As promised in Part 1, here are the five most powerful value sliders. Raise one, and your average client value will go up noticeably. Raise them all, and your consulting fees will soon be at the top of your field.
Most people I share these with reject them out of hand.
Either they say "I know this already," or "I'm already doing it, so clearly that's not the answer."
But the truth is, to double or triple your client value, you don't need a lot of new info.
You just need a deeper mastery of things you already know.
So first, commit to the goal of growing your client-value.
And then, allow me to walk you there step-by-step. That's where the fun and the money is!
Focus on a more valuable problem, and your fees go up.
If you were a dentist, you can do what every dentist does and earn what most dentists earn.
Or, you can focus on a specialty where the typical patient spends 10x more.
Your skills can be applied to solve a whole range of problems. Some of those problems are just more valuable to solve because they are more painful for the person who has them.
So the first Value Slider has you making the strategic decision to solve problems that are more valuable.
Practically, how do you raise this value slider?
List every problem you can possibly solve; every result you can possibly enable. And assign each a number on a scale of 1-10 based on how valuable they are to your potential clients.
As you move up, the fees you can charge go up exponentially.
So, to double, triple or even 10x what your clients pay, build your business atop a problem that is “Highly Painful and Highly Valuable.”
This second “value slider” is closely related to the first. It’s the other side of the coin, so to speak.
Not all clients are equal. You want to find the clients who have the ability and desire to pay more.
Why do some clients pay more? There are many reasons.
They may have a greater hunger. A bigger drive. They may be bigger thinkers. Have greater confidence . More of a need. Or maybe just bigger budgets.
Sometimes they will pay more just because they know that by hiring you, they don’t have to think about it anymore. Getting it off their mind is very valuable to them.
So here’s what you do:
Now, you may think to yourself, “Yes, they can pay me more. But they’re not the ones I want to work with!”
A good and fair question.
I am not telling you that you need to work with clients you don’t want to work with. What I am telling you is that there is a way to make this value slider work for you.
The core principles of this value slider most definitely do apply to your consulting business.
Sometimes the tricky thing is to figure out exactly HOW. But don't ever let the question of "How?" slow you down!
Another thought that could stop you is:
"OK, great. Now I know WHO I want to work with for higher fees. But I have no idea how to find them, reach them and sell to them!"
In other words, we just need to figure out how to apply these principles to your unique vision and goals.
There is garbage advice peddled to consultants. “Charge your value,” they say.
And when you get down to the specifics, they tell you to charge outrageously high fees “because you are worth it!”
But that is utter nonsense.
You can’t just charge whatever you want, because there are mitigating factors. And this “charge what you are worth” advice pretends those factors do not exist.
Furthermore, this nonsense plays on a consultant’s insecurities.
As it is we all have some self-doubt. And when someone who seems more successful tells you to charge your value, you may end up charging much more than you are psychologically ready to charge.
And when you charge a fee you don’t believe in, you’ll probably lose the deal.
Somehow the lack of integrity between the fee you quote and what you believe inside comes across. And your potential client pulls back.
To charge higher fees, you need a genuine confidence that the value you bring to this particular client in this particular situation is a great deal for them. Not a fake bravado.
We’re just touching the surface here because this third “value slider” has many underlying factors, beyond what we can cover here.
In the struggle to “stand out,” and “differentiate themselves” some consultants will try all sorts of silliness.
For example, some pretend to have discovered something new and they try and make a big deal about their “new, proprietary methods.”
Others focus on shallow branding, guru-style positioning and who knows what else.
Each of these can work and sometimes does. But if it’s not a fit for your personality and your values, it won’t work for you.
So how do you stand out?
By building genuine relationships.
The best clients won't hire you simply because you have some skills. There are many others who have the same skills.
But they will hire you for your skills when they also feel you understand their situation and have their interests at heart.
That feeling only comes from a genuine relationship.
This is how you stand out. No one can copy what you’re doing. No one can be like you.
And this is value slider # 4: Develop genuine relationships with the people you’ve identified in value slider # 2.
When clients who can pay much higher fees know and feel that you have the skills AND you understand them - you have no competition.
There is no one else like you. And when there’s no one else like you, it’s too risky for them to try to “save money” by going with someone else.
Value slider 3, Confidence in yourself, is largely an inner journey.
It positions you to charge higher fees.
But you still need to know how.
Value slider # 5 is the how. It is a skill set.
This value slider is about having the skills to package and present what you do in a way that makes it easier for your ideal client to say “Yes!” than to say no.
How you package and present your expertise matters - whether you make an offer on the spot or via a presentation or a proposal.
A value-based fee isn’t a “new” idea, but few consultants do it right. And because they’ve struggled with it, they think it can’t be done.
But of course it can be done.
You just need to fill in some missing know-how.
Part three is about why most consultants won’t successfully raise these value sliders.
On the next page, I’ll break it down for you with a simple case study.
Oh, and if you have any questions about any of this, drop me a line in the chat box on this page and ask away.