I’m about to make somebody (you?) a lot of money because I’m about to give you an idea for raising your fees that will allow you to prove to yourself you’re leaving a LOT of money on the table. First, a story to set the table …
I’m planning on having carriage-wood garage doors put in the house, and I reach out to a company locally for a quote. First of all, it takes them two weeks to respond with pricing — TWO WEEKS! Second, they don’t come by to talk about what I need, want, etc. They E-MAIL ME a very poorly scanned document that has some various styles, wood types, and windows, asking me to pick one. (Wait, it gets better.)
In the e-mail the sales rep — and I’ll call her that simply for the purpose of communicating the story because there was absolutely NO selling going on here — tells me I might not want to put glass windows in because (wait for it …) they “cost a lot more.” Well, doofus, I never said I want cheap. You just quoted $25,000 for the doors. Do I look like I’m trying to pinch a penny here? Of course, there has been ZERO follow-up, and it’s been over 10 days at this point. I think it goes without saying I’m going elsewhere.
Stop being your own worst enemy
To say this is grossly dysfunctional, negligent, and unbelievably stupid would be putting it mildly — yet over and over again I see small business owners routinely burning clients and opportunities, putting their failures and struggles down to the economy, cheap clients, competition, etc., etc., etc., when they are CREATING their own barriers to allowing money to flow to them. Worse yet, the “salesperson” is co-owner of the company — clearly someone who should know better. So here are three things you can do to INSTANTLY make more money:
- Never deliver a proposal without YOU being stapled to it. Stop e-mailing quotes. Maybe for small deals, but a big sale? You’re NUTS to do anything less.
- Create a sales PROCESS and make sure you can A) respond to leads FAST … like the same HOUR they come in, and B) follow up, follow up, follow up. You ought to work a lead at LEAST two to three weeks before you give up or until they flat out tell you no. And THEN if they “go dark,” you should still be doing drip marketing to them for YEARS beyond your initial engagement.
- ALWAYS present a “luxury” or premium version of what you sell. If it’s constructed properly and makes any sense at all, 20 percent will say yes to it. Doing so allows you to raise your prices without raising your prices. If nothing else, it will act as a contrast to the “basic” version of what you sell. And if 50 percent or more take the luxury option, raise your BASIC plan price to the premium and raise the rates on your premium version. Seriously, I just gave you a VERY powerful strategy to make more money.
The power of being the most expensive option
Look — if there’s someone else in your market right now who is charging MORE than you are, then YOU can charge more too. Price is not the deciding factor. It is ONE factor that plays into a decision, but rarely is it THE deciding factor when buying IT services.
Remember, there’s no power in being second cheapest, but MOST EXPENSIVE actually IS a good position to strive for. The most expensive is automatically assumed to be the BEST unless you show up looking “cheap” and disorganized. Tiffany’s cannot send you home with your $50,000 diamond ring in a standard box. Their store cannot look like Target, nor can their sales professionals dress like it’s casual Friday.