How to Increase Sales Without Spending A Single Cent
There is an old wisdom in business which says you have to spend money to make money. But what if you’re running a one-man show or have used up all your capital?
Well, you may be able to bend this rule if your business is based on your skills and knowledge if you’re in the professional services space, such as a consultancy, graphic design or accounting outfit.
How, you ask?
Increase your prices.
It sounds ridiculously simple and perhaps a little idealistic, but please bear with me.
Firstly, you need to stop undercutting just to win a job, without any regard for your time and effort. It’s tempting to do it when you feel you are in an overcrowded market or when you need to make ends meet.
I don’t blame you.
Remember though, your ultimate goal is to build your skill and reputation where you are first class in everything. You need to start by charging what you’re worth. There are clients who will pay the right price.
The fees or prices you set also determine two things.
First, they determine the type of clients you attract. There are clients who will always pay peanuts. You wouldn’t want to work for them. Trust me.
Secondly, your prices also determine how good you will be. Psychologically, we tend to perform better when we are paid well. Likewise, we’re more likely to deliver subpar work when we are paid peanuts.
Think of your new price as your natural “kick-in-the-butt” push to improve.
How to set your new price
Start with the end in mind. Calculate what you need to sustain a decent lifestyle while maintaining some semblance of a work-life balance. I say semblance because you still have to work hard to take your business to where it needs to be.
Work backwards and you will arrive at your new ideal price.
However, there is a caveat to this. Raising your prices should only be in line with market rates, whether you are offering basic or top end services. It’s gratifying to think you deserve a Rolls Royce for your effort but unfortunately, economics and common sense still prevail with your clients.
How to raise prices sensibly
So, how do you increase prices without giving your old clients a heart attack? What if no one wants to hire you at your new price?
The easiest way to increase prices is to do it gradually over time.
Raise your price until the market tells you to stop. Make it a point to increase your quote by 10%-20% each time you send a proposal or bid out. This way, you’re not alienating your old clients or scaring your prospects.
Eventually, the market will tell you when it gets too expensive. This is economics in play. That’s when you know you have hit your limit – for now.
Don’t be scared to do this. If you don’t ask, you will never get it. Above all, keep emotions away from the negotiation table. Research has found that anger and anxiety always lead to poor outcome.
How to sweeten the deal
Think of what else you can offer to match your new prices without breaking bank or your back.
Here are a few suggestions:
1. Offer impeccable customer service
You may be selling your skills and expertise but at the end of the day, people will do business with people they like. It is a basic rule. Make sure, above all, that you are professional, accommodating and courteous. It doesn’t hurt to go the extra mile based on your new price.Always communicate clearly, especially when you foresee hiccups or when something goes terribly wrong. Respect their opinion and work together to come up with the best product or solution.
2. Offer a deposit back guarantee
Some clients may like you and your work but are hesitant to spend the amount you are asking. Offer them a deposit back guarantee and deliver preliminary work.If they are not satisfied with your initial work, they are free to leave. This gives you money in the bank and the motivation to do a great job. Remember that there is always room for negotiation if they like you.
3. Offer a fixed price instead of hourly rates
You’re bound to face disputes when you charge based on hours because what you consider tedious may seem easy for the client. Billing by the hour also scares clients because it could mean breaking their budget, especially if there are revisions.
Give them a fixed price instead. Package your services in a nice bundle and list down all your hard work and effort that goes along with it. It sits down better with clients.
Raising your prices is not an instant silver bullet but this sets the wheel in motion towards building a reputable business.
Nothing happens overnight.
In the long run, you will be much better off once your prices match what you are really worth, if you put in the same amount of effort today.
Now, imagine what could happen if you work harder?
Are you sick of working for chump change? Download my free e-book where I outline the exact strategies I used to grow my business to a record 6-figures in just 12 months, and then more than double that in the following 12 months