What is the real value for your clients when they hire you?
I recently spent some good time with a consulting client who was struggling to sell high-value engagements to his clients. As happens to many service providers, the firm ended up selling time over value.
This is a very common and frustrating situation because very few business owners and executives have really cracked the “value” code. Here’s a question. What impact will your business have if you don’t find a way to help your clients to realize how much value you bring to them?
Just to name a few scenarios, you won’t be able to stand out from the competition, your brand won’t be remembered and, most importantly, you won’t scale your business.
Time is a commodity, so this is how your clients may see your business. I am sure this is not what you want.
If you price your services and still struggle to understand what value you will bring to your clients, I have bad news for you. This is too late.
You should identify value in your first discussion with the client. This is the best time for you to understand what is not working in your client’s organization and why, what are the costs to your client personally, what becomes possible if you solve the situation for him and the organization.
You should really “dance” in that moment, moving from frustrations to wants, from fears to aspirations. This will not only help to define value. This will help you to build immediate trust with your client.
Once you have a better idea of what the client sees as a valuable outcome, your fees should reflect a minimum of 10 times the investment.
When I work with clients on a value proposition, I’m often asked how to quantify intangible benefits such as bring back confidence, free-up time, build influence, etc. etc.
Here’s the thing. It’s really up to your ability to do three things: 1) ask powerful questions without moving to the next question if you don’t get high level of clarity, 2) drive the conversation to make sure you end up to value-based questions without stopping at situation analysis questions 3) summarize your client’s answer to ensure you agree on each outcome.
By following these simple ideas, you won’t be only able to sell higher-value engagements. You will massively increase intimacy with your clients as well as barriers to entry.