Extremely important blog post today. This mindset change has been extremely important for me, and it’s something that consistently comes up when I’m working with new coaching clients.
This mindset change works in every industry and works whether you’re selling to businesses or consumers.
If you’re going to be working with clients (and let’s assume you are since you’re reading this), why not work with the best and most successful clients possible?
This seems obvious, right? But, I’m telling you, when I started out, this is NOT what I did and it’s not what 90% of my new coaching clients are currently doing.
For some reason, as humans in business, we’re programmed to go after the “low hanging fruit” when it comes time to market our services and we tend to “settle in the middle of the pack” when it comes to pricing those services.
This is the wrong way to do it. I’m telling you, it’s terrible, and it sabotages your business slowly, don’t do this anymore.
What you should do instead is target the “big fish” in your respective industry (the most successful person/business that can benefit from what you offer) and price your service at a premium price point to match the massive value level that you bring to the table.
Does that make sense? I’ll use an example of how my early website design career went to clarify.
Example: My Early Website Design Business
Young Brian G. used to have an issue.
When I first got out of college and started selling websites in 2009 (shudder…) I did not target the correct customer.
My goal was to go after the local pizza shop, massage parlor, nail salon and if I was feeling real good about myself, the local dentist.
They were ALL around me I thought, of course I’ll be able to work with and help them!
Unfortunately, as I know now (definitely was clueless back then) not only was every other web designer and marketing company on earth approaching these people as well, but, they really didn’t have much money in their budget for website services.
This led to a situation where I was forced to compete on price, every single time.
Not only that, but when I did win a deal (at that low price point) the client was rarely engaged and I never felt truly good about how the projects would go.
The following scenario would play out over and over again:
I’d get a meeting with the local business owner, they’d love what I had to offer, we’d then discuss pricing (my already low prices), they’d tell me they have multiple other people with cheaper options, I’d lower my price significantly to win the business, they’d agree and I’d leave feeling devalued and bad about myself.
What a way to start a new client relationship! There’s nothing worse then walking out of a meeting after you “won the deal” and feeling horrible about yourself.
I couldn’t do it anymore, it was literally crushing my soul.
I’d have four client website projects going on at once, with clients who were not engaged in what we were doing.
I’d also be making NO money, and barely had any time to look for new work.
Not a good look. Something had to change. Luckily, it did.
One day, I realized I literally couldn’t do it anymore. I was stressed out, not making any money and pretty much ready to hang it up and get a job (that would’ve sucked)!
To make a long story short, (and it really is a kind of a long and boring story) I found myself at a networking event for web developers. I was never big into networking, but, I thought I’d get out of my comfort zone and see who else was out there.
Luckily, that day I met another local web designer who I had not heard of before. We began to talk about business and after a while, I felt confident enough to ask him about his pricing/service structure.
What he revealed that day literally changed my life forever. Basically, he told me that his proprietary graphic design services started at $10,000.00 and went up from there.
I had never heard of a “local website guy” charging that much before.
Surely, he was struggling for business and had to do some lower cost projects also, right?
No, he told me. Not only did he never have to lower his pricing, he actually was overbooked and his projects were booked out for the next 6 months in advance.
Also, he told me he didn’t sell “websites” and would never use the word when he was consulting with potential clients.
My mind was officially blown. He couldn’t be honest. Who would pay that for a website?
Plenty of business owners he said. If you target successful people, and put an extremely valuable service in front of them, they don’t focus on the price, they focus on the result.
This thirty minute conversation completely changed my business future.
It was like the clouds dissipated and finally I could see clearly!
The reason I was frustrated was because I wasn’t charging enough for my services. The reason I wasn’t charging enough for my services was because I was targeting the wrong clients. I was targeting the wrong clients, because I didn’t have enough confidence in myself to approach a higher caliber of client.
All of the problems in my business were rooted in the same issue.
Now, even though I no longer sell website services and haven’t for a few years now, these lessons are more relevant then ever in my coaching and consulting business and in the businesses of my coaching clients.
No matter what industry you service the principles are the same:
You want to target the most successful businesses in your niche and offer them a comprehensive, premium solution made up of your most transformational and valuable services.
- Target the premium clients in your niche.
- Charge a premium price that matches the incredible value and transformation you offer your clients.
- Be the high end option in your industry.
- Work with motivated, successful clients who value your services and what you do.