I love making it and I love spending it.
And there’s a reason I love talking about money early in a business conversation. I have always found it creates a solid foundation right out of the gate with a client. When you can talk money with confidence, the client is much more likely to sell themselves with confidence!
Buying or selling, I’m in it for the money. When I buy something, I want the best value for my money. When I sell, I want top dollar for my quality. Don’t we all?
My clients pay me up front. I know, it’s nice. Being paid in advance was a brainchild of mine about two years ago to attract more of the kind of client I want. I’ve been doing it ever since. I charge my clients in advance of the month, and if at the end of the month they do not think they got their values worth, they do not hire me for another month. The money part is nice and easy.
When they pay me up front, I am incentivized, and I love what I do. But they too have something at stake with this model: their money! I find when we are both fully invested a real win/win develops easily.
So how does this relate to your company? How can you get paid up front or command a very large down payment?
First, think about what would have to change about how you do business to command that kind of trust and partnership, up front.
The likely answer, not much!
If you already are trustworthy and doing extraordinary work, the only thing that needs to change is your perception of your worth. If you don’t completely trust in your products’ or services’ underlying value at their current price point, then why should your prospects? And I mean completely trust your pricing enough to walk away from the business rather than compromise. This does two things: it helps you isolate real buyers earlier in the sales cycle, and it projects confidence. Prospects crave confidence; we all want to know we are spending our money wisely.
A natural side effect is it helps you weed out the other, less desirable kinds of client. Fewer and fewer undesirables, more and more Ideal Clients means more and more money, nice and easy.
Since few of us are in the position to walk away from business, I’m not suggesting you be cocky with your prospects. Respect is always paramount! I do find, however, the clearer I am about money right up front, the better the results! Every time.
What kind of clients do you want: high end, those shopping for the lowest price, or perhaps somewhere in between? You know when you have someone who can afford your services and when you don’t. When you do, trust yourself and your company, ask for and expect, full payment up front; or, depending on what you sell, a very large down payment.
If you sell retail, stop discounting. It makes you look bad. Just pick the price at which you want to sell the product and mark it accordingly. If it’s a real discount, they will hand you their money, nice and easy. If it isn’t, many will price check and buy elsewhere.
If you sell services, build payment-in-advance into your contract. For your existing clients transition them slowly, asking for only half up front the first month.
If you sell products, know where you stand about your competition: are theirs cheaper, more expensive, full service, or just the lowest price? If you know exactly how you compare, you can more easily showcase how you stand out from the competition. Use your unique selling proposition (USP) to attract your ideal clients and earn your higher price.
Selling in the 21st century has changed, and cash flow is a powerful thing. Think about what would have to change how you do business to command that power and start wielding it.
When you can talk money with confidence the client is much more likely to sell them self, with confidence!