When I was selling vacuum cleaners door to door (yes, I did!) there always came a time when my demonstration was finished, and it was time to show the customer the price sheet. It was a stressful time. In sales we have a high tech name for this. It is “asking for the order”. If you want someone to buy something you need to usually ask them to buy it.
Could it be simpler?
Well, most people don’t do it. In business, you’re probably actually very good at what you do. After all, you do it all day every day. You have skills that are valuable to others, and you’re probably comfortable giving a customer a brochure, responding to emails with questions or any number of other things that demonstrate your ability to give the customer or client value. But do you take the next step and actually ask people to buy?
Working with sales people, marketers and business owners in tons of different niches, I’m regularly confronted with this basic step being skipped. It’s essential to remember that people rarely take action on their own. Their needs to be a precipitating event. Something needs to happen to prompt their action. They need to be shown the next step. You’re the professional, no? Well if you’re the professional, you know when it’s time to make a buying decision. Of course, sometimes that decision is going to be “no thanks”. That’s part of being in business. But ASKING FOR THE ORDER is also part of being in business. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
If you don’t ask you don’t get. Really!
How to get more money
Sometimes business owners stress on what to charge. Especially when it comes to consulting, we often feel pressured to sell our time much too cheaply. Back to my vacuum sales example…the price I charged back then (this was many years ago at this point…I’m certain the price is higher now) was about $1600. Yes, $1600 for a vacuum cleaner. You may think that is a very high price, and you’d be right. Importantly, I believe in the product, and I will only ever use that type of vacuum cleaner to this day. I only ever sell products or services that I believe in 100%. That said, it’s very expensive.
So who in the world pays that much for a vacuum cleaner? The answer is no one does…with one exception. Those who are asked. Of those who are asked to purchase a vacuum cleaner for $1600, approximately 1 in 3 say yes. 1 in 3? Yes. 1 in 3. Is asking for the order really that effective? In my experience, yes it is.
It appears that if you ask, you just might get what you want…not every single time, but pretty darn often.
It’s expensive to be inexpensive
Why would you sell your time (or anything for that matter) too cheaply? What ends up happening? You end up resenting the work, don’t you? And clients still complain that you charge too much, don’t they? How much is the right amount to charge for your product? Charge the amount that makes you feel good about doing it. Pricing is an element of marketing much more than it ever reflects actual value. Actual value doesn’t exist. Pricing does exist, so charge what you’re worth!
Does this mean you have to charge $1000 an hour? Of course not, but I know many consultants who do. Even more. The point is not price. The point is that there are plenty of clients who will pay basically whatever you ask them to pay. You have to position yourself, and then simply ASK FOR THE ORDER. That’s how you get more money.