Here goes my petty venting of the day: I am sick and tired of hearing, “Preston, if we had the budgets you have, we’d all be successful.” News flash folks. You forget a couple of things:
- The richer the clients, the more they understand about getting a good value and good deals.
- I started by designing a $25 floral arrangement, and still trying to give it good value.
So, the issue is: How do we add value to what we sell so clients feel like they must go with us even if someone else is cheaper? For me, this is always a work in progress.
These are a list of 10 questions I constantly ask myself about creating value:
1. What do you bring to the table that is uniquely yours? Make no mistake. Aside from prices, clients only work with folks they like. I have been told many times that I have an easy, comforting vibe. This is not something I “put on,” this is who I am (except when I am installing a job or someone pisses me off for being rude.)
2. How do you show your talent to your clients without sounding like a bragging ass? It’s not enough just to say you have talent. Even though it’s more work, I show my clients instead of tell them. I mostly try do this by giving my clients three different designs, instead of just one. Not to mention most clients will more readily pay for something they have chosen.
3. How can I create a lasting impression with my services? Let’s keep this one simple. Here’s one good way to givie good service. Always, and I mean always, return calls or emails within three minutes of receiving them.
4. How can I create a product my clients “must have”? This one involves a lot of trial and error. That is why I like the method of three different choices for design. Most likely, they’ll see something they “must have” in their event.
5. How do I make it a fun experience for my clients? My good friend Marcy Blum is an expert at this. Because she is naturally funny, she constantly has her clients laughing. Create your own idea of showing your clients a good time. (As long as it’s legal…just kidding of course.)
If you are not clear about your services, neither will your potential clients
6. What’s the perception of your brand? Do clients think they can get a bargain from you or that you are too expensive? I have a great deal of experience with this one, of course. Most people hesitate to call me because they think I am way out of their price range. Sometimes they are right, but in most cases is my job to show them the old saying is true: “You get what you pay for.”
7. What’s your pitch? Can you explain your services in three sentences? If you are not clear about your services, neither will your potential clients. I have visited many websites, and walked away with a headache without knowing exactly what they do. Keep it simple folks.
8. Is your tone confident? Do you sometimes sound too desperate to get the job? I have made this mistake many times when I am excited about creating a specific job. Most times, the client senses this and wants it for a bargain.
9. What’s your follow up process? Should you call your clients more than once if you don’t hear from them? Within reason, yes. There is nothing wrong with showing your clients you are interested. In fact, after most initial meetings, I always make it a point to say, “I would love to work with you, is it okay, if I follow up?”
10. Last but not least, are you doing a great job? I have made terrible mistakes in the past that have taken a lot of time and effort to repair. Living in New York, you are just as good as your last job so try keeping the mistakes to a minimum. On Thursday’s Common Mistakes, I’ll be addressing my 10 all time biggest mistakes.
If you want to make lots of money, you just need to add lots of value to your business. Adding value is not a formula, it’s more of a destination. If you are having difficulties with in any of the above, please ask your question in the comments and I’ll answer directly by email.