The last few days I have been privileged to work with one of the newest and largest casino resorts in Las Vegas, one of the largest media publishing companies, and the largest trade association for staging, audio-visual production. While each client had different products and services they all shared the same concerns. We asked questions and came up with innovative-inside the box- solutions. Inside the box means you spend time figuring out the problem BEFORE you work on the solution. The problem is inside the box not outside. Think of it as a gift box. When someone gives you a wrapped present you are outside the box, right? Do you know anything about what’s inside? Do guess or open the box and go inside? Same with a problem. Until you go ‘inside’ you can’t determine what makes up the problem, what you can do about it, and develop workable solutions. Stop thinking ‘outside’ the box and go ‘inside’ the box.
Where do I find more clients and retain them? How do I increase my bottom line? How do we develop a more innovative culture?In each case the concern was that every discussion with their clients started with “how much?”
For each of the organizations I facilitated an Idea Exchange.
I suggested that the response to ‘how much?’ should be “Is Price The Only Criteria for your decision?” If that is the case, “It’s one dollar.” Now that we have overcome the price issue we can focus on your other concerns, objectives and outcomes? Feel free to try responding with $1 and wait for the shift in the conversation. Price is not the reason to do business with anyone except a commodity product or service. If you sell as the lowest price provider you risk someone offering a lower price. If on the other hand you are a solution provider, price is not an issue.
No matter what business you are in, what services you offer, the questions remain the same. However the groups felt that clients had ‘preplanned responses and here’s the top four replies…
Everything is fine, thanks for asking.
What can you possibly teach me about my business/industry when you are not in my industry?
I have no money. I have no time.
Send me more information.
What keeps them awake at night?
What’s the real reason they contacted you?
How can you offer transformation not information?
There are very few challenges that are too challenging if you are working with someone that is open to change…to shift their thinking.
What’s working? What’s not working? What’s missing? What do you need if there were no limits to resources? What’s next? What’s stopping you? What do WE need to do to make this happen?
Because if nothing changes, nothing changes.
Coach Landry of the Dallas Cowboys said find someone “who gets you to do what you don’t want to do, so you can be who you want to be.” Upon completion of the Idea Exchange we created a new list of 10 Questions to ask our clients. Please use them the next time a client asks, How Much Do You Charge?
- What do you want?
- What is your vision?
- What is the really big picture?
- Who’s holding you accountable?
- What actions or steps do you need to accomplish your goals?
- How will you obtain new clients?… To increase your business income?
- What’s my solution worth to your business?
- How will you track the results and our success?
- Would you be willing to partner with us to get those results and share the incremental revenue?
- If not then you can go back to the original question with a slight tweek… “How much will you pay for us to achieve those goals?
Make Shift Happen!
The customer is looking for a solution to a problem or trying to maximize an opportunity, cut costs, etc.
There is a reason you are talking. It’s time to shift from the ordinary to the EXTRAORDINARY.
It’s about the value you offer and the solutions you provide that determine what it will cost.