Q: With a new client, how do you transition from getting to know the client’s needs, to getting paid what you are worth for your consulting assistance? Mary Anderson New Haven, CT. USA
As a service-based business getting paid what you are worth is a matter of “Best Practices” and should be a regular standard of operations in your company. It is what successfully worked for me in the 26 years I owned my company and has worked well for countless other successful companies.
As a service-based business, getting paid what you are worth is a matter of “Best Practices” and should be a regular standard of operations in your company. It is what successfully worked for me in the 26 years I owned my company and has worked well for countless other successful companies.
It all starts with the first contact. One of the first questions you need to ask your customer or client is if they have ever worked with anyone else in your industry before. This will give you valuable information on your customers past experience, either positive or negative, and their level of understanding of how things work in your industry.
Your first meeting together is the best opportunity for you and your client to get to know each other a bit better and find out in detail just what their needs and goals are, and if you and your company am the best match to do the job (this gives you an out if you find during the first meeting that you are dealing with a difficult client or it happens to be a job you don’t want to take on). There is no charge for this first meeting. If the two of you decide to work together at the end of the meeting, let them know up front that you will accept a retainer of $…… and your hourly fee is $… and you will be billed (fill in your schedule).”
It is best if this is handled up front even during the first face to face meeting or even before if possible. I am sure your business attorney will also recommend that you include this same information in your business contract. It would be wise to bring two copies (one for you and one for your customer) ready to sign with you to your first meeting.
You should set an appointment for your next meeting, collect the retainer, and have your customer sign the contract before you leave the meeting if you choose to work together. Let your customer or client know that you work in a similar fashion as a lawyer or accountant would and this is your standard practice. Most clients will accept, respect, and understand this way of doing business.
One last key point…
Most customers are in fact more than willing to pay you what you are worth if you do two key things. Provide exceptional value and your customers desired results with as much ease and efficiency as possible. Your customer is focused on getting from where they are to where they want to be.
They need you to provide them this transformation and usually are more than happy to pay you for it. If you doubt your worth it, so will they. If, on the other hand, you know you provide exceptional value and solve your customers’ most urgent needs, they will happily pay you what you are worth.
In other words, to receive value, you must first provide value.The greater the value offered to your customer, the higher price you can charge for your product or service to the customer that needs it most.
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