When I first started out in business, I was what we will call “tender hearted”. Every client that came to me with a sob story or a financial challenge I would give them a largely discounted or free services. Then I would watch them go and spend money on things like lavish vacations, new cars or custom designed ball gowns. I started to realize that money wasn’t the real challenge, their priorities were. Then I read someplace “people pay for what they need and beg for what they want.” it was in THAT moment that I realized that while my services were NEEDED, they were not being valued. Now instead of discounting my rates I do one of 3 things.
1. Offer flexible payments – I offer a flexible payment plan. Depending on the price point, I may request a significant portion up front to be sure the client is invested.
2. Create A Revenue Stream – I suggest a solution to help them earn extra income that is specifically earmarked for my services. This still makes the client responsible for investing in their own dreams.
3. Referral Based Services – On occasion, clients who are interested in some of my top end programs will pay for my services by sending over referrals. In essence I set up a referral account (Excel Spreadsheet) and track the amount each referral spent with me. That amount is then applied as a credit to their “referral account”. When they have enough dollars in the “referral account” they have then earned the cost of the program and we begin coaching. Again, this option is rare because I simply don’t have time to do all the tracking and reporting to keep everything honest. And also it would only make sense if the referrer has access to dozens of top level clients they can refer to me.
A few people have asked me how I feel about bartering. The truth is that I’m not really a big fan. One person often receives more benefit than the other. So here are my rules when it comes to bartering.
- The other person must offer a really expensive service that I really need.
- We must do a memorandum of understanding about when the barter will begin and end and what we both expect to get out of it. Additionally, the pricing must be listed so we can do an apples to apples comparison.
- I never barter more than 50% of my fee. After all I can’t eat “services”.
Hope this lil tid bit helps you get a little closer to Creating The Life You Crave!