By Laura Ege
Setting your fees can be tricky for both new and seasoned entrepreneurs. It brings up so many questions and fears around choosing the right price and what happens if you choose the wrong one. And the higher the stakes (or bigger the contract), the worse the doubts become. One particular question that came up for one of my clients this week was, "What happens if I quote too high and lose the sale?" Honestly, that is a possibility. I wish I had a magic solution to make sure that never happens to you. I can offer you a few strategies to minimize the chances of hearing "no" on that important sale.
- Focus on benefits, not features. Spend 80% of your time emphasizing the results your prospect will experience from working with you and only about 20% talking about your process. Make sure you help them understand the true dollarized impact of not working with you too.
- Learn good sales conversation skills and then practice, practice, practice. Few entrepreneurs I know enjoy sales or even feel comfortable with the idea of "selling." While this topic could be an entire book all in itself, let me just say that it is well worth your time to learn good sales skills from someone who can teach you to sell in complete authenticity to who you are. You'll have the tools and knowledge to have an effective sales conversation, which will significantly increase your confidence. And confidence sells!
- Survey your audience ahead of time. If you are selling to an organization, you might find out what their budget is for the services you are offering. If you are selling to individuals who may not have a specific budget in mind, you can still engage them in formal surveys or informal conversations to find out what they would be willing to pay for the benefits your service or product delivers.
- Start small if you're new in business or launching a new product or service. I'm a big believer in charging what you're worth, and I see far too many entrepreneurs who charge too little. Yet when you're new in business, it's often easier to start small. This could mean start at one price and keep raising your rates a little with each new sale. Or if you are going to be selling large-scale service packages, you can start by selling one piece of the package at a time until you're confident that the entire package is on-target for what your audience wants and will pay for.
- Take a look at your mindset issues around money and charging for your services. If you've taken the necessary steps to understand what your audience wants, create services that truly meet their needs, focus on benefits, and hone your sales skills, yet you're still feeling resistance to setting your fees, it's time to look at the underlying mindset issues that might be holding you back from charging what you're worth and getting it.