You’re at a networking event where you meet a small business owner like yourself. After an extensive conversation over light bites and drinks, she discovers that your products and services are exactly what she needs to grow her business. You schedule a follow-up meeting to discuss your offerings in detail. You are excited about the possibility of working with her, because of the immediate connection.
In preparation for the meeting, you compose an informal questionnaire. Your goal is to put together a detailed proposal that outlines how your products and services will benefit her company. Fast forward after your amazing meeting, mixed with more great conversation and exchange of ideas, to the proposal stage.
Your proposal is complete with project scope, timeline, completion indicators and price. You hit it off with this potential client so much that you are giving her a significant discount, forty percent to be exact. She is excited about the proposal and wants to work with you, but states that your prices are too high. Insert confused emoji here. Not only have you slashed your prices to gain this client, but your prices were already competitive, set at the lower end of the spectrum. You must now make a decision. Do you reduce your price more to gain this client? Do you explain your cost projections in hopes they will accept your proposal or do you walk away from this potential relationship?
Here are ten tips that will help you attract higher paying clients.
- Raise your prices. This is a simple approach that supports common sense, but is often ignored by even the most business savvy person. If you want higher paying clients, you need to charge more. People pay more for products and services for two reasons. They understand the value and they can afford it.
- Go where the higher paying clients are. More business deals are made on the golf course than anywhere else. If you want higher paying clients, go where they go. The golf course, luxury hotels and restaurants, exclusive events, and country clubs are a few good places to start.
- Create a brand that is synonymous with luxury and quality. Like attracts like. Create a brand message that shows you understand what higher paying clients want and need.
- Know your worth. If you don’t know your value, no one else will. One of the biggest challenges with women entrepreneurs is lack of confidence. Believe in yourself and be able to communicate that through your products and services as well as your brand message, both for your business and yourself.
- Solicit clients who understand the value of your products and services. Don’t try to sell a diamond to someone with a cubic zirconia mentality. If they don’t understand value, they won’t pay the price. They are also not good for your brand. Remember, like attracts like. Low paying clients attract low paying clients.
- Provide superior products and services that are worth talking about. Your portfolio should speak for itself. Don’t expect higher paying clients if you aren’t providing an excellent product.
- Ask for referrals from your current ideal clients. If your higher paying clients are pleased, they will refer you to their friends and colleagues. Make it known that you are accepting new clients and ask for referrals. Be specific with what you are looking for in a client.
- Fire lower paying clients who are high demanding. In small business, time is your greatest resource. You don’t always have a lot of it so you must spend it wisely. It is better to have fewer higher paying clients than more lower paying clients.
- Determine your ideal client. Write down what you want in a client, including payment capabilities, industries, etc. If you know what you want, it is easier to look for it.
- To help you answer the questions outlined in the above scenario, learn to say “no” often. Don’t start relationships with people who don’t know your value.