Have you ever sacked one?
Business is a funny old thing; trying to find ways to give value to other people, who then part with their hard earned cash in exchange. If they pay you more than it’s cost you to deliver (and don’t forget to put a realistic value on your time), then you’re making a profit and your business has the potential to be sustainable. On the other-hand if you can’t charge more than what its cost you, watch out …
If you don’t respect each other then your business relationship may become untenable!
Often, the biggest challenge is for you and your customers to agree on the value delivered. If your customers down-value you, then they’ll either pay you less, or walk away and give their business to someone cheaper.
And the most influential person on determining your value is – believe it or not – not your customers, but you. You have to decide (and truly believe) in what you do and the value you give, then make sure everything you do reflects your position.
“Positioning yourself as an expert and charging layman rates is one very quick way to deposition yourself!”
Now a big part of your challenge to achieving agreement on value between your customers and you is to ensure you’re talking to the right types of customers in the first place. What you provide isn’t for everyone and you sure shouldn’t try to please all of the people all of the time.
Look at Apple. They hold approximately 20% of the laptop market, selling at twice the price of a PC and they don’t need, or indeed want, everyone to buy Apple especially if you don’t share Apple’s values. The results stand up for themselves, with their first quarter profits of 2015 reaching $18,000,000,000; that’s $18 Billion! In just one quarter!
In fact, there is an argument that the more you can niche yourself, the more of an expert you will be and hence give higher perceived value and get paid more as a result.
For successful long-term business relationships, you need to work with others who share your values and appreciate your value. Sometimes you may have found it relatively easy to win a new customer and the future looks hunky-dory, initially.
Then after a while you start to feel things aren’t going quite as they should; you start to feel a little agitated due to the constant challenging of your work and, of course, as they’re the customer you feel obliged to just suck it in and get on with it. But then things start to get worse and it starts to feel more like intimidation than a peer-to-peer, respectful relationship.
This often happens when in reality your values don’t match. It’s probably time for you to consider sacking your customer and yes, doing it can seem to be scary, but it will feel exhilarating and hugely satisfying.
Carrying on will just result in stress and pain and will more than likely get worse. How can you possibly work for someone you simply can’t respect, or who you may even dislike? That’s more like having a job isn’t it? With all the office politics that can be involved, I’m sure that’s not why you started your business.
So do make sure the audience you choose for your business is the right one; make sure they share your values and appreciate the value you deliver and ensure you have respect for them. Then engage with them appropriately and consistently, whether you’re a £500 or £5,000 per day person.
“If you do it really well, it’s likely you will be able to move yourself up the charging scale!”
Much of the work Kim and I do is about helping our customers to unearth their values and establish their value. That can be a truly revealing process and can get pretty emotional.
With your message clarified, we then create you a powerful, authentic brand, with all the necessary components like websites, print and social media content, which will be meaningful and engaging to your target audience.
But then you must keep delivering your message! Continuous action is the name of the game if you really want to supercharge your business.
If you know anyone who you believe would benefit from clarifying their values and their value, tell them to get in touch with me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can arrange a telephone call to see if we can help and check there’s mutual respect.