Do you sometimes get frustrated with offers expressed as seemingly helping you, but in reality do not value your time and experience? Put in this situation, most people will either give away their services far below their worth or will walk away without trying to find a solution to the problem.
The secret strategy is to ask that together you find a mutually beneficial solution for all.
Begin by resetting perception and expectations
Most often people will stand back when you politely but firmly let it be known you value your time and the experience you bring to your work. The sales term is “re-framing” due to putting a brand new perspective on the offer.
When you stand up for who you are and what you may contribute to helping your peer, they then understand a different conversation needs to take place. And when this occurs, their perspective of your capabilities is reset and their thinking adjusts to focus on how you may work together.
Does this work 100% of the time? Very little works 100%, but your returned question relieves the belief you have to give your services away. It also serves to free up your time to concentrate on those prospective clients who do value your expertise. This is known as the qualifying stage that is so important for building a thriving business.
A real life example would be someone asking you to contribute content free of charge to their website because their traffic statistics are very high and it would provide you excellent exposure. Put the ball back in their court. Explain you are very busy with your own clientele and would need to charge a fee for content. If they seriously want your material, you would be asked, “What are your fees?”
Answering the question, of “How Much, is very tricky to answer and requires you ask additional questions. Blurting out a figure might be much lower than what was about to be offered, or so high your price can’t be accommodated. Instead, inquire as to the type of content desired, length, and frequency of delivery. Specifics will give you insight into the time required for meeting and exceeding expectations.
Ease into a negotiation
Relay experiences you had helping previous clients with similar needs along with the excellent outcomes achieved. Or you may point the requesting party to your website page displaying testimonials and examples of the expertise you provide.
Offer to meet in person or speak on the phone to get clarity on what will be expected of you, as well as find a common ground that is fair to all parties. No one can argue with the word “fair”.
Suggesting a meeting of the minds puts you in the leadership seat and conveys that you are highly competent in what you do. This speaks highly of your personal brand. Your prospective client becomes enthused about finding a way to make the project work for all concerned.
Asking applies to most situations. It is the engaging conversation, and working to solve the needs of all parties, that more frequently leads you to the Smooth Sale!
Elinor Stutz is a contributor to the Personal Branding Blog. She is CEO of Smooth Sale, delivers inspirational keynotes at conferences and authored three books: “INSPIRED Business A New Vision for Building Business and Communities”; International Best-Selling book, “Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results”, and community service led to the writing of her second best-selling book, “HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews.”