How Do You Define Value?
If a prospect is unable or unwilling to pay your full fee, ask “What else of value can you offer me?” Now, hold your tongue and don’t say a word. Silence is golden at this pivotal moment. You must wait for your prospect to speak first. If the silence is long, expect to hear, “What do you want?” This is the million-dollar question, so be ready with an answer! Value can be different things to different people. According to Merriam- Webster, value is a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged; or the monetary worth of something. What does value mean to you? Often, it depends on what you need for your business at the time.
Here are some things that may be of value to you:
- Referrals. Ask clients to make three or four calls on your behalf to contacts they think can benefit from your services and will pay your fee.
- A speech. The client must commit to booking you for a full-fee engagement within one year of the date of the speech you are doing now. Make sure to get this commitment in writing.
- Recordings. Great video and live audio are pluses for promotional purposes, but you also can turn them into products. Don’t worry about flubs; when people know the recordings are live, they are very forgiving of mistakes.
- Barter. If the client’s company produces something useful for your business, negotiate a trade. Be sure to consult your tax adviser on this one!
- Products. Is the client willing to purchase your books, tapes, or whatever else you sell? Product can be used to shore up your speaking fee. If you don’t have product in your business, get it! If you have a book that complements your program, you may want to sweeten the deal by offering a copy to every attendee. This enticement makes it difficult for prospects to say “no.” The decision should be hard, because you want the client to carefully assess the value of going deeper into your topic with a book.
- Testimonials. Ask clients to write and post their testimonials on LinkedIn, in addition to your website. Why LinkedIn? If your client is unaccustomed to writing testimonials, he can read what others have posted and learn a new business skill. Make your request for a testimonial in a follow-up call after your presentation. If your client does not act, then send an email reminder or make another call in two weeks. You can gently say, “When we previously talked, you offered to write a testimonial. Please know I’d still love to receive it!” Then, if you don’t get it, forget it. There is a fine line between being a pest and being professional. Don’t cross it!