One of the challenges all consultants and coaches face at some point is dealing with what appear to be price-driven Suspects.
(Keep in mind, a Suspect is someone you aren’t working with yet but who looks and sounds like a possible fit for your offerings.)
It’s easy to blame the recession, inflation, and every other thing that’s going on in the economy; but the truth is – especially when it comes to services – the people you’re talking to are confused and afraid.
Your Suspects are afraid of:
They’re confused because…
When you get to the point in the conversation that deals with price, your Suspect takes in this information and compares it to existing information in the filing cabinet that is their brain.
They start comparing that price to things they’ve bought before – whether they’re products or services.
The reason they’re comparing price and not your offering is price is an easier thing to compare because it’s fairly black and white (in their mind anyway). And the brain is always looking for a reason to dismiss something new so it can remain focused and ready for the really hard stuff of living.
So you may quote $1997 for an offering and feel you’re giving the Suspect the bargain of the century.
But if the Suspect has never engaged a professional service provider like you before or has never bought a service like yours or never made an investment in herself or her business like the one you presented her, she could be completely mystified about whether to say yes or not.
And then there’s the inner conflict – “Should I or shouldn’t I?”, “Nothing I’ve invested in has worked; will this be different?”, “Is this the right program and the right person for our company?”.
If she doesn’t know what to base a decision on, the easiest thing to look at is your price and compare it to what’s in her bank account.
If she’s underestimated what you would charge and she’s embarrassed by that, she doesn’t want to insult you (or embarrass herself further) so she just says “I can’t afford it” or “that’s outside my budget”. (And if you asked her what her budget was at the beginning she probably said she didn’t know.)
And then there’s her decision making personality. There’s…
Commitment-phobic Connie – she wonders if you’ll be a good fit for her and if there’s someone else who can do the job better, faster, cheaper. She may want to have multiple conversations and email exchanges looking for some magic words
Terrified Teresa – she longs to make a difference in the world and has great offerings, but she’s secretly afraid of playing bigger, being seen, and the impact that would have on her life and relationships.
Rejected Rhonda – she’s got a big need to be liked and wrestles with feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. She knows not everyone will want to or is ready to work with her but she’s afraid of rejection and hasn’t mastered being detached from the outcome of selling her services.
Tapped-Out Tina – Tina has been following every guru out there, investing in every program offered. She understands the value of working privately with an expert but got sucked into the promises made on their expertly crafted sales pages. She’s now in debt and feeling the weight of those monthly bills. She’s afraid to invest in anything else or believe in anyone else.
Fearful Fran – She works in a growing organization and reports to a big cheese. Other people have made mistakes and they’ve been punished for them. The punishments have ranged from just the usual personal embarrassment to being labeled a “bad decision maker” to actually being fired. She struggles with understanding her boss and is secretly afraid she’ll lose her job over some dumb mistake.
Indecisive Isabelle – Isabelle has many of the traits of the other ladies in this circle. Her problem – that she can’t make a decision – is rooted in fear. She’s afraid to make a mistake…afraid to lose or waste money…afraid she won’t get results…and since she really doesn’t trust herself she’s always looking for guidance about what to do. She’s wracked with self-doubt and second-guesses herself constantly.
Short-Attention Span Sally — She’s not going to read all the information you’re sharing with her. She probably thinks a 5-minute video is the Gone With the Wind of marketing. The big challenge with her is to get her attention and help her to focus on the pain she’s in and the solution you’re offering her.
I know you’re thinking “Hey, my Ideal Client loves what I do, makes fast decisions, and pays me what I’m worth.”
That’s true. That’s your Ideal Client.
Unless your dance card is completely filled with Ideal Ida, I’m going to bet even the most fun clients you’ve worked with have exhibited some of the traits of the ladies I’ve mentioned.
Heck, I’ve seen people display all of these personalities as if they’re the next star of a remake of Sybil.
But we’ve all had moments in our lives when we’ve had split personalities haven’t we? When we’ve shared the thoughts and emotions of these women?
So how do you help them move past the issues they wrestle with?
Remember when people voice questions and concerns it’s actually a good thing. They’re asking you to help them make a decision. They’re doing their due diligence. Give them the tools they need to make a good decision because buying is a demonstration of trust.
What’s your strategy to help someone move passed price?
One of the most important elements of your marketing strategy and sales process is clearly and powerfully positioning yourself so you’re are differentiated from your competition. The more crowded your industry segment, the more important your positioning is.
In this video I explain the 5 positioning strategies that are emotion-based. Use one or more of these strategies to clearly position yourself and attract more of your ideal clients without being pushy or salesy.
You’ve heard it before — focusing on a specific niche is important. It’s the number one thing clients resist and I resisted it myself. I made myself crazy trying to be all things to all people. But as soon as I started to really zero in on who I most enjoy working with, getting clients became even easier. It’s something my clients have discovered as well.
This video explains why and gives you things to consider as you identify your own niche or target market.
Trust –like the great Billy Joel said — is just a matter of trust.
In this video I explain the role trust plays in the entire sales process and how fears and concerns on the part of your potential client translate to not enough trust in you or your solution.
Buying is risky and the more your prospect has at stake in the process the bigger the issue of trust becomes.
If you’re a service professional like a coach, consultant, healer, or other service provider, I’ll bet you’re working way too hard to get clients and you probably feel like you’re overwhelmed and frustrated with chasing after people. One very big reason for this is you’re not clearly positioned — you’re not clearly differentiated — from your competition so people don’t understand why they should buy from you rather than you’re competitor.
In this video, I explain 7 conventional ways to position your service business so you stand out from the competition and make it easier for ideal clients to recognize why they should work with or hire you over your competition. To receive updates when Winnie posts more videos designed to take the mystery out of selling your services, subscribe to this channel. And for more information about Winnie and how she solves sales mysteries for clients, visit her website at http://WinnieAnderson.com
Does it take much longer than you’d like for your prospective clients to decide to hire you? Do you spend days completing proposals only to wait months without hearing? Old-school sales trainers and hypey internet marketers tell you to create a sense of urgency. but does that really work?
Do you really need to “create” urgency?
If you are a service-based entrepreneur like a consultant, coach, healer, creative, contractor this video is going to help you get a better understanding of how to sell your services even if you don’t think of how you offer your services as true “selling.”
In today’s video I want to explain to you two of the most confusing concepts in marketing and sales. They’re also two of the most important concepts in marketing and sales. They’re two very foundational concepts and lots of people get them confused.
That’s positioning and branding.
Alot of people think they’re actually the same thing but they’re not. They’re very different.
Positioning is how you’re different. And Branding is how to make yourself memorable.in the mind and heart of your ideal clients. So positioning has to come first because positioning is what good designers and good developers will actually use in coming up with the visual and verbal representation of the brand. So even in putting together the website…everyone has to understand how you’re different and how you want to position yourself in the market in order to create a strong, clear, compelling brand and then communicate it very clearly.
So why do so many people get this wrong? And everybody gets this wrong…I got it wrong.
We get caught up in the trappings of marketing and sales.
By trappings I mean the logo, the business cards, the website, the collateral material, what are we gonna talk about…But if you don’t take the time to work your positioning out, you’re not going to have a what you need to create a compelling visual identity. You’re not going to be able to know what to say. You’re not going to be able to say it very clearly or convincingly.
So positioning really is the most important thing.
I have an example for you.
This is a little crazy but…cookies.
The packaged snack market is incredibly competitive in the United States anyway is incredibly competitive.
Oreo…a big brand that’s been around since 1912 and Snack Wells. A relatively new brand that’s only been around since about 1992.
How does a new brand like Snack Wells gain traction in a crowded market? Especially with a giant brand like Oreo?
Snack Wells came up with a great positioning campaign. They positioned themselves as a “healthy” alternative to traditional cookies.
So in 1992 Snack Wells comes on the market and that’s how they positioned themselves and they did it. They gained traction, they got great placement, and they’re a successful brand today.
They can’t unseat Oreo. They may have taken away some people who were looking for a healthier alternative and people are thinking “I don’t want reduced fat Oreos, I’m gonna have me some Snack Wells”
You’re in a crowded market segment too. Especially if you’re an accountant, a management consultant…a doctor. Why should someone come to you? If you don’t clearly differentiate yourself you’re going to be competing on two primary things: Location — who’s closest to me…who’s convenient — and price…do you take my insurance, what’s your copay…what’s your quote? no I can get a consultant to do this cheaper…You do not want to compete on those two things.
You need to position yourself very, very clearly. That’s the foundation creating an attractive marketing message to attract your ideal clients, your prime suspects too you.
So positioning should not be a mystery. You want to leave clear clues for those clients who you most want to serve.