In the first blog post in this series, Ratcheting Up Your Revenue (Part 1): Power Strategies Every Smart Entrepreneur Needs to Know, we covered an overview of the only strategies a business can use to boost its revenue. Click here to read that post
In the second blog post in this series, Ratcheting Up Your Revenue (Part 2): Enticing Buyers to Buy More Often, we covered a less costly but highly effective revenue ratchet strategy: Enticing buyers to keep coming back for more. Click here to read that post
In this blog post, we’ll discuss ways to sell more to your buyers by encouraging them to buy more and/or higher-end products and services each time they buy.
A word of caution though: Don’t rush out and arbitrarily raise your rates. Instead, consider the following “power practices” and apply them thoughtfully as you go about increasing the size of each purchase.
Selling More: Power Practice #1: Give your buyers obvious and easy reasons to buy more with each purchase.
Let’s look at how you might do this. First, you have to understand their needs; how do you fulfill their needs? In other words, you want to ask the question, what’s the best way to solve your customer’s problems and fulfill their wishes and desires?
How do you figure what your buyers want? You have to ask them.
Here’s an instructive snippet from a conversation with a coaching client that illustrates this point:
Me: “What’s your value proposition?”
Client: “We make life easier for them. We help them make more money.”
Me: “How do you know this?
Client: “I’ve been in business for 15 years.”
Me: “Okay that’s great, but how do you know that these are the specific results, improvements, outcomes and experiences that you’re providing for your clients?
Client: Silence for a little while.
Me: “Would you be willing to directly start asking buyers why they bought from you and what they want more of? Call them up. When they make a purchase, ask them. Do a survey, formally or informally to understand and meet your customer’s needs.”
Client: “I’m having a flat-forehead moment.”
You may already be successfully providing a valuable service; yet, you still would do well to speak with your customers and clients and get feedback. Ask this simple question: “What would you like to buy from us that we are not currently offering and if we offered something else, what would you want to buy from us?”
What you think you’re providing and what your buyers say you’re providing may be two different things. Similarly, the reasons why you think your buyers purchase from you may be surprisingly different than what your buyers actually state as the reasons. The only way to find out is simply to ask them!
Selling More: Power Practice #2: Continually add value.
Value exists in the minds, hearts, and experiences of your buyers. Similar to Power Practice #1, ask your buying audience: “What else can I add that’s valuable?” and “Is what I’m offering still valuable to people?” Times change, things change, economies change, mindsets and wishes and desires and problems change.
It’s important for you as a business to be adaptable and flexible enough to be able to continue to add value on top of what you’re already offering. The most efficient and reliable to do that is to continually ask questions of your buying audience and to listen to what your buyers are saying they want and need from you. You have to provide what they want before they’ll buy what they need.
Be aware that what buyers say they want to buy isn’t necessarily the same as what they really need. That’s okay. Sell them what they want. After that, you can sell them what you as an expert know they really need.
Selling More: Power Practice #3: Reinforce the ultimate value that buyers get from the business solving their problems and fulfilling their desires and needs.
Businesses commonly overlook such opportunities. A simply way to reinforce that value is by asking customers to tell you why they’re using your products and services, why they chose to buy from you, and what they’ve gotten out of them.
You may not always get desirable feedback but it will be very instructive and, used properly, will make a significant difference if you apply that feedback to your business.
You can reinforce the value by capturing raving fan stories, success stories, and testimonials, then sharing them with your potential buyers and existing buyers. This is called “social proof.” For instance, if you go to my website you can watch videos where you hear from the voice of some of my success stories what they got out of working with me. Success Interviews and 6-Figure Success Stories
In instead of or in addition to a “Success Stories” section on your website, you can sprinkle testimonials across different pages on your website as well.
Simple reminders with ideas and tips about how to get the most out of their purchase also serve to reinforce the value of their purchase and encourage potential buyers to jump on-board. TechSmith, the creators of Snagit and Camtasia, does a fantastic job of doing this through their “Your TechSmith New You Can Use” electronic newsletter.
Selling More: Power Practice #4: Focus on value conscious buyers, not price-sensitive consumers.
Price-sensitive customers buy based on who offers the lowest price for what they believe are comparable goods and services. They very often buy at the lowest price at the cost of quality, features, benefits, durability, longer-term value, and overall results.
For you, the problem with price-sensitive customers is that they tend to be disloyal when it comes to buying from you again.
They also tend to be the toughest to please and the most likely to be easily dissatisfied.
Value-conscious customers, on the other hand, buy based on trust, relationships, quality, service, outcomes, and the ultimate experience they get from doing business with you. Over the long-term, you establish an ongoing relationship with these customers in which you’re both invested. As a result, they are more likely to be fiercely loyal and supportive of the longer-term success of your business. Though their expectations remain appropriately high, they are more understanding, patient, and forgiving when things don’t go as well as intended.
In general, buyers who are value-conscious will buy more from you at any one time than price-sensitive ones.
Selling More: Power Practice #5: Shift your mindset to set your product prices and service fees based on value.
The more common approach is to set fees based on hourly rates, on what the competition is charging, or on what you mistakenly fear is what customers can afford to pay.
For a lot of entrepreneurs, this is a very challenging subject. It takes a committed effort to shift existing habits and mindsets. I’ve worked with a lot of people on this. For many people, they just aren’t as confident about stating their fees. When it comes to setting fees, frequently there is this little voice that goes off in the back of our minds that says “You can’t do that.” “People won’t buy from you.” “You’ll lose all your customers.” “Your business will come to a screeching halt.” “It won’t work. It’ll be a disaster.” “You’re going to fail.” This comes from mistaken beliefs about yourself.
What is the number one reason that people don’t set their fees based on value?
The number one reason that people have a challenge in setting their fees based on value is self esteem. They have a weak relationship to themselves in understanding and appreciating who they are and the value that they provide to others.
When you alter your beliefs, thoughts, and feelings about who you are as a human being, you gain greater confidence in the value that you have to offer and in setting your fees based on value. This inquiry opens up a whole host of other things such as emotional feelings, emotions that are based in the past, typically from our childhoods.
Expanding and upgrading your mindset about the value you provide and setting fees and prices is an ongoing process. Engaging in this work is likely to boost your confidence in the value you provide with potential clients and reinforce that value for existing clients.
In Part 4 of this series, we’ll cover 5 more power practices for encouraging buyers to spend more each time they buy from you.