t overwork and take a break. A balanced team, mentally and physically, is a successful team. Model it, encourage it, support it!
  • Roll up your sleeves. Like Alexander the Great leading his men into battle, you’ll inspire greatness in your company.

Good leaders achieve success because they encourage their people to progress and move forward with inspiration, motivation, excitement, trust, and a purposeful vision of the future and because … they lead by example. What they say and what they do match up. 

How do you measure as a leader in your personal life and in your business? 

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9 March 2016

Venturing Into The Unknown

Posted in: Motivation- Mar 03, 2016 No Comments

What is familiar and known is comfortable. We know what to expect. We know how the story goes. And we know how we will respond. This applies to our lives and our businesses. 

There is nothing wrong with being comfortable and content. It is nice and important to be able to rest up and enjoy what we have created and worked hard for, but the trouble sets in when we become too comfortable for too long periods of time. Why? Well when we are too comfortable we actually get bored, we become stagnant and although we know we need a change, by this stage we have become lazy, complacent and also to fearful to make a change; fearful of losing what we have.  

So, there are times throughout our lives when we must leave what we know, and venture into the unknown if we are to grow and progress. All the entrepreneurs I have ever met do want to improve, progress and move forward. Although there is no map for this vast wilderness, one is not wholly unprepared. You always have a guide to turn to namely your intuition.

Instead of relying on a map to guide you, you learn to “follow your instincts.” And those instincts lead you on a journey that is all your own. And what you discover along the way is who you really are and what you really love. Unrefined and un-mapped, the wilderness of your intuition leads you to discoveries and experiences you never would have had if you stayed where you were comfortable. 

In which areas of your life have you become too staid, rigid or stuck? What about your business? For how long have you been doing business the same way? Have you thought of the fact that if you introduced new systems, new processes, a new sales or marketing technique that it may actually increase your turnover and profits by a whole lot more.

Is it time that you go into the wilderness? What journey will you take that leads you to new discoveries and opportunities? Imagine what’s out there for you if you venture away from what’s familiar and comfortable and follow your intuition into the vast unknown.

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3 March 2016

Accessing the Power of Gratitude

Posted in: Motivation- Dec 26, 2015 No Comments

The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.

But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a word of thanks

We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.

That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.

Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.

There are many things to be grateful for: the beautiful seasons, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, courage, life partners, lifestyles, creative business, warm jackets, white beaches, the ability to read, travel, our health, pets. What’s on your list?

Some Ways to Practice Gratitude

  • Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.
  • Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.
  • Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your night-time routine.
  • Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.
  • When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.
  • Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.

As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.

My best wishes for days, months and years full of gratitude that will change your life and your business just by the sheer practice of acknowledging and giving thanks for all that is right and working for you!

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26 December 2015