Want to charge more for your services? One way is to offer clients more value. Your fees and your value to the client should go hand in hand. Here are nine ideas to increase your value to your clients:
1- Offer a guarantee.
You might feel like offering a guarantee is taking on a lot more risk than you’d like to, but this is a myth. When you offer a guarantee, you help to lower the perceived risk your client feels they might have when deciding to do business with you. This greatly increases the number of clients who will take that chance, even if they don’t know you very well yet. The surprising truth is that very few people will take the time to ask for a refund, making the increased sales far more valuable than the few returns you’ll need to process, if any.
Set limits, qualifications, and perhaps money on your guarantee, such as time frames, restocking fees, and requiring products to be mailed back in good condition. That way, you reduce your risk of running into the few people who will take unfair advantage of the system.
2- Offer affinity discounts.
I’m not sure why this one isn’t done more often in service businesses or in the bookkeeping industry. Any company can partner with another company to offer discounts to their entire client base, yet mostly only membership organizations take the time to cut affinity deals with vendors. If you are a veterinarian, could you offer all the grooming salons in town $15 off a puppy checkup? If your company is a flower shop, could you offer a wedding dress retailer a discount for brides?
If you do tax preparation or bookkeeping, your clients may need to chill out. Consider doing a deal with the nearby movie theater, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, or a spa where clients who owe too much could forget about their issues for a while.
3- Little black book.
Share the names of your favorite vendors with your clients. We’ve created a 27-page book of the vendors I work with, and this is a bonus that goes with all my products. Not only do my vendors love me for the referrals, my clients get a great resource that saves them lots of research time.
4- Backup copies.
In case of an emergency, can your clients count on you to have copies of the work you did for them? Build this into your service, mention it in the proposal, and charge a bit more for it. After all, storing the client documents you need to keep is not free.
Build in explanations of what you did and why you did it if the client is interested. When I write a document for a client, there is literally a reason or every word I use. I’m happy to include this explanation for a couple of reasons: 1) the client appreciates the richness of the product they just received, and 2) the client gets smarter about what we’re trying to accomplish together and becomes a better collaboration partner.
I know we’re grown-ups, but we each have a kid inside us. Leave behind a toy or gift of some sort, like you would get from a promotional company or a toy store. It’s just fun.
7- Learning aids.
If your client needs to learn something as a result of your services, produce a cheat sheet that you can leave behind to accelerate their learning.
Offer follow-up access to you to answer questions that came up after your project was over.
9- Take on more risk.
Taking on more risk is the gold standard for being able to command a much higher fee. The more risk you take, the more you can charge, and risk is the fastest way to getting a higher fee. Think about how you can apply this one to your services. Your experience level and ability to generate consistent results client after client will give you the confidence to increase your risk and also your prices.
Which one of these nine could you try in your business?
I’d love for you to post the ways you’ve been able to increase your value and your prices. Share your stories and ideas on my blog or on my Facebook page here http://www.facebook.com/sandismithleyva.