how to get clients to pay what you are really worth

How to get clients to pay what you are really worth

We have all had those conversations with potential clients where they think you are charging too much, or they don’t see the full benefit in what you are offering them. They know they need someone doing what you do but they aren’t sure if they will get value for money from you. How can you get clients to see your value to their business, and to pay what you are worth? In this blog post I am going to show you how to prove your worth with your clients, and let them see that your skills are valuable to their business. By following these techniques you should be able to attract new clients, earn more from your existing client’s, and get paid what you are really worth.

Clients conversationAs an entrepreneur you have to charge reasonable prices for your services to survive. If you don’t cover your costs you won’t survive. You could go out and find more clients, and work longer hours, but that’s not a good solution for your work-life balance. Not many of us want to be working every possible hour just to be able to survive.

The real solution is to find a way to meet your income goals, while still being able to have a life outside work. The only way to do that is to find more clients who will pay more, and to extract more money from your existing clients by helping them to see the value in what you are offering. Clients can raise lots of different objections to your proposals. They often focus on price, but sometimes it could be delivery, or lack of results that they are concerned about. Your job is to take on each objection, ideally before they are raised, and to show them that you are providing a valuable service to their business.

Get Results

Sometimes clients may be reluctant to pay for your services because they just don’t appreciate how valuable you are to their business. In many cases it is possible to prove your worth to a client by getting them results that they can measure. If they can see that what you are doing has a solid commercial value then they can’t really argue about paying what you are worth to them. This technique works with existing clients when you are trying to negotiate an increase in your rates, but the same technique can be applied to proposals you make to new clients. If you have done similar work before don’t be afraid to show your prospective client how your work has benefited others. Value based pricing like this is founded on statistical evidence, and proven results. This is the best way to demonstrate that your work has value.

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The easiest way to prove that it is your work that produced results is to document every client accomplishment that your work helped promote. Put everything on the list. It doesn’t matter how big or small. It all adds up to proving what you have done for your client.

For online services your list might look something like this:

  • X% increase in fans
  • X% increase in comments or mentions
  • X links on other websites
  • X shares on social media
  • X% sales increase

 

Writing out a list like this is a great way to show your client that your work is generating real value for them.

Archivo baseA similar idea which you could try at the same time is to list out every job you do for your client. You might think that they already know this, but often they are looking at the big picture, and don’t appreciate how much work is involved in the various tasks you do for them. Not every client is aware of how much you are doing for them all the time and it is always helpful to give them a reminder. Put everything down in plain language, without the jargon, and try to arrange the list according to value so your client understands exactly what you are doing, and why it matters to them.

You know your services are valuable, but if you have a new client, or your existing client doesn’t release enough figures for you to demonstrate your value in financial terms then you need to find more creative ways to demonstrate your value.

If you encounter a client who doesn’t understand the importance of content creation, social media, and blogging etc. There are a few things you can do.

Talk to your client about how your social media services can help them better understand their client base.  You could also explain how social media increases their customer service options and improves customer retention. It can also help them to identify customer problems before they grow too big.

With blogging it is important to explain the benefits of being seen as a thought-leader, and to talk about how blogging keeps their brand at the front of the customers mind. You could also spend some time highlighting the SEO benefits of content creation, and how it makes your client easier to find online.

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Once the client understands just how valuable you are to their business they will begin to see the wisdom in paying more for your services, and will be keen to work with you.

Why should they choose you?

The marketplace is crowded, and it’s unlikely that the services you offer are entirely unique, so why should a potential client choose to work with you? It’s probable that they could get the same service cheaper elsewhere if they went looking for it so why should they stick with you? Perhaps you can differentiate your service on price, but that’s not likely, all services have a market rate. If you try to undercut the competition too much you aren’t going to be in business for very long, and if you try charging too much then you will probably be out of business even quicker. You can set your rates to anything you like, but unless someone is actually willing to pay them what you are offering has no real value.

You are probably going to need another way to stand out from the crowd apart from price. There will be some skill or attribute that you can offer your client that they just can’t get elsewhere. You just need to work out what it is. Spend some time thinking about what makes your business special and then focus on that. Give your clients a reason to value what you can do for them.

The art of giving extra

Most people do what the client asks, if they didn’t they wouldn’t be rehired, and word would soon get around that they couldn’t be trusted. The problem is that doing what the client expects isn’t really enough to show them the value in your work. Everyone wants extra, and to overcome their objections you have to do more than the bare minimum they requested.

  • You might choose to be known by your fast turnaround times. If you agree to have work completed by Friday, why not send it back to the client a few days early.
  • Perhaps you could include something extra in the work that the client isn’t expecting. A special bonus doesn’t have to be of great value, but it can make all the difference to how the client feels about you.
  • You could send a gift to a client who referred you. This not only makes them feel great, but also helps to keep you in their mind, and makes them more likely to refer you in the future.

 

It’s all about doing that little bit extra, and being seen by the client to do extra. Over-deliver on your promises and clients will have little objection to hiring you. Most clients can afford to hire you; they just need to be convinced that it is in their best interest to do so. Show them the value in what you are offering them, and make them feel special. By becoming known as someone who provides excellent service for their clients you give them a reason to want to work with you, instead of with another business that offers almost exactly the same services.

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A successful business relies on establishing long-term relationships with clients, and gaining a reputation for solid service that goes the extra mile to accommodate clients and makes them feel appreciated. Clients frequently behave very much like children. They enjoy being the centre of attention and if they start to feel neglected they will not give you their business, and may even leave a long-standing relationship with you, so keep reminding them how important you are to their business, and also how important they are to you.

Stay in touch

Clients like to feel that they can always get in touch with you quickly if they need you. At one time the only way for a client to interact with you was for them to call and request a brochure or arrange a face-to-face meeting. Today we have all the advantages of technology and a growing array of tools available to us to demonstrate to our clients that we really are their best choice, and for them to make contact in whatever way suits them best. With social media, websites, IMs and email on every device there is no excuse for your client not being able to contact you when they need you. The other side to this is that these same tools are also a great way for you to showcase your value to the client, and to give them reasons to keep hiring you. Make use of the tools you have to build trust with your client, and to remind them of your value.

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Building trust takes time, if you are going to overcome your client’s objections you have to be better than the competition at every stage of the business relationship. Not just the work you do, but everything from first contact, to final sign-off and beyond.

Clients come to you in the first place because they appreciate your expertise. They know that you have knowledge or skills that they don’t possess. If your client asks for advice in some area, don’t be afraid to help them even if it may not be formally part of the contract, or perhaps the contract has already ended.  Having a client ask advice puts you in a strong position. You are the expert, and if they are talking to you it is because they trust what you have to say. It also means that they are not talking to your competition so don’t be afraid to share what you know, and build that relationship.

Being available and willing to help them says a lot about the way you do business and even if you don’t win any more work from that particular client, your reputation will continue to grow as your former client tells others about how you have helped them.

Show your clients that you make their lives easier

meeting_03Too many businesses take a one-size fits all approach to clients. They develop services and solutions and then offer them to their clients. That doesn’t work well if you want clients to see the value in what you are offering. Clients need to feel that they are special, and that what you are doing is just for them. They like to feel that they are your only client, even if they know they aren’t.

Interact with your clients in a way that demonstrates that what you are offering can specifically help them, and improve their business.

For new clients why not consider a welcome pack that introduces your business and helps them understand more about your business and how you operate. This can work well as an icebreaker, and establish your brand more firmly in their mind.

You could include:

  • An official letter to your client
  • An ‘About us’ note – tell the client a little of your business story
  • An FAQ’s sheet answering their most common questions
  • Examples of past work and an explanation of what to expect from you

 

For long-standing clients maintaining the personal relationship is essential.

  • Try to talk in person, or on the phone, rather than by email
  • Report to them consistently so they know what’s going on
  • Avoid general email blasts sent to all your clients

 

Communicate well

It can come as a surprise to some people that communication involves more than just talking. You need to know how to listen as well. To gain your clients trust quickly you need to communicate, that’s not just you explaining what you want to offer to them, but also taking the time to listen to them, to understand their questions and concerns and to respond appropriately. When you are sure that you have fully understood what they are asking you should respond in detail. Be as clear as you can about your work-flow, pricing details, and make sure you clarify any possible points of concern or misconceptions. Most of the issues in client relationships come from a lack of clear communication, which leaves the two parties with different expectations about the project outcomes.

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Keep them involved

Communication isn’t just important at the start of a project. You must maintain that communication throughout the process. Let them know what is going on at every stage, even when it doesn’t directly impact on their business. You are building trust and transparency throughout this process. Explain to your client what it is you are doing, and why you are doing it.

  • Provide them with regular reports demonstrating the work you have done
  • Provide statistical evidence of the success of your work
  • Actively seek out ways to demonstrate that you are offering a valuable service to them

 

Improve your marketing methods

Many companies give in to the temptation
to stick with what works. If you have a working method that has proved successful in the past, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a better way of doing things, or that these methods will retain your customers into the future. Taking time to try out new tools, and new methods will help you to stay on top of the latest trends in your industry and re-energize your business for the future.

Be prepared for complaints or constructive criticism

Complaints are a fact of business life. You aren’t going to get it right every time. Sometimes you will misunderstand what is required, and sometimes your client will not explain themselves well. However it happens, be prepared for complaints. When the negative comments come don’t make excuses. Address the issues raised from the front, and work with the client to find a solution that works for them. When a client brings a complaint to you they are actually doing you two huge favours.

  • They are giving you the chance to improve and to get it right next time.
  • They are talking to you about the problem instead of heading straight for your competitors, or ranting about you in an online forum where their words will be available for the rest of the world to view for years.
Are Your Clients Paying you what you really worth? Click To Tweet

Dealing with complaints in the right way can actually strengthen your relationship with your client. Listen carefully, apologise, and deal with the issues raised. If you impress the client with your efforts to help they will be more inclined to value your services and to put further business with your company.

Conclusion

By following these techniques you will be strengthening your relationships with your clients, gaining their trust, and helping them to see the value in your services. It is only by helping them to understand exactly how you benefit their business that you can overcome the objections of clients, and start to earn what you are really worth.

What other ways have you found to overcome the objections of clients? How do you demonstrate your worth to them? Let me know in the comments below. If you have benefited from this post then don’t forget to share it so others can enjoy it too.

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  1. Jasper Oldersom on 2016-06-20 at 7:41 pm

    Hey Lilach,

    If you don’t set a reasonable price for yourself, you’re either going to burn out or fail. That one’s a bullseye.

    I love the advice of proving the results you can achieve for customers. Even if it’s just a ballpark, it certainly gives them an idea of what’s possible.

    Educating your customers is another great way to get your customers to understand the value of your services. It’s not that they don’t want to pay for something, they just want to know what they’re paying for.

    Another thing that stood out for me is doing something extra, I love that. That way, you’re truly putting a stamp on your personal service.

    Fantastic post, Lilach. Great techniques to not only get to get your customers to see your value, but also to strengthen the relationship which is way too neglected nowadays.

    Have a great week.

    – Jasper

    • Lilach Bullock on 2016-06-23 at 3:10 pm

      Thanks Jasper, appreciate your comment and feedback 🙂

      Education really is key as that can often be the barrier that needs to be overcome. Once businesses have a better understanding of what they are actually getting it makes it much easier for them to see the value you will bring them.

  2. Terri Whitbread on 2017-01-11 at 9:07 am

    Love this post! I’ve been told my rates are high but as you’ve mentioned in this post I focus on the whole process, from the client consultation to the intake procedure, it’s not just about the services I offer. I have systems in place (I absorb the cost for these) that ensure working with me is as smooth and stress free as it can be. Like you say, the trick is convincing potential clients that you add value to their business, as well as looking after the clients you already have!

    • Lilach Bullock on 2017-01-11 at 9:55 am

      Thanks Terri 🙂 Absolutely. It’s all about how you position yourself and ultimately the results your clients will get by working with you.

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