I love four letter words. I really do! I frequently get called out for having a potty mouth by my family and friends. I remember at one point my 4-year-old niece pulled me aside (she’s now 17) looked me in the eye and oh so sweetly said, “Auntie Ki, please don’t use bad words… My mommy never uses bad words.” I knelt down, looked in her eyes, took her by the hand and said, “The hell she doesn’t!” My sister and I still laugh about this. She uses language just as much as I do.
If you are in any of the healing arts, you have a gift you’re trying to give people – health, wellness, balance, peace, healing. How do you put a price on any of that? Plus, there are people out there who advocate that these “gifts” should only be given, never sold. What a beautiful world it would be if that were our full-time reality. Until that happens, until my mortgage company accepts a blessing of Reiki monthly in lieu of my mortgage payment, and until the cable company is willing to exchange an MP3 hypnosis recording in lieu of the $99 package they’re offering me, I have to earn a living. Bottom line: money is a unit of energy with an accepted value universally agreed upon to be exchanged for services/products. It’s just energy! It’s the intention you put behind it that matters.
So when the time comes for me to close the sale I am completely at ease and congruent with asking for money. I am charging for my time. My time is valuable. I have spent 25 years mastering the tools and techniques that I share with my clients. I have spent over a half million dollars investing in learning those tools and techniques. I ensure that they are empowered by mastering at least two or three of the techniques before we’re done and they will have working knowledge of at least two or three more. That’s a gift!
Next time you feel challenged by trying to close a sale or uncomfortable asking for money, think about what you’ve invested to get where you are – the time, energy, effort, resources and, yes, money. OWN that investment for you and your client. Then try these next five steps.
- Have confidence in what you’re offering. If you don’t believe in it you can’t expect your client or potential client to either. Don’t ever expect the client to go where you’re not willing to go yourself. If you need more practice, practice. If you need more experience, practice. If you need more training, get it and then practice. See my point – practice, practice, practice! And you may have to do it for free or low cost to get you to where you’re confident.
- Be congruent about your fees. When I first started out my fees were $20-$80 per hour and because I was working in a corporate environment (here’s where my limiting belief kicked in) I didn’t feel I could justify a price increase for almost 10 years – since I was making a good living somewhere else. And if I had raised my fees I would have been out of alignment with my beliefs, and clients simply wouldn’t have paid it. When I started doing this full time and was working 60+ hours per week I made the decision to begin valuing my time. And to do so I had to raise my fees. I have found that if I’m closing 80% to 90% of the clients I’m sitting with for one-on-one coaching then I’m working too hard – I have too many clients. That’s what I have to course correct.
- Get into rapport with your client. People like people who they think are like them. The client has to know you and like you in order to want to do business with you. There are lots of ways to get into rapport – there’s a lot of psychology and research behind this and you can learn these things in my Life Success Training Program or you can turn to the all-knowing Google so I won’t go into detail here. Just understand you want the client to do most of the talking. You want to mirror and echo what it is that they’re saying.
- Ask for the sale. Too many people neglect to ask for the sale. They expound on the benefits, they expand on the process, they talk themselves in circles and the client in and out of the sale all to avoid asking for the sale. Here’s a simple format: I have a program/product/service that ___(meet their need here)___, how does that sound to you? Then let’s get started, I’ll need (your credit card information, check, deposit, first payment – whatever feels comfortable to you).
- Do not say another word. From a negotiating standpoint you do not want to be the first one to speak after asking for the sale. Again there’s a lot of psychology and research behind this. Just let the potential client process. Let them speak first.
People are going to say no for many reasons. It’s not your job to talk them into a yes – that’s never your job. It is your job to answer any questions that would allow them to move forward. It is your job to understand you’re going to take a lot of no’s before you get to those lucrative yes’s. And it is your job to understand that no matter what your business, program, product, or service, your primary, first and foremost job is to work in sales and marketing for your business.