If thinking about increasing your prices causes some fear and anxiety, you should know that’s perfectly normal. In fact, in the CASH Model I talk about the fact that “Self-Confidence” always comes after “Courage”. It takes that bit of courage to raise your fees so that you can build confidence in your own value.
When you are pricing your products and services the first thing you have to think about is the value. Ask yourself:
“What is the tangible value I am creating for someone else? What is this product or service worth to them?”
If 15 minutes of time with you helps someone to overcome a major obstacle in their personal or business life – what is the value of that?
One of the easiest ways to figure out this value is to ASK. In programs like The Sales Pilot, I am constantly asking things like: “Did you make a sale this week?”, “Have you acquired a new customer?”, “Did this module help you close new or repeat business?”.
This week’s Shop Talk Video is all about How to Set Prices so You Get What You’re REALLY Worth. Have a look and then tell me: How have you gotten out of your own head and demonstrated the courage to charge what you’re worth?
Did you know that it takes a lot more money, effort and time to get a new customer than it does to keep an existing customer?
I bet if you look at how you spend your time in your business you’ll find that 80% of your time is spent on getting just 20% of your sales when, in fact, it should be the opposite. You should be generating 80% of your sales with 20% of your efforts.
By nurturing your relationships with your existing customers.
Serving your current customers really well will make it easier for them to continue doing business with you. This is such an important part of your business that we actually cover it in both The Sales Pilot AND The Content Pilot.
When I was a child, I had all kinds of problems with my ears. Tubes, surgery, ear infections and the doctors always said, “You can’t get water in your ears!” which meant, you don’t get to learn how to swim.
My Mom doesn’t know how to swim either. I remember going to the beach and as soon as the water reached my knees she would be yelling at me to come back so nothing would happen to me. She passed on her fear of the water to me.
A few years ago I signed up for swimming lessons. When I mustered up my courage to show up, the instructor ended up failing me three times. I took it as a sign that I was not meant to learn.
You might have noticed, I spend a lot of time on the water here in Florida, on our boat. This is risky business.
I have a life jacket and a husband who can swim but there is still a part of me that looks at that dark, deep blue water and feels butterflies in my belly.
When I go home to Ottawa in April, I will start swimming lessons. One of the members of The Pilot Project owns The Aqua Life Swim Academy and Stephanie, the owner, is going to teach me how to swim.
The very thought of this makes me uncomfortable.
I know from past experience that this will not be easy. I can float, but moving from floating to sitting is a maneuver that eludes me and causes me to splash and gasp and lose control.
You might be wondering why I am sharing this?
I am sharing because swimming is a skill. It is something that can be taught and can be learned if you stick with it and do the work.
Are you staring at the water, knowing you need to learn about numbers, selling, operations, social media or are you jumping in with the willingness to be COMPLETELY uncomfortable and learn?
I am going to get wet and I am going to struggle. I am going to fight and not enjoy learning how to do something that I am not good at. It is going to be hard and frustrating and I am going to fail the first time I try to do a lot of things.
It’s going to be scary to put my head under water.
It’s going to be scary to give up the floaties.
I am going to demonstrate ultimate vulnerability because learning how to swim could be a life or death situation for me.
What about you? Are there life or death skills you need to learn in your business?
As I celebrate another year of life I have decided to take on this big monster and learn. Will you join me and take on something that makes you uncomfortable too?
I have two things for you today.
1. A video with the five most important books I have ever read. These can help you learn something new – guaranteed.
2. A brand new webinar on March 19th where I am going to teach you some strategies about running your business that might help you face your fears too.
Then, you click a button and give them access to ALL your information…
Then they populate a canned email like this one below guaranteed to make you look like a hero and blast it out to your network.
Not so fast grasshopper.
Social networks are meant to be social.
That means if you are sending this to me and your 500+ other LinkedIn connections you have just made a very tactical error. The majority of these people have NO CLUE as to the professional rating you deserve.
All you have done is left them wondering why your judgment is so poor to even ask for a rating.
2. Skills and Endorsements
LinkedIn has added a simple and easy way for you to give someone an endorsement based on the skills they have in business.
This seemed like a good idea except for the fact that LinkedIn started populating these big blue boxes on your profile and most people just keep clicking add without even considering whether the endorsement is appropriate.
Clients ask me all the time why people are endorsing them for things they don’t even do! Good question. Why would someone do that?
If you are going to endorse someone, make sure you pay attention and select skills that are applicable to them and what they really do – otherwise your good gesture is not of much use to them.
This is my favourite part of LinkedIn. This is where you can go and write a real legitimate recommendation for someone.
The problem here is simple: People email their entire list of connections, all at the same time and ask to be recommended instead of asking your customers when the time is right.
Stop asking people to recommend you when they haven’t done business with you.
Start writing GOOD recommendations for people whom you have done business with. Unlike ratings and endorsements, a good recommendation is of tremendous value to you when it is well written and comes from a credible source.
Notice I have received 28, and I have given 27. If you haven’t recently given someone a recommendation that really deserves it, go do it.
Be detailed, specific and show the outcome or benefit they provided you.
LinkedIn is a tremendous professional networking tool when used appropriately. Stop getting caught up in the hype of a five star rating and how many endorsements you can get and focus on building solid relationships.
Have you received a request from someone to recommend or endorse them on LinkedIn but aren’t really sure what the difference is or when you should do this? I set the record straight in this video below.
The Internet has made it easy for anyone to hang a shingle, open for business, and begin selling products and services. Your barrier to entry is much easier and affordable than opening a traditional bricks and mortar business and, because of this, there are WAY more people starting businesses than ever before.
This means that your ability to be unique and clear in your why is more important then ever if you really want to stand out.
When I first started my consulting business and decided to help people with Social Media, I knew I couldn’t be the same as everyone else if I wanted my business to thrive.
There had to be a way to be uniquely different and positioned from the competition.
When you are trying to be unique and different you can’t do business the exact same way as everyone else or you won’t stand out. You will be the same, just like them, and that doesn’t give your customer a compelling reason to choose you.
What makes you different is what sells.
Stop trying to be the same as other successful people and start looking at it this way: What is that thing that makes you different from the rest?
Let’s look at my business as an example for you to follow:
Social Media Experts are a dime a dozen so why even bother, right?
Anyone can say they are an expert. I see people with 300 Twitter followers boasting they are the “best” at Social Media.
So what set me apart?
When I started teaching Social Media to business owners it wasn’t just about Social Media. That’s what made me different.
I am NOT an expert at Social Media. I don’t know EVERYTHING when it comes to Social Media but I do know this:
I have incredible retail subject matter expertise when it comes to building a business, measuring what matters, attracting customers, and closing sales.
I also understand how people use their mobile device and how to leverage that device addiction so that you can stay connected to your customer and prospect.
I innately understand how Social Media bridges it all together creating as secret sauce for success in business.
And, I know that teaching you how to install a fancy app on your Facebook page is NOT the key to helping you create sustainable success in your business. But, teaching you how to build relationships and get clarity and confidence in what you do can.
This video talks about why I got started, how to create your own category and really stand out.
You can do this too whether you’re in start up or already have a successful business.
Start by asking yourself these three questions:
1. What am I really good at?
2. How am I different from my competition?
3. Why do your customers love doing business with you?
If you understand these three questions, you are on your way to creating your own category and standing out amongst the competition.
Share your answer to one of these questions in the comments below!
I recently had an experience that caused me to say something I don’t often say. “I will never do business there again.”
I was angry and frustrated, but, more than anything else, the situation really made me wonder:
Why is it that so many people in the service industry feel the need to puff up and behave in a belligerent way towards their customers instead of coming from a place of service?
Here is what happened:
A few weeks ago, Gretchen had an upset stomach so I took her to ASH, otherwise known as Animal Specialty Hospital of South West Florida. They have been our “go-to” place for any vet needs over the past couple of years when we are down here.
They checked her out, prescribed some antibiotics and anti-nausea products, and gave me some low fat food for her then, sent us on our way.
Once the prescribed food was gone we went back to her normal diet as instructed at the hospital. A few days later, I noticed that she did not seem to have as much energy on the homemade food I have been making so I went back to buy more of the food they gave me.
When I explained why I was there, the receptionist was unsure how to help me because she said they don’t sell that food.
Now, this came as a bit of a shock to me because they gave me the food (technically I bought it from them) just a few weeks earlier and she was unable to tell me where I could go and buy more.
She asked me to wait while she went into the back to speak to someone and try to get me more information.
To my surprise, out came a vet tech who was very determined to give me a lecture rather than service.
Before I even had a chance to speak she basically read me the riot act on why they don’t sell this food and how you have to get it prescribed by your regular vet because they don’t stock enough to sell to everyone, and they only have enough to use for their patients.
Her tone was super condescending and I could feel myself wanting to tell her to take her six cans of food that she was so ungraciously allowing me to buy and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. But I didn’t…
After she was done with her lecture, she proceeded to tell me she could order the food for me with their regular inventory order if I wanted.
I didn’t think my jaw could drop any lower than it already had, but it did. I told her no thank you and left.
I could have made a scene, but there was no need because two things happened when she was going off on her tangent:
I decided to get a regular vet who would treat me nicely.
I decided there was no way in hell I would order this very premium and very expensive dog food from them.
This situation could (and should) have been handled in a very different way.
The young woman could have come out and treated me nicely. She could have explained that although they do not carry it on-site to retail, they would be happy to order it with their next inventory shipment, and how many cases would I like.
Instead, she ticked me off to the point that I will no longer take my dogs there unless it is an emergency and I have no choice.
That means, the $700 I spent a few weeks ago when Gretchen had an upset tummy will go to another vet next time.
Take a look at this video I did a while back on the #1 Reason Your Customers May Be Walking Instead of Buying:
And, just as important as you understanding this, your team members or employees are an extension of your business model and they need to know as well. Do they understand that their behaviour can help you build a business or lose sales as quickly as they open their mouths?
If not, you need to make sure this is a part of their training. Help them understand the right and wrong ways to handle a situation.
In a time when so many people complain about the economy, my advice is this – treat your customers well and your business will be okay.
One more thing, if you are struggling with finding the passion you once had for your business is dwindling, this can have a negative impact on your level of service. On December 4th at 12pm I will be sharing some of my secrets to keeping that passion for your business alive and well during a Free Webinar. I’d love it if you joined me. www.LisaLarter.com/Webinar