Why Not Sell What Customers are Willing to Pay More For?
Do you really believe your expertise has lasting value in the business of your audience? How about their life? If your answer is yes, and it should be, then why don’t you sell your value rather than your tools (I.e. speeches, training, coaching, etc.)?
I think the answer is because we make the mistake of valuing our time giving the speech or leading the training, more than we do the results. So, how do you prevent that? When a prospect calls and asks, “Can you speak at our June event?” Or they ask, “Can you help us train our new managers?” My first response is, “I can’t with integrity answer that question, but if we could spend a few minutes discussing what you want to accomplish then I will be able to tell you if I can or not. Is this a good time to talk about that?”
Almost without exception I will hear, “Okay, fair enough…what do you need to know?” And in that moment, my work for this client begins. I have developed a base of questions that will help the prospect move from buying an event in time, to making an investment in results.
There are three things I want their answers to my questions to produce.
- I want them to hear themselves describing a problem they are trying to solve that is far more serious than they have been willing to admit.
- I want them to become convinced that solving this problem (or achieving this opportunity) will mean positive financial results for them.
- I want them to be convinced that I know how to help them solve this problem or achieve the opportunity.
“So, Barry what would this cost?” And my immediate reply is, ” You mean what will it cost your group if they don’t (fill in the blank with whatever the problem is). Because if I don’t actually help you achieve that then any fee is too high, but if together we can make progress toward your goal then my fee becomes an investment.” And at this point, I ask them to give me time to give them a proposal in writing – and I deliver that from a few hours to one day max.
The proposal will restate their problem or opportunity, and the tools I will use to drive my expertise across their business or association in a defined period of time. I received a call from an association in March for a keynote in June. They wanted a fee and an answer for a ninety-minute presentation. I followed this process and they accepted my proposal which includes the keynote, a breakout, three journal articles, a private weekly video for eight weeks, and coaching of their association officers.
Clients don’t really need our speeches, our books, our training or our coaching. They need a partner to help them solve problems or achieve opportunities. And that is what they want to buy and are willing to pay for – and pay more for than we can imagine.