Have you ever lost business because you couldn’t justify the price of your digital marketing services? Do you feel people have a hard time paying for your expertise instead of your labor? If you’ve faced these dilemmas, you’re not alone. Many people, including me, stumble trying to overcome these common deal breakers. The best way to prevent these questions from ever coming up is to use a value selling strategy.
Communicate the Value You Offer
When people don’t understand how a service adds value to their business or life, price will more likely drive the purchase decision. I call this the “cost” mentality. However, when people realize value, price isn’t the only factor that influences the buying decision. People will also focus on the benefits they’ll get. Value selling isn’t always easy. But, with foresight and practice, you can help people focus more on value and less on price.
I’ve collected successful value selling strategies experienced digital marketers have used to improve their businesses. Use these techniques to surpass the hurdles that erode profitability or prevent you from getting a deal.
1. Position Your Brand to Bring Clients to You
“Study what other people do when they offer services similar to yours. Learn what customers for their services typically complain about. This will be hard to get for one specific competitor, but easy to get on the industry at large.
Go to conferences and see what people talk about there when they complain about poor service. Read online articles or forum postings and see what people complain about there.
Then, position your company as the antithesis of those complaints. You are the one who always follows through in a certain way, or does the reporting they want, or works with their people the way they want … (of course, then you have to do these things!).
This is one very good way to bring people to your doorstep asking you to work with them. And, when they come to you, it is easier to get paid more too.”
Eric is a well respected entrepreneur and author in the search engine marketing space. He works with a wide variety of clients, from small silicon valley startups, to Fortune 25 companies.
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2. Look for the Right Opportunity
Christine DeGraff isn’t afraid to go after business opportunities. Because of that, she now manages several successful endeavors. She shows you proof that setting the right price for your service can increase sales.
“I look for opportunities. When I see a good opportunity, I ask for it. I don’t sit back and let things happen. Build relationships and when you see a good opportunity go after it. Let people know the value you bring to the table.
Also, don’t be afraid to raise your prices to match the value you provide. People may perceive something isn’t worth it when they see a low price. Sales increased when we doubled the price for Circloscope!”
Christine has leveraged relationships to fuel her success in social networks and in her businesses. She was named one of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business. Connect with Christine:
3. Solve Business Problems
“One benefit of being a design and visual communications professional is that I can usually show what I do rather than just tell about it. On the other hand, what I do is not really about pretty pictures but rather solving real business problems, so it can sometimes be difficult getting past a prospective client’s preconceived notions and making the case that my work should not be judged on looks alone. In fact, finding creative solutions to a business’s various communications issues and how they present themselves is where I bring the most value to my clients — and is the true power of all good branding, marketing and communications.
Some get it and some don’t — but I find that having a good, in-depth discussion about a client’s particular needs and situation is usually the best way to align my services in a way that clearly benefits them. They then have a direct connection to me and a better understanding about how my services and process will help solve their business challenges, and hopefully, even propelling them to places they didn’t foresee.”
Paul has an impressive customer base including a Fortune 500 company and the NFL. As an active blogger, he manages the popular 12 Most blog and he’s a social media enthusiast.
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4. Match Your Services to Client Needs
“The single biggest mindset change that helped me express the value of my services was to remove all pricing from my site. It forces folks to contact me. That gives me the opportunity to qualify the lead and match their needs to the variety of services I provide. It’s that conversation that seals the deal. It convinces them the value and benefit they will receive outweighs the cost.”
MaAnna is a veteran web designer and developer. She has launched several online services to assist people in creating and managing websites more effectively. She rolled all of her expertise and experience into BlogAid, her current business. That’s paying off nicely for her because BlogAid has blossomed into a popular service.
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5. Use Empathy to Address Client Needs
Mike Allton explains how important it is to discover your client’s issues and offer solutions because it shows that you understand the person’s needs. This process can be a powerful way to build trust with people and communicate your expertise.
“The key for any service provider needs to be to have an understanding of what potential clients need, and communicate how that provider can address that need. Often, that means identifying those “pain points,” clearly demonstrating empathy, and then offering a solution to end that pain. In my case, I help businesses understand Content Marketing. That means they first need to see how other forms of marketing may be less effective for them, and then come to an understanding of what it means to implement a content marketing strategy for their own business. Along the way, there are any number of pain points that can be addressed, depending on the business and where they’re at. Are they spending too much on PPC ads or SEO? Are they failing to get any leads at all from their website? Or, have they tried to adopt a Content Marketing Strategy and are having issues with specific aspects like blogging or social media engagement?
And, this is exactly why content marketing as a medium is so powerful. Through the use of articles and blog content, service providers like myself are able to demonstrate knowledge and experience, as well as that critical component of empathy for our potential clients. Using blog comments and social media engagement, we can build relationships with readers and potential customers and establish a level of trust and understanding which may ultimately lead to sales and referrals.”
Mike has become a reputable authority for content marketing, blogging and social media by practicing what he preaches. He can write quality articles at the speed of light!
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6. Value Selling Through Return on Investment
When I meet with prospective clients I immediately ask them to tell me their business goals and if their digital marketing or website is helping them achieve those goals. I continue to ask questions to uncover any issues or problems they are having. I then focus on selling services that offer a solution and improve their goals. I recently provided a return on investment (ROI) analysis with my proposal for a website redesign that automated business processes. The ROI helped the business owner understand the financial value of her investment and I landed the deal!
7. Believe in Your Value
Don’t be afraid to express your value. This has been my biggest stumbling block so I made it my New Year’s resolution. Working through this has improved sales and my profitability in less than a month. Confidently communicating value to people is extremely important to bring in the right sales. You need profitable sales to keep your business thriving so you can continue to serve clients.
You now have a variety of strategies to assist you in communicating how your services can add value to a business or a person’s life. Providing solutions to problems, picking the right opportunities, setting the appropriate price and setting up qualified prospects with the best services are some tactics you can use to improve sales and profitability. Always be prepared to express your value.
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Top photo courtesy of Alejandro Escamilla.