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If you want to get clients that pay well and are a joy to work with, you have to earn them. You have to attract them. You’re not just going to find them wandering around.
Good clients are smart and good clients are picky. They’re selective. You need to be selective too if you want to have the opportunity of working with a great client.
What does a great client look like? The right type of client is one who respects your process. They’re not just looking for cheap work. They care about quality. They want to follow your process so you can do your best work for them. Sounds great, right? But how do you get them? Here’s what I think are the top 5 ways:
1. Don’t Chase Clients
Great clients are looking for something very specific. They can spot an amateur a mile away. Low prices, lack of confidence, absence of case studies, and no process—they will see right through you.
In order to get a better, higher-paying client, you need to attract them. Too many of you are chasing clients, begging for they patronage, and asking them to work with you.
When you chase clients instead of attract them, you’re fighting the Rule of Reciprocity.
The Rule of Reciprocity is the social obligation to return a favor. When you give first and then ask, people will be compelled to return the favor.
The problem is when you chase a client, you’re effectively asking them to do you the favor of working with you. This starts the project off on the wrong foot and often results in you compromising your process or doing extra free work that you shouldn’t be doing because the client inherently knows that you owe them.
You need to work with the Rule of Reciprocity. Attract the clients to you. Provide value in the form of case studies. Show your prospective client how you work by demonstrating how you’ve worked with other clients in the past.
When you demonstrate your expertise and share the story of past works, future clients will be able to see themselves in that story. Then they will come to you.
Don’t chase clients, attract them.
2. Filter With Your Questionnaire
If you want good clients you have to filter out the bad clients. The starting point needs to be them coming to you, and coming under your process.
The starting point is your questionnaire. You don’t need to be spending time on the wrong clients, you need to be qualifying the right ones. Ask your client about their business, their target audience, their goals with the project, and what they like to achieve. This is going to ensure that only the serious people are let through.
Stop wasting time trying to convert the wrong type of clients into the right ones.
You’re wasting your energy if you’re trying to convert the wrong type of clients into the right ones. Your energy should be going into asking the right questions to qualify the clients you want to work with.
3. Don’t Ask for a Budget
The most common question people start out with is: what is your budget? This is a mistake. No firm attracting high-profile clients starts with the money question. You need to understand this. You’re focused on money because that’s what you care about.
The client is not focused on money, they’re focused on results.
Low paying clients are focused on money. When you ask clients for their budget you are positioning yourself as an expense. Expenses are what companies want to keep down. You want to position yourself as an investment, not an expense. Investments are what companies want to maximize.
The budget question is focusing on money to you. This is a terrible way to start off the relationship! A professional understands that money is not the focus, it’s simply a byproduct of solving the right problems for the client.
Budgets are almost never set in stone. Yet, you not only lock yourself in when you tell the client to set a dollar amount right off the bat, but you also position yourself as an expense.
As a reminder, we are talking about how to get higher-paying clients. If this doesn’t make sense to you, it’s because you don’t understand how higher-paying clients think. You need to recalibrate your thinking.
People with money understand that you need to spend money to make it. Clients that pay well are willing to spend money when they know that they will get a return. Your goal is to focus the project on solving problems for the client that will make them successful.
4. Educate & Build Trust
To charge more and attract clients who are willing to pay a premium price, you need to build trust and familiarity. You need to establish yourself as someone who can create a result that is worth investing in.
The way you do this is by sharing everything you learn and teaching what you know.
You might be wondering how educating people will help you attract clients and not just people who want to learn how to do what you do.
Even though you’re teaching people how to do what you do, this also works to attract higher-paying clients. The client will come along and observe that you have a huge archive of educational material.
While the client isn’t interested in learning how to do what you do, it will be immediately apparent to them that you know what you’re doing because it takes a thorough understanding in order to be able to teach something.
Not only are you building an audience of people who want to learn how to do what you do, and who will also be inclined to pay for further training material from you, but you’re also establishing rapport and building trust with your potential clients.
5. Provide Solutions, Not Options
The last thing you need to understand about high-paying clients is that they’re not looking for options. High paying clients are looking for solutions.
The more they pay, the less they want to have to do. When you present options to your client, you’re forcing them to do work. You are forcing them to do your job. Your job is to provide the best solution. If you’ve narrowed it down to two concepts or several options, your job is not yet finished.
Select the concept that will most effectively accomplish the client’s goals and present that single solution.
If you can’t do this, then you’re not ready to work with high-paying clients. Continue providing options if you want to work with cheap clients who see you as a commodity and as an expense to minimize.
To level up, you must understand the psychology of high-paying clients and what they want to achieve. High paying clients place a significant value on their time. That is why they’re willing to pay you to solve a problem that would otherwise cost them time.
All of this comes down to extreme selectivity and strategic positioning. If you think that the number of options you provide or the number of hours you spend has anything to do with value to the client, you will forever be stuck fighting to get noticed in a commodity market.
Live Webinar & Opening of Value-Based Pricing Course Pilot Program Registration
There’s a lot more to this topic and I’ve had to work hard to keep this short form, but if you’re interested in learning more about Value-Based Pricing, we’re hosting a live webinar on Wednesday, November 11th teaching you how to price on value.
If you didn’t know, I have an entire course dedicated to Value-Based Pricing. Next week on the live webinar, we will be opening up registration for the Value-Based Pricing Pilot Program for just a few days.
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