Over on the Insiders I had this question asked. As a business and life coach with extensive experience of what makes us busy business women tick and how to use that to achieve more. I wanted to give you some ideas so you can confidently say “this is our price!” without feeling like you are being greedy or risking business. Let me know how you get on.
The phone rings and you do the happy dance because out of the blue someone wants what you do. Great feeling isn’t it?
(Well okay not out of the blue if you are an Insider or one of my client’s you know it’s about the branding, the vision, the mission, the marketing, the ethos and then it’s about the products and services and a ton of other things too (especially the actions and mindset!)
The point is, this is what business is about. Getting the sales.
You then discuss their needs – ensure you utilise that information in your follow up conversations and communications (top tip!) and get a proposal over to them.
They say “great, lets’ do this.” And you get the purchase order arranged, a date in the diary and it’s all systems go. Except…
Then you get the message. “Just wanted to check if;
The list of “Can you just’s” is long and it is often so subtle that you find yourself thinking things like;
And that’s the point, you are so intent on doing your best, delivering to the very best of your ability that you miss that you are now working for free.
The problem is that while you may recognise these statements, there are probably subtle ones going on right now in your business that you give in to. And by doing that you could be;
And that’s just a few of the issues I see arise from coaching clients because they are really nice business owners who give too much.
So we know what’s going on, but how do you fix it?
With new customers and regular ones you are never going to turn into a Highway Cowboy robber and start shouting “Give us ya money!” are you? However in your head you may well be thinking, this just is not viable for us. Is this a loss leader or is this damaging our success? And ultimately what you want Is more money, however you never need to say this. Ever.
Often before I help clients find new markets and more customers I help them look at the calibre of clients they already have. And if we discover they aren’t fitting into the business model of the company then we do something about it. Ultimately what happens is the business owner either renegotiates with their current customers because their prices probably haven’t gone up in 4 to 8 years (and yet their costs have so their profit margins have suffered!) or they explain what will be tangible moving forward. Rarely have I seen a client lose business, if anything their customers are loyal, love working with my clients and are keen to ensure it’s a fair relationship so fees go up. And if they do lose clients, it’s a real relief to get rid of the customer that was sucking them dry. (This also makes room for more great customers that do pay a fair price for an awesome job. So first things, first – know your numbers;
If you are an Insiders check out my Profit calculator so you can ask yourself “If I was working the maximum hours with fee paying clients would I be making the profit margin I want AND have the life and business I want?”
When you know you have the right customers It’s never about saying give us more money. It’s about analysing their needs, understanding their budget and working out where that can meet. It’s great to show you care and give more, however if giving more becomes you reverting to the negative observations above then you’ve given too much. Learn to communicate in a powerful way. What words do your customers love to hear, what words feel your customers with dread(sometimes they can be very powerful in your negotiations – for instance if you customers hate the costs associated with rehiring staff and that means they feel stressed out trying to find the right staff and then there’s the hassle of training them, and will they stay, etc – if you only talk about ensuring you hire the right staff can increase profit margins, you are aren’t talking about the deep down real issue to the business owner (who obviously wants to make more money) the real issue is the grief, stress and sleepless nights its going to personally cause them too. Including the positive and the negative in the right quantities really helps you communicate with power. I find coaching style questions taught to my clients can help them find these answers and really understand the needs of their customers while still ensuring your needs are met.
A great question to ask is “What is your budget?” For me I say I can cater for most budgets (you will see why in a later top tip) however this makes it clear that you are not going to give them the moon on the stick but that you still will do all you can for them. Remember these words “We are a business, not a charity”. (That works well for many of my clients!)
A big area that many business owners get themselves in a pickle is around price. The business owner is thinking “We need to make £X an hour” and the client has their own agenda. With these 2 thoughts bought together you get one price. However the interesting bit is how one photographer/coach/Copywriter/baker charges ££ and another charges £££££ – how is that possible? Because the ones charging a great rate and attracting awesome customers doesn’t use the above equation to work out their rates, they work on value. For instance, take my job. I charge £175 per hour. Do I then charge £175 to work with me for the day? No, how is that possible? Because if I’ve got 12 people working with me in a room for the day that in theory is £1400. However what is that day worth to the individual? To the company?
If you start to consider this then you can see there is a very different equation at work here. Don’t charge people according to what it costs you an hour, charge people according to the value they will tangibly get from their time with you. For instance if I work with 12 people and reduce stress in the office every day, help them to increase productivity, work smarter and increase profit, that’s worth a lot of money to that company. And while I’m not going to charge them the full value of that, I will charge a fair fee. It’s far easier to do this when you see the true value you bring. A word of caution here – don’t get wishy washy about it. Be real. Be honest. Making people happy or making something that’s pretty maybe nice but what is the tangible result of that?
Still struggling to communicate powerfully “this is our price”? Take just 4 minutes to total how much you’ve spent on your career – the training, studying, research, books, resources. Now add the cost of your office costs, commute costs, etc. Factor all of these in and you start to see that your rate is far more than just fair. Your experience, investment in training, knowledge, staying up to date and cutting edge – rarely do I see an hourly rate that reflects this. Even if you don’t increase your rates to reflect this in its entirety knowing this information usually ensures you’ve no issue in increasing your rates by some percentage.
Remember if you can’t value your time then why should your customers?
If someone really doesn’t have the budget (and this is something I see) then how could you still help them? A few years ago I realised there were a lot of people I’d love to help however they just weren’t in the position to invest in my coaching (although funny, how we justify somethings but not others? If you’ve got potential clients who quibble your fees but have perfectly manicured nails, drive a new car and have perfect hair that is freshly styled at the salon, it is possible it’s not that they can’t afford it, it’s more than likely that they don’t see the value or feel it will work for them so either change your marketing or stop chasing the wrong type of potential clients.) As a result of wanting to help more people I set up the Insiders, my online courses and books. I’ve been told I could charge double for the Insiders and they’d still pay and I could charge 400% more for my courses and they’ve have still bought them. Will I put the prices up? No, because its part of my mission statement and ethos to be accessible to all that want help. So if someone doesn’t have the budget and you are tempted to give it away, how could you help them and honour your business?
Automated courses, books, group sessions are a great way of helping more people without damaging your ability to make a profit, not kill yourself off and achieve what you want to personally and professionally.
Some people will always try and get free. They will corner you at events, ask questions on line and even phone you for advice, will they ever spend money with you? No. These people don’t even realise they are doing it, however you need to be able to spot these people and maintain your integrity but ensure they don’t sap your business dry. My saying may help;
If you want V.I.P then you need to pay, if not you can still get some in the cheap seats – VIP or Cheap seats? Their call.
Remember when you attract the right customers they expect to pay for your services. They aren’t trying to get something for nothing. They will negotiate with respect and turn up with some idea of budget. And if you find yourself constantly dealing with price quibblers, maybe ask yourself how is our marketing communicating to people? And that’s an article for another day or head over to The Insiders to continue this conversation and get more ideas.
If you want to keep up to date with me you can access all of my social media via my site here. And I’ve not added any links to my books or courses so you know that this is just me overdelivering to those are care most about. xxx
I want to be able to be there when and how you need.
To build your confidence, increase your sales, grow your profit margin, enable you to have an awesome work life balance, achieve what you wish, overcome your fears and be genuinely happy. (Is there something I’m missing? Do let me know.)
That is why I’m giving you these courses for £5 in May.
(And because I’ve added a plug in that enables me to get reviews and I’d like some!)
Your review doesn’t need to be 5 stars “love it!” Just honest.
I don’t do discounts and I don’t do offers because I work with the people I love, at a fair price and deliver with every fibre of my being, so there’s no need to discount – a little top tip to ask yourself if free/discounts/and offers are working for you?
I’ve been told off by so many business women that my courses are far too cheap – yes that dangerous word!
Even my coach kicked my butt and questioned “What are you playing at?” The reason they are low cost is because I know this stuff works and I want to be there for everyone. And I can’t physically coach everyone can I?
It’s my mission, my passion and my happiness to help you – so do let me know how you get on.
(And ask yourself if you are working on the things that you are passionate with a clear mission and that bring you happiness – the reason I ask this because if you are not it can be very hard to stay motivated, to sell well and increase profit – So another tip to ask yourself.
ACTION; On the Insiders Facebook page you can post additional support requirements, research ideas and questions on the Insiders page and feel free to tag me so that I can assist further.
And if you are attending The BWN I’m more than happy to sit and have a chat before or after the event.
I do ask that you do not share the discount codes and don’t forget they run out on the 31st of May 2019.
“When we talk about sales stigma, we are referring to the perception that selling is somehow sleazy, and those who sell are untrustworthy, overbearing, misleading and pushy individuals. For the majority of small business owners this is generally their perception, and is definitely NOT how they wish to be perceived by their marketplace.
Here is the thing, sales stigma is not exclusive to the small business owner, in fact it has been around forever and a day, it is everywhere, you only have to google sales stigma and you will see many articles going back 10 years and more addressing this issue. Sales stigma in direct selling, the stigma of commission selling, stigma in pharmaceutical sales, and so on. Sales stigma is firmly entrenched in big business across all sectors from finance through to science and technology.
The reason of course is unprofessional, and unethical selling, which the what and why for is a blog series all of its own!
For a very long time now there has been great efforts to position sales as a quality profession to pursue. From recognised qualifications to be gained, through to professional associations such as Association of Professional Sales and the Institute of Sales Management whose members agree to an ethical code of conduct. Including trying to create a culture of continuous professional development.
So how does this help the small business owner?
Well it doesn’t specifically other than help to see the bigger picture. I do believe however that there is a bit of a sales evolution going on and has been for a quite sometime now, and that it is this evolution that the small business owner can both benefit, and drive. Small businesses especially micro businesses and sole traders, tend to be the ones who make the product or deliver the service personally, we are much closer to our customer base, have strong relationships with them, and we really care, we tend to see what we do more as a service to our customers, we are driven by a desire to help, guide and or teach. This is our WHY, and for me, somebody who has been in sales pretty much all her life, (30 + years and counting!) this is what selling is really all about.
I also know that as buyers we are much more knowledgeable, and technology has provided us with the tools we need to be able to research products and suppliers. It is us as the buyer who drives the sales cycle in the 21st century.
I know it isn’t always as easy or straight forward as just telling you to ‘just do it’, go on crack on and get selling. I know that you all without exception understand that the ability to sell your product or service is the one defining factor that dictates whether your business succeeds or not.
I also know if you are struggling with negative beliefs that are affecting your ability to sell what you make or do, it is something that I can help you resolve quickly and painlessly.
Meanwhile here are four things for you to do that will get you selling:
I know that for Insiders the issue of coming up with great content and what to write comes up a lot. Have you ever found yourself sat in front of the screen and thought “I’ve got 2 hours to come up with the content here, why can’t I think of anything?”
“I only need to think of the name for this and I can crack on, why won’t my brain work!”
“Aaaaa I haven’t got a single good idea in my head!”
If you have faced any of these scenarios you will know how frustrating it is. You’ve made some space in your mega busy diary to get creative and move your business forward but your brain won’t help and before you know it you’ve commented on someone’s Facebook video of a cute dog and not wrote a single word!
But you know that right? And so you end up getting more and more frustrated, staring at the minutes wasted away and worry some more. So how can you overcome writers’ block and come up with the great ideas?
It’s commendable to sit at your desk for hours looking to get your business seen and loved. But with some things in life it’s better to lean on others and find experts to help you get where you want to go. Just because you know what your dentist is doing you wouldn’t start sticking appliances in your mouth and doing it yourself, would you?
Sometimes it’s a good idea to outsource what is really challenging you. If you are finding this is consuming your precious time, it’s time to ask yourself how can I get the results I need faster? But remember even if you outsource it you are still going to have to tell that VA, PR company, copywriter or marketing company the following;
Who am I speaking to?
What do I want them to do?
What results do I want to get?
What do I want them to learn?
What matters to my target audience (s)?
How often do they want to hear from me?
Hope this helps. This is a confidential article for Insiders only. Please do not share this content. However please do share on the Insiders Facebook page how it helps, what you need next and your articles for us to read and review too.
Of all the things you do for business growth and success, networking is up there with some of the best for real results – ie
However, if you don’t’ put in the right strategy and actions then it can be a costly waste of your time. Here is our Insider guide to getting the best out of networking. Remember to cross-reference this with your marketing production line too. You are welcome to download a copy here – The BWN follow up for networking success
Being in business allows you to push the boundaries of what you think can be achieved. But can you honestly say you sell outside of your comfort zone?
What could happen if you did?
Think it through….if your current marketing strategy allows you to create your current supply of customers what could happen if you pushed yourself outside of your comfort zone?
(Here’s a clue, it will definitely involve more time creating invoices and less time chatting on social media !)
So How Do You Do It?
Really want to get out of your comfort zone?
Tell the INsiders what action you intend to take, and let us support you to achieve it.
We are so excited to announce the Launch of The Business Mans Network. It matters to us greatly that we are there to support your sales, confidence and success. And for years Founder Mandie Holgate had been asked to set an event aimed at men in business. So its exciting to announce this launch on Monday the 8th May at our Wivenhoe House venue.
We know that we will have to work hard to get the right balance and create events as powerful as the ones we already host. The BMN events will have the same structure as The BWN events and there will still be no membership and lots of extra ways we can support you.
We’ve already had a policy that if a business man books a ticket then they are not turned away. We attract some of the top speakers in the UK and feel The BWN has always be inclusive and not exclusive. And the same will apply here. Although we would request that for the first event women in business given business men the chance to create their own core group before you consider attending.
It has also important to us that we do not drop the standard of support, motivation and ideas we give to women in business so please do keep in touch if you feel there is more we could be doing to support you and your success.
Here you can read the full article that appeared in the Gazette this week about the launch. Launch BMN May 2017
I’ve thought often about writing this article, and always shied away from being a bit controversial. (If you read my articles before either here or on www.mandieholgate.co.uk you will know I tend to be about empowering, sharing top tips to make life, business, success and confidence just that be easier.) However I felt that I’d seen this happening too many times not to say something.
And the reason I say something now is because I can’t believe something that I thought was a given, an obvious expected standard, just doesn’t always exist, and not only is it not particularly pleasant to work in that environment, if you are doing this, then you could be damaging your success too! (So this article does come back to what I normally write about after all!)
The more I get asked to speak at events the more I naturally end up attending a variety of events aimed at personal and professional development and business success. And whether I’m attending a local business show a national one or a special all day event it really shocks me how many people that just don’t turn up!
What’s the big deal you say? It’s a free event, there’s no cost, so?
The big deal is that I personally think it impacts on your professional brand and what people think of you.
Think about it. You posted all over social media you were attending. You said you will be there. And then something came up, right? No big deal. But although there’s 500 – 2000 people at that event and you figure no one will miss you right?
They will, because there in reception when we all arrive is your lanyard with your name and business on, and then at the end of the day its still there!
Sorry did something better come up than what you thought was going to be an awesome day?
A client maybe?
I have a real issue with this, because firstly it shows a high level of disrespect to the organisers. It may seem like just a lanyard to you, but it’s not for the organisers. An organiser of an event need to ensure for every name that turns up there is adequate parking, adequate refreshments, adequate seating, someone has to take the time to print off and make your lanyard. As the numbers for the event increases the organisers think “wowsers we’ve got xxxx people booked for this, we should slow down on marketing, we may have to turn people away, our maximum capacity for safety is xxxx” So you greatly impact on the organisers.
Secondly if you’ve posted you are attending and don’t show, what does that say to those that do turn up? Is it a bad event we shouldn’t be at? Have we wasted our time? It can create unease in the delegates (I do not jest! I’ve seen it across social media damaging the reputation of events for years to come!)
More worryingly those that do turn up know who hasn’t arrived and think “Do they ever turn up to what they say they will?” What does that say about you, your professionalism and your business?
Can someone be trusted if they can’t even turn up to what they say they are going to?
Can they not organise their time to be able to have a day out of the office?
If you don’t know if you will be too pressurised to attend then don’t fill in the form saying you are going. Leave your status as interested.
And if you worry about giving up a day to this event top tips here are our top tips to get the most out of your day and double the usages of your time;
Tell everyone you are attending. This is good for the organiser (you are promoting their event. This may seem like its non beneficial to you, however getting yourself known for all the right reasons is a good way to get remembered. And remember in business its about the quality of relationships you build). By telling everyone you are attending before you even arrive you are getting to digitally network with potential customers and opportunities. It’s a great way to create brand awareness with very little effort.
Organise meetings and 1 2 1’s at the event. We all appreciate the need to know other people, and build good relationships however ultimately sorry to get tough here, those meetings quite from day one don’t always deliver business, and if you are very busy it can be very enticing to not bother with them. If you have been building rapport and getting to know people online, a big event is a great opportunity to spare half an hour and extend that potential opportunity. (And word of caution here, that’s build opportunity for them too, not just you!)
Talk about the event in the run up to the event. This is a great way to get you and your business known before you even walk through the door. There will be companies that can’t make the day, however if you have talked about the event in your own marketing, at events you are attending and to your current customers then you are helping to raise awareness of the calibre of events you attend and how your business is operated. People like professionalism. And to feel that they can trust and know the businesses that they work with. This helps.
Power up your PR! When it comes to trade press and relevant publications to your business, talking about the events you are involved with can be a great way to get your business seen for the right reasons, and raise your name above your competitors. Just remember if your attendtion is to send in a press release saying “SL Products attended this expo” the journalist is likely to say “big deal!” on the other hand if you are saying that your company was awarded the only trade stand for your industry at a UK wide event with over 200 exhibitors for the third year running. That says something about your company doesn’t it?
Don’t create a headache afterwards. One of the reasons people don’t turn up to events I feel is because they worry about the follow up and additional work load that it can create afterwards. Firstly reframe the way you word this. Instead of saying “I’m going to need at least 4 hours to process that event to get maximum benefit from that day and justify the costs.” Reframe this to; “In one day I will be able to generate enough leads to grow our business as planned this quarter, which could substantially reduce my marketing requirements this month and thus further increase our sales this year.” Your mind will happily create belief in what you say. So if you assume it’s going to be hard work, increase your work load and be a hassle enducing process, get what you are going to get? On the day ensure you are getting potential time wasters (you know the types, I call them Likers. They like everything you do, but are never going to follow up, get involved, support you or buy from you. They just take everyone’s freebies and tell everyone about their business and clear off!) So get the time wasters to do the work, ie “That sounds interesting, if you email/phone me next week when I’m back in the office we can investigate that in more detail.” It’s a great way of finding out who is there to do business and who is there to restock their stationery cupboard.
If a conversation is going really well, don’t leave it to the following day (when let’s be honest you are still exhausted from the show!) to get in touch, get it sorted there and then. Have your diary it and show your intent. “That’s great, lets Skype and move this along”. If you want something don’t hang about. There are so many opportunities and so many people talking at an event, you can find that in 2 days time your conversation is getting lost in their minds to a bucket load of work. Don’t let that happen by sorting things on the day.
Create a structure to how you process events. By doing this, you can learn the science of what works for you. Trial different things, until you find a style that works for you. Time how long it takes to process it. This is a great way for you Procrastinators to see an end to the job. Procrastinators stop procrastinating when they can see it’s not as hard, scary or boring as they thought it was going to be. So think about the results you want and how fast you can process it!
I hope you have found this a useful addition to your learning over here on the Insiders and if you have comments and ideas to share, please do! You know the Insiders is awesome because of you, your views, ideas and support for each others success. Awesome isn’t it?
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You are everywhere!
You walk into an exhibition room or networking event and those are the first words you here. And then people feel like they already know you. Guess what that leads to?
An instant connection, no need to do the nice weather, general chit chat, that ice breaker stuff has already been done for you. You can get straight on to the lead building, sales funnel, let’s do business stage. Cool right?
But seriously how can that happen?
Well I walk into events and that is what people say to me. And the irony is that my illness means that I’m either with a client at a BWN event or resting so I really am not “everywhere” as people think I am. However thanks to savvy marketing. It can look like I am.
So if you are looking to gain new business, and new leads and opportunities (even when you are very busy) you need a marketing strategy that will allow for that. And mine does. I can be on a beach, watching Downtown abbey, or with a client and still be picking up all of the above. I don’t dress it up, it comes down to My Marketing Production Line. You can download your copy here. And if you are utilising 8 to 10 tools, effectively, regularly and with interesting and relevant content to your target audience according to your ultimate goals (ask me about them sometime) then you will get the known as the thought leader you want to become. And you will grow your business.
Heck I even got head hunted to write a book for one of the UK’s leading non fiction publishers. And yes you guessed it that was without doing anything other than I suggest here.
And if you want to know more. Then sign up on my Facebook page to my newsletter there is a sparkly new website coming soon to www.mandieholgate.co.uk with some new courses starting from £14 and one of those is my Mandie’s Marketing Production Line teaching you how to be everywhere and gain new business even on a beach.
But for now start by asking if you were to be very busy, what actions are automated for you?
Is your online presence working hard for you?
If someone stalks…..sorry explores your online presence what are they likely to find? Is it likely to engage them? Be a fountain of knowledge? Interesting and fun? Useful and worth returning to? Worth signing up to a website? Good for business, health, life family holidays, entertainment? Does it make them want to learn more or make them want to go and watching dogs bouncing on trampolines?
If its the latter, its about time you invested a bit of time on your online presence and I’ve got plenty of ideas on how to make that powerful. Just pop in on a Tuesday afternoon to my Facebook page for a free master class and ask any questions and I will happily help all I can. As Founder of The BWN that is what I’m here to do. Learn more here.
I do hope you can make my book launch this Friday. It’s free to attend however you do need to have a ticket to attend. Book here.
Elene Marsden rocked it at our Marks Tey Hotel event in Colchester this January with 50+ business women left wanting more. And 2 lucky business women will be featuring in Elene’s YouTube TV Show very soon. Well done Melanie Winning and Sandra Sparrowhawk! Sandra will be presenting a 10 minute how to use scarves to make a statement and Melanie (award winninng Make Up Artist) will be sharing how to create the Audrey Hepburn look!
(Well done ladies and we look forward to seeing more!)
Elene loves the BWN so much, that Elene has signed up to be a member too! Here Elene shares how to create a successful YouTube Channel, thank you Elene!
With over 1 billion users on YouTube and viewers spending on average 40 minutes a day watching videos, isn’t it time you looked at using YouTube in your business?
What are the benefits?
Once you decide to use YouTube you’ll need to create your own channel. Follow this link to set things up https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/1646861?hl=en-GB
It’s also important to set goals, e.g. how many subscribers do you want, by when?
Follow these steps once you’ve created your YouTube channel
Creating the channel art can be tricky, here’s a link to create a template using the correct dimensions
Now it’s time to OPTIMISE YOUR CHANNEL
Divide your own content into playlists and also create playlists using videos that you’ve curated from other channels that complement your own content.
Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to our Preloved Chica Channel where you’ll see these recommendations being put into practice
“Share our Passion for Fashion.”