The problem with casting a wide net and attempting to attract anyone that sort of needs what you do is that sometimes it works.
Look through your client roster and tell me about your most troubling clients. The ones that came to you based on price, left and came back for the same reason, beat your staff up and always wanted one more thing. These are the ones that demanded you lower your price to meet competition and of course you threw in some extra services and tolerated their demands for customized arrangements.
These clients that weren’t a good fit kept you from charging what you’re worth or having the confidence to turn away business based on price.
Chasing the wrong prospects is the basis of all pricing problems.
One of the most important components of any marketing strategy is the clear understanding of a narrowly defined ideal client – lacking this you will always struggle to compete on price.
Below are five elements that must be considered to properly remain focused on an ideal client for your business
Of course the first step is understand what ideal means to you. I always get to this quickly by asking clients to consider a client that they could honestly describe in these terms – “if I have ten more clients just like that, life would be great.” We all have dream clients and if you can stop and understand what it is about them that makes them so, you’re on your way to having the definition of the ideal client.
Everyone focuses on things like demographics and these elements are important, but the biggie for me is shared behavior. Is there a common behavior, such as leadership participation in their industry trade group that signals ideal over above things like business size and need.
Share the picture
Once you have the characteristics of an ideal client you need to create as detailed a sketch as you can and come up with a description you can use publicly to help attract prospects that see you are focused on them.
Create a test
Once you start casting for ideal clients you need additional ways to make certain you’ve done your job. I own a marketing company and sometimes people are attracted to what they think I do, but in reality they aren’t a fit at all. We use a qualifying process that helps us communicate how we work best while requiring prospects to submit to a process that demonstrates their commitment to getting the solution we offer.
In a way this process presents some friction that helps keep those that aren’t serious about working in a manner that we know works at a distance. If a prospect won’t sit still for a valuable initial process they probably won’t sit still as you try to get them a result.
Your marketing process must be designed to educate, build trust, demonstrate how your approach is different and build value for your proposition. It’s important to demand that your prospects get this education.
I know this sounds a little harsh, but the quickest path to the wrong client is to create a client that doesn’t have the proper expectation about how you work, what you expect of them, and why what you do provides so much value. It’s your responsibility to create this education and your duty to make certain that your prospects get this education. The goal is mutual fit and that takes work
Raise your prices
Do everything I’ve mentioned above then start looking the ideal prospects directly in eye and charging what you’re worth – a rate I suspect is not what you’re charging today.
Get the right client, educate them properly and say goodbye to pricing problems.