How strategic are you being about what you sell to your clients?
When you are struggling to attract enough reliable and predictable business, it can mean you do your best to stay flexible and open for any new work. It can feel that by offering a big menu of services, quoting for bespoke work, and creating lots of online courses or workshops, you are offering the right things to the right people at the right time.
But the reality is that you may be spreading yourself too thin, often with clients on lots of different price points, and making your business more complicated and harder than it needs to be.
Many years ago, I used to create something new several times a year. I was more in love with the creation process than I was with digging into the sales strategy of my business, and when I wasn’t creating new things to sell, I would be either promoting or delivering, and consequently bounced from product launch to the next. This not only meant my business was very transactional and price sensitive, it also meant that I was working too hard for the results I was getting, and this way of working contributed greatly to my peri-meno health crisis in my 40’s.
So I know your pain if you’ve ended up with a business with clients on different price points and a huge list of products or programmes you’ve created over the years. It can feel messy and that you are out of control of your business. But you are not alone! Not being strategic about the products and services you offer is one of the huge opportunities for growth that we often miss.
And when we get it right, the results can be huge.
Sell the products and services that truly meet the needs of your clients at the right stage of their journey with you, and you’ll see an increase in conversions, a boost in client loyalty, and more consistent and predictable revenue.
Let me explain and share what goes in my business today.
Today, I have a core product – some may call this a signature programme – called Momentum, a one year business growth programme. It’s a brilliant programme but I know that the time and money investment means that it’s rare that someone would buy this on impulse. I also know I am one of many thousands of business coaches out there, so someone has to have a level of trust in me, as well as get to know my style and what I stand for. I simply can’t sell this, expecting everyone to say yes the first time they discover me.
So alongside Momentum, we also have Ignite, a one day business growth workshop that I have been running for several years. It’s a low risk purchase, whilst still giving high value, and also allows someone to experience me and my team.
Plus I now have Leap, a brand new 28-day business accelerator, designed to give you the clarity and roadmap you need to build a better run, more rewarding business. Again, it’s a lower risk purchase than Momentum, but higher than Ignite, and meets people where they are at, i.e. needing help with their sales and reducing the stress levels in how they run their businesses.
But here’s the thing; both these lower risk purchases have been designed to be pre-cursors to Momentum; people don’t have to buy Momentum if they attend Ignite or Leap, but if they want to continue to work with me and my team, it’s a natural progression. So the job of both these products is not necessarily to be big revenue generators, but to help give solutions to my clients before they feel ready to commit to Momentum.
How do you apply this to your business? Now, of course, my product strategy is not a cookie cutter solution and I wouldn’t expect it to work for you without knowing what goals you have and the market place you work in. But the principles of working out an efficient and effective flow to your products and services are the same.
To get you started in your thinking, here are three practical steps you can take to make sure you’re selling the right products to the right people at the right time:
1) Know your target market
This may seem obvious, but the real difference you can make here is knowing the journey of your ideal client; mapping out what your client needs at the different stages of the problem you can solve for them. The better you understand this journey, the more effective you’ll be able to start a relationship with them and for them to become a longer term client who buys from you again and again.
2) Develop your core product or service and be on a mission to make it as good as you can
If something is working, don’t distract yourself with new, shiny ideas. Get feedback, make your product or service better, go deeper with the results that you get for your clients and develop the systems to enable you to deliver this product or service as simply and easily as possible.This will also enable you to keep your core product relevant and adapt as your clients’ needs may evolve over time, plus it gives your client a simple, yet effective menu to choose from.
3) Back engineer new product ideas from your core product
Diversify too quickly or end up bespoking your core product for too many clients, and you are going to spread yourself too thin again. I get that you may like to be creative in your business and you enjoy doing new things, but don’t let this be to the detriment of your goals and the business success you want. So before you get excited about a new way of working with your clients, sanity check the idea against the journey of your ideal client; are you meeting them where they are at, or is your creativity distracting you.
If you are interested in knowing more and deep diving into what the right product strategy is for you and your business, then I invite you to check out my business accelerator program. It’s designed specifically to help business owners like you grow their businesses in a smart and sustainable way, and our second module is all about simplifying your sales and what you sell to your clients.
Plus it’s a great opportunity to work with me, an experienced business coach and mentor, who can make sure you are on the right track, especially when there are so many distractions out there with regards to product creation and new ideas!
If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, I encourage you to check out the programme and see if it’s the right fit for you. Click the link here to learn more and book your place.
Until next time,
There are many good reasons to offer a payment plan to your customers, but there are also a lot of assumptions that many business owners make about how they go about offering them, particularly whether they ought to be charging their clients more for taking up the payment plan option.
In this article, I want to debunk some myths and misconceptions, and help you see how positioning your payment plans can actually benefit both you and your clients.
Don’t see payment plans as recurring income
I know many business owners like to have a consistent flow of income, but to see payment plans as recurring income will actually cheat your sales mindset.
A payment plan is accepting payment for a one-off product or service; once sold, you are delivering it for a specific finite time.
Recurring income has a completely different job to do as it’s revenue from a product or service that a client continues to use each month or year, with no specific finite time until the client decides to stop buying.
Many years ago, I used to feel safer knowing that I had money coming in each month and thus was very happy for a client to take up a payment plan, but what this would do would let me off the hook of selling more over the coming months. I would make myself feel more comfortable than I actually was and would even stop selling when I saw a healthy chunk of money coming to me over the next few months. The reality was that I was spreading the money out, rather than growing the business revenue.
Don’t charge your clients more for taking a payment plan
Yes, I get the argument that it can cost the business when payment plans are defaulted or card payments don’t work, especially if you are dealing with hundreds or even thousands payment plans.
But if you know that there is always a percentage of card payments that need sorting each month, then see this is a cost to your business, in the same way your web hosting and internet usage is. Either look at how you can improve your business processes to automate as much as possible, or factor this into your overall prices.
Plus there are certain laws and regulations you need to be aware of.
In the UK, The Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012 is now in place which made it unlawful for “merchants from charging a fee in addition to the advertised price of a transaction on the basis of a consumer’s choice of payment instrument (for example, credit card, debit card or e-money)”.
I asked Suzanne Dibble, founder of the Small Business Legal Academy and my go-to legal advisor for her advice on the matter.
“Payment plans or instalment agreements could fall foul of Consumer Credit legislation if more than 12 instalments are charged or interest (or any other fee) is charged. It has been suggested that if offering payment plans to consumers (which includes sole traders and partnerships), you express the instalment price as the full price and discount the price for pay in full, so as to be able to argue that no interest or other fees have been charged for the instalment credit. However there is no guidance that this rather artificial way of structuring things would keep you safe.”
If you are based outside of the UK, do check your own country’s regulations in regards to payment plans.
Do see payment plans as a good way of helping your clients
Your clients should never feel shamed into taking the payment plan option. If they want to choose to spread their payments over a period of time, there is often a genuine reason for it.
They may not have the money right here, right now, so don’t shame them for not having the cash. Let them make their own decisions over payments depending on their circumstances.
They may not trust you enough to pay up front and that’s OK, too. Trust is always earnt before it is given, so if your new client wants to start to see results before they are willing to commit to paying everything up front, then start giveing them the results that you are promising.
If you are attracting the kind of clients who take up payment plans as a try-before-you-buy, ie they cancel in the first month or two, and you are getting financially burnt in the process, then you have to take a hard look at your client attraction process and eligibility, as well as the quality of your product.
Perhaps you are either willing to accept anyone as a client or that you are over-promising on your product offer.
Do reward your clients for paying in full
If you can’t charge more for your payment plan option, then flip this around and reward those who want to pay upfront. I would also advise that you would want to have your clients pay you upfront if it’s possible; better to have the money in your bank, than theirs as it saves on invoice chasing at best and debt collection at worst.
Plus I like to think that when you have the money up front, it puts you in a position where you have to deliver. They’ve put their trust in you so make sure you not only give them the goods, but exceed their expectations.
You can reward them with a simple discount, although don’t be too generous! 10% may sound like a nice figure, but if you haven’t factored this discount into your overall revenue goals, you could find yourself short. Do your sums and factor any discounts into your price structure so you can achieve your sales targets.
If you don’t want to discount, or the margins are already too tight to discount further, then you can reward them by giving them access to a lower priced digital product, discount code for partner products or services (a great way of forging client referrals and recommendation with other businesses) or some other gift that does not take your time or additional costs.
Do let your clients make the decision which option they take
It would be easy to now decide that you want all your clients to take the full payment, but going heavy with the sales to persuade them to say no to the payment plan may mean you lose the sale completely.
We have a saying in our Momentum community; be committed but not attached to the outcome. Make your offer, talk through the options available but stay unattached to what your client decides. People love to buy, but often hate being sold to so think about how you position your offer so that your client feels they genuinely have the choice, rather than being bullied into it.
Do write about your payment plan options in your marketing campaigns
If you are launching a product online or running a marketing campaign, deciding when you talk about the payment plan option presents some great reasons for people to click your emails or check out your sales page.
Write about your payment plan options somewhere in your email campaign, and explain the benefits of taking advantage of it.
A technique that I have seen many big internet marketers use is to bring in another payment plan that is spread over a longer period of time at the last minute – just before the shopping cart closes – which brings the risk down and helps those people who are still sitting on the fence to say yes to the offer. (Do make sure you’ve read the advice from Suzanne above about extending payment plans for longer than 12 months.)
Do offer payment plans when your client can no longer pay their invoices
We are heading towards difficult times for some and the cost of living is on the increase. You may find more clients have agreed to buy something from you but then over a period of weeks may not be able to pay you for whatever reason.
Collecting money owed for work already delivered, or part delivered, can be a horrid and difficult process for both parties, but communication is key. So rather than write off outstanding invoices or threaten legal proceedings too early, talk about spreading payments over a longer period of time. If you do go down this route, have the conversation face to face – zoom or phone – rather than rely on emails and ensure everything is documented and agreed, with clear payment terms and invoicing dates confirmed with both parties to avoid any further disputes.
In summary, view your payment plan options as both a sales and marketing opportunity to help more clients buy your products or services, as well as a way of offering good customer service. Set yourself and your clients up for success, rather than penalise them for taking the payment option.
Ready to discover how well you are set up to attract more rewarding and better paid work?
Answer 21 yes/no questions based on your current business activities that will show you what you may be missing and what to focus on to get your next stage of growth.
I’m writing about boundaries this month; those often invisible lines that we need to have to protect and fuel our time and energy. Last week I wrote about the 4 work boundaries to increasing profitability and avoiding burnout. This week, I want to shine the light on how clear your legal and professional working relationship needs are set with your clients.
When so much attention is given to sales and marketing, the legal processes and terms of engagement of a new client starting to work with you are often overlooked. For some of you, it’s a lack of awareness. After all, what you don’t know, you don’t know. For others, it can feel dull, confusing or perhaps a little scary.
And I’m here to tell you that none of that needs to happen.
There’s no shame in not knowing what you aren’t even aware of. And if you have been shying away from this area of your business (or even burying your head in the sand!), then I want you to know that it is far easier and simpler than you may be making it out to be.
In this week’s article, I have broken down the three documents to use during your onboarding process with new clients that set up your Power Partnership working relationship. With these in place, you will find a real shift in your business, no matter what it is that you actually do with them or for them.
First of all, what is a Power Partnership™?
Partnership Power™ is the phrase that I use to teach my clients how to sell and work with clients from a place of equal power.
When you let your work and personal boundaries slip, you start to give up your power and this can lead to some clients beginning to take liberties with you. Sometimes this shows up as simply not turning up to meetings on time or not giving you what you need in order to do your work, such as completed questionnaires. With others, they may start asking for discounts or add-ons to what you’ve already agreed.
When you start saying ‘no problem’ to them, you allow your power to shift away from you even more and the relationship has the danger of quickly becoming toxic; behaviour such as unpaid invoices going unpaid to start or cancelling meetings without notice.
But take too much power over your clients, dictate your terms and not show any flexibility or compassion when needed, you will come across as arrogant, cold or dismissive of their needs. This, of course, would start pushing away clients and your business will suffer.
Setting clear working relationship boundaries doesn’t mean you need to become Queen Bitch. Putting the right legal and terms of engagement in place is about creating the space and container for both and your client to work side by side, in partnership and in service with each other, rather than you becoming the servant.
Let’s dive into the three things that will give you this container.
1) Terms of Service
Whatever you sell, your clients have to be aware of the parameters of your professional working relationship; basically, getting clear on what it is that they’ve actually bought.
If you don’t set the rules at the start, your client won’t know when they are stepping over the mark or requesting something that you can’t or don’t want to deliver on. Remember you are in service to them, rather than taking on a servant role.
The specifics of your working relationship need to include:
- Exact outline of your service and/or programme. If you’ve done this via a proposal, then this should be pretty clear. But if you’ve sold via a conversation or click on your website, then having a welcome pack or email to confirm what it is that your client is receiving from you, is critical. You may have told them on the phone the details or have it listed on your website, but your clients are human; they won’t have heard or read every detail so it’s important that you clarify this at the start of your working relationship to ensure their expectations are met and they is no ambiguity on what was on offer.
- Cancellation policy. In the UK, anything sold that your client hasn’t seen in person (which is anything you sell, unless you have an in-person gallery or shop that you are selling from), gives them the right to a 14 day cooling off period. But what happens if they no-show or they want to cancel a contract or workshop? How do you deal with emergency situations when they genuinely can’t keep their agreed time? Is there a charge in place when they don’t? If you are in any doubt that you need to have clear cancellation or postponement clauses in your terms, then I always recommend you take inspiration from your dentist; you’d never be able to cancel an appointment at the last minute without a financial penalty. Why should you be any different?
- Confidentiality. Is this important to highlight in your client work? Do they need reassurance of the level of confidentiality and how you will manage this?
- Payment terms. When do you expect payment and how? It’s not good enough to let your clients pay you when it suits them. You either set up a pay-before-we-start-work-together process or invoice with 5 days payment terms, slightly longer perhaps if you are dealing with a finance team in an organisation, but certainly not 90 days which I’ve seen one of my own clients feel obligated to agree to.
These terms of service don’t need to be long and legal. You can create a very personable welcome pack or letter that highlights the promise you are making to your client and the level of service you are giving them, without lots of small print.
For those of you who work directly as a coach, consultant, trainer or therapist, I do recommend you get your clients to sign one, rather than just email them a copy for reference, before you start working together because it means they’ve read it and acknowledged how your relationship is going to work. There are some good, inexpensive options such as Hellosign that make this signing process work easily online.
2) Terms and conditions
Technically, there’s very little difference between a Terms of Service and a Terms and Conditions. Many businesses will refer their clients to one document and contract.
But I like to split them apart because I find that many of you reading my articles run businesses that involve personal relationships with your clients. Simply having a long, legal contract as your only form of service or programme confirmation, can be rather daunting for your client. They may even be scared off or feel it’s all rather too serious if this is their first time working with someone like you. On the other end of the scale, only having a Terms of Service welcome pack can mean you miss out on some important legal points that protect both you and your clients.
So for clarity, I am referring to your Terms of Service as a read-friendly document that confirms your client working relationship; a welcome pack or letter or proposal. Your Terms and Conditions is a statement of both you and your clients’ legal rights. This is the document that is needed to protect you both in case of a breakdown of your working relationship, unforeseen circumstances that mean you may not be able to deliver what you’ve sold and cover things such as IP, professional indemnity and data protection.
Now I am sure you would never want or even imagine a breakdown of a working relationship. But the truth is that it happens. And when it does happen, it usually happens at the worst possible time. So it is critical that you have clear and legal terms and conditions set up for your business and have them both listed on your website, and have them sent to your clients at the start of the working relationship.
If you are a UK Business and want some well written templates to work from, then I can highly recommend The Small Business Legal Academy which is where I’ve got all my contracts and terms of service documents from.
(Please note: the above link is an affiliate link and if you make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. I recommend this service because it’s something that I have already purchased, use in my own business and wholeheartedly recommend.)
3) Fair Play Agreement
This third document may be overkill for some of you, but for those of you who are about to embark on a long term working relationship or consultancy project, then a Fair Play Agreement document can be a really useful addition to your onboarding process.
I have to give credit to one of my clients for this name; Jon Norton from http://www.barefootaccounting.co.uk/ came up with this name to use in his accountancy practice and I love it. You, of course, can come up with your own name and version.
What this document gives your client is a clear outline of what you both agree to do for each other to enable a successful outcome. It is particularly useful for professional services, consultants or design companies who have used a proposal to confirm the exact nature of the project or contract, and then want to highlight some key working practices during the onboarding process.
This may include some of the following:
- Support times and access to you. How do your clients reach you whilst working with you? If you don’t want them calling you on your mobile number, why do you have it on your business card or email signature? What response time do you promise for emails or phone messages?
- Information from the client. What ‘homework’ or information do you expect your client to give you by when? If you are working to tight deadlines or managing a design project for them, and you can only deliver based on what your client gives, being clear on what you need and when, will help prevent project creep or any blame that you are at fault. Rather than have to become Queen Bitch and quote any legal obligations, you can use this agreement to keep in your Power Partnership.
- Expectations of how people are treated. You may have an assistant or a number of associates that will work with your client, so it may be that you want to ensure the right level of trust and respect is given to your team members.
Although not a legal document, it is something that I would recommend asking your client to sign, as above with your Terms of Service.
Having all three of these documents in place not only protect you and your client, but create a strong set of working relationship boundaries. Each time I help our clients put these in place in their business, there is a visible difference to the way they work within weeks.
Yes, they can take some thinking out. But do the work and you have a clear and professional onboarding process that sets the tone for a sustainable and profitable working relationship.
And as a final note, these aren’t just to be used with your new clients. If you need to get some (or all!) of your clients realigned with your new working relationship boundaries, then communicating these with them will only show you in better professional light. They set the tone for working together sustainably in the future, and can always be a great reason for bringing some more painful clients to the end 😉
Let me know what you end up putting in place and what impact these documents have on your business.
Until next time, do less, be more, play bigger.
When a client spends money with you, do you deliver what you promise?
Of course, you do!
But if you are like 80% of business owners who sell their expertise and talent, you probably deliver far more than what was expected of you.
Over delivery is a common problem and not only does it mean you work harder than you need to and puts you on the path to burnout, but it also affects your profitability and your ability to grow your business.
Let me show you how.
Example #1 Corporate trainer & executive coach working in the tech industry
The last few years have been good. Business has turned up when they needed it (but only just in time, to be honest!). But at the end of last year, they felt exhausted. She’d been to 15 different cities and 4 different countries to deliver her training and executive coaching and she felt out of control over who needed the follow-up reports she promised.
Here’s what she’s letting happen:
- She is saying yes to every project that comes her way because she’s not sure when her good luck is going to run out. Consequently, she’s blocked out her diary to the max some months, running back-to-back with different clients.
- Her one day that she promised herself to keep free for a day at home, without work is now being spent at her laptop typing up reports and support documents that she agreed to do because she wants to impress her clients and get the repeat business they promised, even though these weren’t included in the original proposal.
- Her coaching clients are turning up late for their 121 sessions and recently she’s been left waiting patiently on the conference call whilst one client took another call and had to answer an urgent email.
Example #2 Therapist with a busy clinic
She’s got a busy schedule and from the outside looking in, she appears to have a successful and thriving clinic. But over the past few months, she’s getting tired and looking at her bank account again this week, she’s wondering why she never seems to have enough cash to do the things she wants to grow her clinic, such as that online booking system she knows will help grow her client base.
Here’s what she’s letting happen:
- Client sessions are overrunning because she’s giving them a longer treatment than advertised, which means clients who are turning up on time are being kept waiting.
- Clients are cancelling on the day which means she has spare chunks of clinic time she can’t resell at such short notice.
- Clients aren’t re-booking their next appointment before they leave because she’s telling them it’s OK to do it later in the week. They never do.
Even if you’re not this corporate trainer or therapist, do you recognise similar problems in your business?
The real truth behind all of these problems is that clients are not giving you these problems; you are allowing them to happen. You’ve let your professional boundaries slip by giving your clients everything they ask for, and more at times.
Something I teach my clients is Partnership Power; the ability to sell and work with clients from a place of equal power. When you let your boundaries slip, you start to give up your power and the power shifts over to your client. This can lead to them starting to take more liberties, perhaps start asking for discounts or add-ons to what you’ve already agreed. And when you start saying yes to these, you let your power shift away from you even more and the relationship can fast become toxic, with invoices even going unpaid.
But take too much power over your clients, and you can come across as arrogant, cold or dismissive of their needs. This, of course, would start pushing away clients and your business will suffer.
So setting boundaries doesn’t mean you need to become Queen Bitch. Far from it. Setting boundaries are about creating the space and container for both and your client to work side by side, in partnership and in service with each other, rather than you becoming the servant.
Before we dive into the practicals of how to take back control and put in strong boundaries, first let’s look at why you may be allowing these problems to happen.
Over the past 15 years of working with clients, I see these same reasons come up time and time again.
1) Feeling of a lack of worth; you don’t really believe how good you are at what you do and subconsciously overcompensate in make sure your clients are happy with their results. This often messes with your head when it comes to selling because you tie up the “no” to buying from you to mean that you aren’t good enough, rather than the offer you are making.
2) Need to be recognised; tied in with a low level of self-worth, you only feel you’re doing OK when other people tell you so. So because you want more people saying “yes” to buying from you, you charge far lower prices than you should be charging.
3) People pleasing; you are programmed to make sure all your clients are happy and pleased at all times. On one hand, it is important to strive to a high level of customer happiness but the reality is that, in business, you just aren’t going to meet every one of your clients’ expectations, all of the time. Some people simply don’t like or see the value in what it is you offer … and that’s OK.
I have had challenges with all three of these over the years. So it’s OK if you recognise one or more of these. We are all human, after all. And, in my experience, they never completely go away but live in my head like a piece of software waiting to start up at times when I’m feeling down or business is not going so well. So although it is important to spend time unravelling the emotional thinking behind your over-delivering, what I want to share with you here are some practical ways of putting in strong professional boundaries.
Once you start setting the right rules, structure and systems for you and your clients to work towards, you’ll find you will get fewer opportunities to allow your people pleasing or the need to be recognised to rear their ugly heads. And you need to re-balance the Partnership Power in your client relationship so you are working together, rather showing up as the servant.
1.Set Your Working Hours
To begin with, you may make your calendar available to anyone who is interested in speaking with you. But as your diary starts to fill up with appointments, it’s easy to lose control and become highly unproductive. It’s time to set your working hours.
Believe it not, you have total control of your working week. You may not feel it right now, but you can decide exactly when you work and where. That’s the beauty of being your own boss, yes?
For example, Monday morning is sacred to me; it’s for my weekly reflections and planning, my weekly cash flow and money, my weekly team meeting with my assistant. The time I allow my clients to book into my diary is from Monday afternoon through to Thursday, afternoons only. I also don’t work past 5 pm.
What specific working hours do you want to set? You may like to work evenings but don’t start work until 11 am. Perhaps you only want 3 days a week, term times only. Set your working hours, block out your diary accordingly and don’t let your clients or client work take you away from this.
2) Contracts, Terms of Service & Signed Agreements
Whatever you sell, your clients have to be aware of the parameters of your professional working relationship. If you don’t set the rules at the start, your client won’t know when they are stepping over the mark or requesting something that you can’t or don’t want to deliver on. Remember you are in service to them, not serving them.
The specifics of your working relationship need to include:
- Cancellation policy – What happens if they no-show or cancel late? How do you deal with emergency situations when they genuinely can’t keep their agreed time? Is there a charge in place when they don’t? (Any dentist does this now, so why should you be any different?)
- Confidentiality – Is this important to highlight in your client work?
- Support times and access to you – How do your clients reach you whilst working with you? If you don’t want them calling you on your mobile number, why do you have it on your business card or email signature? What response time do you promise for emails or phone messages? (ie instant is not an option unless they are VIP level and they paying good money for this kind of response!)
- Payment terms – When do you expect payment and how? It’s not good enough to let your clients pay you when it suits them. You either set up a pay-before-we-work process or invoice with 5 days payment terms, slightly longer perhaps if you are dealing with a finance team in an organisation (but certainly not 60 days which I’ve seen some my own clients feel obligated to agree to).
These documents don’t need to be long and legal. You can create a very personable contract or terms of service that highlights the promise you are making to your client and the level of service you are giving them, without lots of small print. But I do recommend you get your clients to sign one, rather than just email them a copy for reference, before you start working together because it means they’ve read it and acknowledged how your relationship is going work.
If you want some well-written templates to work from, then I can highly recommend The Small Business Legal Academy which is where I’ve got all my contracts and terms of service documents from.
3) Don’t Discount; Negotiate
Sometimes you are going to get clients who want to work with you but either don’t have the money or don’t want to commit themselves to the full offering straight off. It’s easy when you may be feeling unsure of yourself and lack the number of sales you may need that month to start bartering and discounting. But you lose your Partnership Power and you are starting your client relationship off on the wrong foot.
In my experience, the client that bartered and got a discount ended up a toxic client; they rarely did their “homework” between our sessions and they often didn’t pay my invoices on time.
So rather than discount, negotiate what’s on offer. If they can’t or don’t want to pay the price you are quoting and you’ve decided that you would like to work with this client because you know you can help them and they’ve be great to work with, then take something out of the offer to compensate for the lower price. This could mean one less session with you. It could mean no email support, or follow up call or access to digital files.
4) Deliver What You’ve Promised And No More
It’s easy to keep bolting on extra stuff or letting sessions going on longer than you had scheduled just because you find what you’re offering easy to do. But remember the years of experience, the hours of professional training and the many life lessons that you had to endure to be able to offer what it is you do. It’s easy to do more for your clients because it’s who you are and it comes easily to you.
But if you don’t know how to limit what service you provide, you are in danger of not just over-delivering, but also overwhelming your client. More information, training or teaching often is not helpful. It’s not that you hold back vital tools or techniques or knowledge that your clients need from you to maintain a level of expertise; that shifts your Partnership Power too much on your side. But you give your clients what they need at the time to progress. Simple as.
So however you lay out your programmes, packages or service offerings, make sure you list everything that’s included … and stick to it. If you find you want to increase what’s on offer, then adjust your pricing accordingly.
So that’s four simple ways to set your boundaries and get back into Partnership Power with your clients. Do all these and within a few weeks, you’ll notice the difference in your productivity and your profitability; working just the hours you’ve originally priced and discussed with your clients. Plus you feel far less overwhelmed and in control of your working week.
Thank you for reading. Until next time, do less, be more, play bigger.