What is the true value of what you provide?
Why are you not charging for it?
I know people have a lot of excuses. I talk to people all of the time who are worried about what the “others” in their industry will think of them. (“Others” who are also not charging enough and unhappy with the amount of money they are making).
Not charging enough and not pushing hard enough to make your sale, because Heaven forbid you feel like a “salesman” are two of the biggest problems I see.
Here’s an example:
I’ve got a client who is a couples crisis therapist. She works with people who are basically going to be filing for divorce yesterday, if possible sooner. They have reached their wits end with each other and reaching out to her is their last grasp effort to save their marriage, their family.
Prior to working with me she was charging $300 for a 75-minute session. Why $300? Because that’s what “everyone else” charged too. So she would see approximately 4 or 5 couples per day plus twice a week have a large group session. Fifteen hundred bucks a day doesn’t sound too bad, but anyone who’s been in business knows that your Gross is not your Net.
She was also stuck in a situation that her only option was to trade time for dollars. But she didn’t know how to get around it.
The first thing I had to do was help her see the value of the service she is providing. She has a success rate that’s about 30% better than her industry peers. She was so stuck in the “what everyone else” charges mindset she couldn’t even bring herself to charge 30% more on her hourly rate than her peers. Gasp, because “What would the other (broke and unhappy) professionals think?”
But the first thing I wanted to help her do was to stop trading so much time for money. She was greatly resistant at first, but I convinced her to go through the entire process with me. We discovered that about 70-80% of what she does is the same with any couple. In other words, she’s repeating the exact same stuff 70 to 80% of the time.
After discovering this the first step was putting that into a course. Once it was “courseified” she’s now able to sell this package to clients. They go through it and this free’s up a lot of her time, and it also allows her to focus on the deep and unique issues each couple is facing, as opposed to just rehashing the same stuff with everyone.
The biggest struggle though was convincing her to charge more. If you sell the same way everyone else sells, you’re going to get about the same result.
But the key here is to sell on transformative value, not price.
What does that mean?
It means, in this example, what does a divorce cost you? What would be the value of saving that relationship?
I’ve been through one and it sucks. I don’t even like my ex anymore, the last time I had a real conversation with her was 6 or 7 years ago and to be honest even that is more than I’d like to talk her. But even I realize how costly that divorce was to me. House, business, savings. That doesn’t even count the emotional aspect.
If we had found someone who helped us that would have been a very valuable thing- certainly worth a hell of a lot more than $300 per 75 minutes. Personally, I think she should be charging $5000/$6000+, but for the time being I’ve not been able to get her above $2800. So now she sells 12 to 15 packages per week. This is obviously a huge financial win for her, she went from making under $300,000 a year to nearly $200,000 a month – but not only financial, it’s freed up a ton of her time as well, she works less and has less stress. Now she sees about 20 one one one’s per week. I haven’t been able to get her to go above $300 an hour on that, but on some level all clients suck and won’t do everything you tell them – and that’s ok.