Secrets to Entrepreneurship #23 – Sales = Value.
Feel confident about selling your product, or service, by being proud of the VALUE that you bring to the table. If you have trouble with sales, think of the process as an exchange of value.
As an entrepreneur you will be passionate about your product – that is a given, and quite frankly, a gift. Your passion is something that should never be underestimated. Passion for a product or service will drive everything you do…..hell, you are so passionate about this product or service that you have rearranged your life to be able to live it, every day. Carry that passion with you everywhere you go – people can see it AND feel it. It is the secret ingredient that will differentiate you from all of your competitors.
Passion is something you can’t buy AND it is the secret ingredient to success!
When it comes to pricing, think about your commitment to the project, and don’t discount that when pricing your services. As a writer, I didn’t realize how many organizations hire writers who don’t deliver on deadlines or don’t follow instructions. I had no idea of this disconnect in the industry until I started working with a number of organizations who were so impressed with my enthusiasm for the craft. I am such a passionate writer, and so dedicated to my craft – not to mention extremely grateful for the opportunity to write every day. I was more than happy to deliver on time and to follow instructions to make the client happy. This is what set me apart, and got me additional work, as my relationships grew with my contacts. Delivering on time is not something that I planned when I first started – it was a product of my passion and my will to succeed as a freelance writer. The message here is to do the very best you can do while incorporating the needs of your client – and never forget what a privilege it is to be able to work in your chosen craft. The experience is overwhelming and humbling every day.
Let’s talk pricing! I have found that if you are charging a small amount of money for your product or service, your commitment will be equally as small. You will not be prioritizing or providing your all if you feel undervalued or underpaid. I set some pretty low rates in the beginning and I would feel resentful that I was providing such a superior product and getting paid so little. I have learned the hard way to price according to my TIME and ENERGY commitment to ensure I will be able to fully concentrate, and give my best performance. When you are being paid appropriately you will feel proud of what you do and you will give your client everything you have to give. This is VALUE! You want to feel like your client wants your service and is willing to invest in you as a business owner and entrepreneur. If you feel valued you will deliver a better product then if you don’t. It is that simple. Asking for money is uncomfortable but if your client values your service or product they will have no trouble paying for it. Think of the purchases you make for the items you value. You will be willing to pay more for a gym membership that delivers the classes you seek, or you will pay more for coffee if that coffee experience is appealing and delicious to you, or house cleaning services – if someone is using the products you love, and does a great job, you don’t mind paying extra for great service. Employ the same principle when it comes to your products/services. You have great experience and knowledge to bring to the table so you can absolutely charge what your time and energy is worth. If it helps, create a pricing list and present your client with the list so they can see what your rates are. With a pricing list, you look professional and the client knows that you have carefully thought about your pricing. It is also a good idea to include a few menu items that they can opt in or out of so they have choice. The customer then feels in control and they can set their price based on their selected services.
This next part is SUPER important!!! Every customer you work with is part of your marketing strategy.
Let me repeat….Every customer you work with is part of your marketing strategy!
This statement is SO important! Word of mouth is the most effective form of advertising there is – and you can’t buy it. You have to EARN it. Providing passion and value is the only way to have happy customers and to have customers who loved the experience so much they are passing along your name to others. Organic marketing is the most effective advertising there is. So, when you are thinking of falling down on the job remember that existing customers are 3 x more likely to close a future deal with you, and/or recommend you, versus finding a new customer. In other words, provide the absolute best service you can to garner future business and recommendations. Your reputation becomes a crucial part of your marketing strategy, and your appeal in the market. Simply put, people want to do business with people they like and trust.
Until next time – dream, experience and love your life.
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