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Some people have little difficulty attracting and maintaining clients who have higher discretionary funds to spend for solutions. Others can’t get to first base. If you are one of those and want clients that can pay more and you currently aren’t attracting them, here is a list of 10 barriers that might be interfering.
Higher paying clients are easier to work with, appreciate your work more, pay quicker and are more profitable.
Whenever I am asked by a independent profession how to get a client to pay more money, the first answer tends to be “you can’t.” It is very difficult to raise your rates with your existing clients. You generally need to find new, higher- paying clients.
1. Equal stature. People usually take the time to listen to people who are just as important as they are. Are you on their listening level? Dress the way they do, even if you deal with them only over the phone. Speak in their language. Show the same type of authority and posture. Avoid jargon and words they aren’t familiar with, yet use ones that they are. Talk across or equal not down or up. Take control of the relationship. This may seem to aggressive, however, this is the way you raise yourself to their equal.
2. Thoroughly know their challenges and what solutions your service/product provides. If you can’t relate to their “world” then they will not let you in. They are proud of their “world” because they made it so.
3. Be friendly with all those that surround them. Administrative secretary, receptionist, any of their gatekeepers. Yes, they will report about you on your behavior.
4. The higher the ladder you go, the more likely they will be a visionary. This means they are more concerned about the future and will talk and think in those terms. Visionaries are not price sensitive so don’t even place that on your radar screen with them. Know what their visions are, support those visions in any way you can. If you have a product or service that can make their business better, you will have a sale. Remember though, it’s their perspective of “better” and not yours.
5. The higher you go, the more they expect in great service and additional services outside the scope of what you provide everyone else.
6. ALWAYS keep your promises before and after the sale and they will keep the relationship. Break it once, yes, usually just once and you’re history.
7. Don’t brown nose. They smell it a mile away. They will either quickly turn you away or play you for entertainment and then toss you away. Once you get this label you can almost hang it up in their circle unless you fess up to your inappropriate behavior.
8. They don’t have the word “mistake” in their vocabulary. Everything to them is a “learning lesson” and is connected to a price tag. If you are even harboring some person beliefs of making mistakes, they will sense this as fear. And since fear has a special energy/vibration they have keen senses for it.
9. Their first response to your proposal will always be “how can they do it in house themselves.” Expect to be able to demonstrate the specialness and if you can particular show how it can be completed in-house, the more brownie points you earn. The higher your expertise or specialties the less chance they can “create it in house.” This is because higher paying clients tend to gravitate to specialists.
10. The higher the clientele, the better their leveraging skills are. If they can figure out how to leverage it better and cheaper, you will lose. This isn’t always true, most times if they have too much on their plate already and don’t want to spend their focus time away AND they like you, you can get the sale.
11. “No” is a test. Don’t take anything for granted. Flexibility and diversity are important in riding out the storm.
12. Find clients to whom your work is not only valuable, but essential to their goals.
13. Know your worth and stand by it.
14. Remove the “under earner” mind set.
15. Make it easy for them to work with you. Remove any hoops or extra steps that take up their time.
16. Decide in advance what you’re going to do if they don’t accept your higher fee.
17. Presentation level needs to be on their level or perceived to be there.
18. Rely more on referrals for this market.
19. Be confident and know you can attract them. Feel and allow the possibility without question — 100%. Remove any doubt.
© 2004, Catherine Franz. All rights reserved.