Q: Should I give away free consultations?
A: This isn’t as straightforward as I’d like it to be. If you’re just starting out, doing some free consultations may be of benefit. BUT make sure you ask for a testimonial in return. So they either sing your praises on social media or they send something to you and of course you would then plaster it every where. If you’re not just starting out, than my advice to you is to respect your time. You’re running a business not a charity. Unless of course you don’t have enough clients and if that’s the case, we need to talk.
And while we’re on the topic of free….
Q: What do I say to people who want "to pick my brain"?
A: Your time is money. Period. A polite way to redirect them is by saying something like: "That's something that I can best explain during a scheduled consulting session. Here's the link for your convenience."
Q: Should I list my prices on my website?
A: This is a personal preference but I’m going to suggest you do. Think about the times you’ve gone on a website and they didn’t have the price listed of what you were looking for. What are the chances you’re going to send them a note to ask? You may, but you’re more likely to move on to the next website. Unless someone has specifically recommended a company to you than you’re more likely to make the effort or you’ll ask the person who recommended them. Another thing is that it gives people the impression that you’re expensive and expensive to them might be a lot more than what you’re charging. Something to think about.
Let’s say you choose not to list your prices or maybe someone comes to you from another avenue and hasn’t looked at your website…
Q: If someone just wants to know my prices, what should I do?
A: Get them on the phone to tell them (don’t email your prices). Let them connect with you and get a sense of who you are and your vibe. Remember that people just want to feel like they’re making the best choice. Help them feel that way. It’s your personality and your conviction that will leave an impression…not your prices.
Q: When I’m pricing something, can I round up instead of ending it with a 7 or a 9 like I see so many other people do?
A: There's a psychological reason why we as consumers tend to more readily buy things that are priced at $1.97 or $1.99 instead of $2.00. When we look at the price of something, we focus on the first number. So in the above example, you’re looking at it as one dollar and change. If it’s priced at $2.00, that puts it at the next level and it might be one level too high, based on what they were expecting to pay. Another reason why we tend to buy something that ends with a 7 or a 9 is because it’s a specific number and people assume that it was thought out and therefore valid.
Q: Should I ask for a deposit ahead of time?
A: Definitely! This is what professionals do. They have agreements and take deposits. Not only are you setting the tone for them to take your work together seriously and to bring their A-game but if they decide to cancel on you last minute, it will help recoup your costs. You may be thinking “there wasn’t any cost”. There is only one of you and you can only work with so many people at a time, in order to say yes to them, you had to say no to someone else (trust me your business will get there if it isn’t there already).
Q: If they say they'll get back to me, and then don't, should I follow up?
A: Let me start by saying, don’t leave them in charge of closing the deal. They won’t. So whenever you’re wrapping up a call with a prospective client and there’s that awkward moment, take control of the conversation and just say “Let’s do this: You review the details, and I’ll give you a call on Wednesday to see what questions you have? Sound good? People are coming to you to be the expert. They'll respect you when you step up to the plate and take control. And if they’re hemming and hawing about you contacting them, then they’re probably tire kickers or not interested. Either way, let it go and move on.
Q: What if people tell me how wonderful I am and how much they love my offerings / ideas / products...but never actually BUY?
A: There are a lot of different factors. We should talk if this is happening. However, I’d first ask you if what you’re selling is intangible. If so, you want to make sure that you’re not using words that has your prospect sitting there thinking, "That would be nice to have." Instead use words that have them say "Yes, I need this." If I were to tell you that by working with me, you’ll become more confident, you're going to intellectually know what the means but it won't evoke any feelings which means you probably won't buy from me. On the other hand, if I tell you that one of my client's who came to me because she was having a difficult time telling people what she did and that when she did manage to do a video or make a post, she never felt really good about it and the fact that no one took action, proved she was right, and that within the first month of working together, she ended up able to speak with conviction and went on to make an extra $30,000 that month thanks to her newfound confidence. The person can get excited and it feels like a smart, targeted investment.
Hugs & high fives,