How to Discuss Rates Like a Pro
Does the topic of money make your mouth dry and your hands sweat? Mmmm…Do you dread that point in a conversation when someone says, “So what do you charge?” Oh, how I hate this and I’m sure you do too! Just what ARE your RATES anyway?
So, you are not alone in this situation. Because most of us have difficulty talking about money—especially when it comes to quoting rates for our own work. Honestly…just what are you worth?
If you’re going to be successful in business, you have to get over it. Yup, you heard me right! GET OVER IT!
So, here are a few of my suggestions:
The first rule for declaring your rates with confidence is simply to practice. Talk to yourself in the shower. Tell your dog what your rates are. Stand in front of your mirror and say, “I charge $XXX.00 per hour.” Or…”I have 3 different packages you may select from.”
The more you say your rates out loud (not in your head) the more natural it will be for you.
Even if you’re on the phone or writing an email, smile when you say your rates. Your tone of voice changes when you smile (as does the “tone” of your typing) and that tone can convey confidence and authority, not to mention professionalism.
3) Avoid Being Indecisive
Listen to yourself as you speak to potential clients. Do you say things like, “Well, normally I charge…” or “Actually, my rates are…” or “Do you think that $XX.00 will work for you?” REALLY???
These (and others like them) are all indecisive ways of talking that do not instill confidence in your client, and worse, they make you sound like you don’t believe in yourself. This is true, and you should except that fact my friend.
Rather than squeaking out a timid, “Um, I charge, like $1,000 per month,” straighten your back, smile, and say, “My rate for VA Services is $1,000 per month. Where should I send your invoice?” And then…
4) Be Silent
When we’re nervous or feeling intimidated, we tend to talk. We want to fill the silence with something, anything, just to avoid having to sit there uncomfortably and wonder what the other person is thinking.
But guess what? He or she is just as uncomfortable with the silence, and psychologically, the one who speaks first is at a disadvantage. So when you’re talking pricing or rates, please avoid the urge to fill the silence (especially because you’re most likely to try to justify them) and let your potential client take the time to respond.
Will speaking with confidence always land you a new client? Nope! But being able to share your rates in a clear voice will help potential clients know that you’re confident in your skills, and consequently, that you are the right virtual assistant for them.
Speaking of…I know the perfect VA for you…ME! You can contact me HERE! I would love to help you with your business. And yes, we will be discussing my Rates and you can see what services I offer HERE!
Business Foundations and Recurring Revenue
So, I’ve been thinking a lot about two things in my business, foundations & recurring revenue.
I believe that to build a sustainable and profitable business, you need only to focus on creating a great foundation. And you need to find ways to bring in predictable recurring revenue.
Doing this helps you to build stability that gives you the freedom to build on what you have and to create a lifestyle business that fits you and what you believe.
What are the foundations?
It’s going back to the basics of building a business and doing this works for any business whether it’s online or a brick and mortar store.
Take a look at what your key foundations for your business are. For me, it’s sharing what I know with you. And you could listen to a ton of business owners out there but…you’ve taken the time to sign up and share your email address with me. And this gives me the opportunity to connect with you personally in your inbox. I appreciate you so much for that too, so thank you. This is the beginning of “relationship building” that we’ll discuss in another blog post. But for today, let’s discuss what else is included in building your foundation.
foun·da·tion founˈdāSH(ə)n/Submit noun 1. the lowest load-bearing part of a building, typically below ground level. synonyms: footing, foot, base, substructure, infrastructure, underpinning; More 2. an underlying basis or principle for something. “this idea is the foundation of all modern economics” synonyms: basis, starting point, base, point of departure, beginning, premise;
Another foundation piece should be revenue and profit. Running a business that isn’t profitable is a business that isn’t sustainable. Are you understanding the message here? I sure hope so…because if you’re not making a profit…why are you doing what you’re doing?
Your foundation is what will keep your business moving forward. Its purpose is to keep you focused on your reason for being in business in the first place. For many business owners, this is called the “WHY“. So why are you doing what you’re doing?
It’s that foundation piece to help keep you moving forward when you’re ready to just let it all go. What? Let it go…did I hear you right? No way…I just got started! (I can hear you saying that right now!)
Another important foundation is staying focused.To do this keep your big goal / idea somewhere you can see it. Yes…write it down and put it on your bulletin board or whatever method you use so you see it EVERY DAY!
Remove all your distractions and focus on what you want to get done to lay the foundation for your business. It will really make a difference for you. Honest!!
Next up is…
Recurring Business Revenue
As a business owner, creating income that is predictable and consistent is important, REALLY important in fact. Having a service, program or membership that offers the opportunity to bring in consistent cash flow month after month is one of the best ways to bring in consistent income.
Look at alternative ways to create recurring revenue. Whether it’s creating small e-books to sell on your website, checklists or having a membership site, it will help to create a positive cash flow, kind of like set it and forget it plan.
rev·e·nue ˈrevəˌn(y)o͞o/Submit noun income, especially when of a company or organization and of a substantial nature. synonyms: income, takings, receipts, proceeds, earnings, sales; profit(s) “this month’s revenue is up 5 percent from last month” a state’s annual income from which public expenses are met. items or amounts constituting a state’s income. “the government’s tax revenues”
You can also do affiliate marketing which is a great way to earn some additional income. I’ll discuss this more in a future blog post, so you’ll want to make sure you stay tuned for that.
I’m not quite ready to share what I have planned, but I can tell you that it’s going to be a money maker for me for the future.
So, what kinds of things do you have in place for your business? Please let me know in the comments below…I’d love to hear about them.
In the meantime, I would love to help you with your business so please let me know by contacting me here.
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Simple Ways to Eliminate the Maybe Clients
As in any business, you’ll spend a certain amount of time on clients who will never pay you. Really? Gasp!! Not in my business ever! What you say? You mean clients always pay you? Yup, that’s what I’m saying. So, here’s the situation.
Do you realize that…
- Website designers quote jobs that never come to fruition? Yes, it happens every day!
- Car dealers spend hours chatting up customers who will never buy? Yup, I’ve seen it happen!
- Book agents read countless manuscripts they will never be able to sell? Can you imagine this?
- And coaches spend time giving out free advice to clients who cannot or will not hire them. Oh, my!
Truthfully, it can be frustrating when you’re in this situation. And it’s definitely a drain on your time and energy, right? But there are some things you can do to eliminate those who will never become clients without having to spend time with them first.
Here is the definition of a PERFECT CLIENT!
1) Someone that trusts you 2) They receive value from you 3) A person who will pay you
OK…here are my magical ideas!
Post Your Prices
One of the most hotly debated topics among coaches and service providers is whether or not you should post your prices on your website. There are pros and cons on both sides of the fence, but the biggest advantage to posting your prices is that it immediately eliminates those who cannot afford you. Yes, this is true! If you are not comfortable doing this, then put “starts at”.
Of course, you don’t have to list prices for everything to achieve the same effect. If you offer private coaching and self-directed training packages, having a price tag of $1000 on your “entry level” course makes things pretty clear. Your private coaching is going to be at the high end. And that will eliminate all the clients that are looking for a less expensive option.
And that will eliminate all the clients that are looking for a less expensive option.
If you prefer to quote packages individually, a line that states, “Coaching packages start at $XXX” is a simple way to state your prices while still giving you some flexibility. Right? I mean if you’re going to provide this as a service you need to market it correctly.
Before you get on the phone with anyone, require that they do a little groundwork first. A client intake form should tell you everything you need to know about a potential client. So long before you pick up the phone, do a little digging. What it tells you the most, is how much work they’re willing to do. Freebie seekers aren’t likely to do the work required. They won’t even answer a simple questionnaire, so those who do fill out your form are better prospects.
So long before you pick up the phone, do a little digging. What it tells you the most, is how much work they’re willing to do. Freebie seekers aren’t likely to do the work required. They won’t even answer a simple questionnaire, so those who do fill out your form are better prospects.
Freebie seekers aren’t likely to do the work required. They won’t even answer a simple questionnaire, so those who do fill out your form are better prospects.
Not only that, but you can include in your form a question about pricing. Such as “What’s your budget for coaching?” Use a pre-defined list of answers that start with “$1,000 and up” rather than letting your potential client fill in her own amount.
And, I guarantee you that those with smaller budgets won’t bother to complete it.
Change Your Language
You know that words have power! If the words you use on your website and other marketing material are speaking to newbies or those just getting started in business, you’ll never attract the audience you’re seeking. Instead of using words like “step by step plan,” say, “advanced techniques.” Rather than talking about “easy systems,” mention high-end, complex software by name. Simple changes can help you to automatically attract the right audience.
Rather than talking about “easy systems,” mention high-end, complex software by name. Simple changes can help you to automatically attract the right audience.
You’ll still spend some time and energy on those who ultimately won’t hire you. But by making these simple edits to your website, marketing materials, and other business systems, you’ll begin to see more high-end clients.
So try it, maybe see if this method works for you. And, as a result, you may just save yourself some time.
I bet fewer of those types of clients you no longer wish to work with will disappear, just like magic! It’s as simple as that! Try it and see if this method works for you.
Remember, if you need help with your business, I’m always available for a FREE 15-minute chat. Just contact me here…I know…it’s a form! What did you expect?? Yes, you are finally finished reading this post. BUT…
Here’s something that might help you:
Creating Your Mindset For Business
When you think about the highest earning business coaches, people like Ali Brown, Carrie Wilkerson, and Marie Forleo, what comes to mind? Charisma, experience, and expertise are often at the top of the list. Do you think they have the proper mindset?
Would it surprise you to know that those are not the most important characteristics? In fact, while those things do help attract and keep an audience, there’s one thing that is absolutely critical to their success, and you can’t even see it. It’s their MINDSET!
It’s true. In everything you do, whether in business or in life, your mindset is the determining factor when it comes to your success.
Your business plans are no different. Without the right mindset, you will forever be attracting and working with clients who are:
- deserving and lovely
- are less than your ideal client
- and might have problems when it comes to their ability to pay
So before you can realize your dreams of four- or five-figure clients, you have to do some internal work. You have to make some changes to your own mindset. To be more in line with what the top earners in your industry already do and feel.
mindset ˈmīn(d)set/Submit noun the established set of attitudes held by someone. “the region seems stuck in a medieval mindset”
Changing Your Attitude
One thing charismatic and personable people have in common is a good attitude. Think about it; you’ll never see Carrie Wilkerson or Paul Evans complaining about how the kids are sick, “again!”! Or that the cable repair guy is 40 minutes late, or even that the car blew a tire.
Instead, you see their expressions of gratitude in everything. If the kids are sick, they’re grateful to have a business that allows them to stay home and play nurse.
If the cable guy is late, they’re grateful to have 40 extra minutes. They will just read a book instead of watch television.
And if the car died in the middle of running a week’s worth of errands, oh well! They’re happy to have found a mechanic who does great work at a reasonable price.
If you find yourself complaining—even in your head—turn your attitude around. There’s nearly always something to be grateful for, even in the worst situations.
And when you can rethink and revise your attitude for the better, you’ll not only be happier, but you’ll attract a better audience, too.
at·ti·tude ˈadəˌt(y)o͞od/Submit noun a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior. “she took a tough attitude toward other people’s indulgences” synonyms: view, viewpoint, outlook, perspective, stance, standpoint, position, inclination, temper, orientation, approach, reaction; More a position of the body proper to or implying an action or mental state. “the boy was standing in an attitude of despair, his chin sunk on his chest” synonyms: position, posture, pose, stance, bearing “an attitude of prayer” NORTH AMERICANinformal truculent or uncooperative behavior; a resentful or antagonistic manner. “I asked the waiter for a clean fork, and all I got was attitude”
Growing Your Confidence
Here’s something else top-end coaches have in common: confidence. Yes, they believe in what they do. They believe in their own ability to help others achieve the same thing. So they walk on stage or join a webinar filled with the knowledge that what they are about to say will change the lives of those who are listening.
It’s not cocky or arrogant, it’s just confidence. And if you don’t have it yet, you can take steps to increase it.
Start by asking yourself, in any new or uncomfortable situation, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Of those worst-case scenarios, resolve what you have control over, and let the rest go.
So if you’ve agreed to speak in front of a small group of business owners, and your fear is that you’ll flub your speech, practicing beforehand will greatly improve your confidence.
Next, get inside the head of someone who is confident in what you’re about to do. Walk onto that stage as if you’ve been doing it for years, and not only will you feel more confident, but you’ll be more confident.
You can use the “as if” attitude in everything from creating a new product to closing a sale. Whenever you feel your confidence failing, just remember to act as if you’ve done this successfully hundreds of times.
con·fi·dence ˈkänfədəns/Submit noun the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust. “we had every confidence in the staff” synonyms: trust, belief, faith, credence, conviction “I have little confidence in these figures” the state of feeling certain about the truth of something. “it is not possible to say with confidence how much of the increase in sea levels is due to melting glaciers” a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities. “she’s brimming with confidence” synonyms: self-assurance, self-confidence, self-possession, assertiveness;
Just like how the person you’re talking to on the phone can hear a smile in your voice. Your potential clients can sense your mindset also.
And, if it’s not up to the standards of the top earners in your niche, you’ll struggle to make the sale. Just work on your attitude and confidence levels. Then watch your income soar.
I certainly hope you enjoyed reading this article on “Creating Your Mindset For Business“.
If you need help with your business contact me HERE. I would love to help create your successful business.
“To get new results you must take new actions and all actions are fathered by a decision.” – Anthony Robbins
The Importance of Making a Committed Decision
The first step in building a successful business is making the decision to do it!
I want you to think about that for a moment. The first step in achieving a successful business is to plan to do so. I bring this up because so many business owners jump into the profession and immediately focus on how to get clients. Then, how to make money, then how to market, and how to close sales. All this before they have fully committed to having a successful business, to begin with. Is this you?
A committed decision is a foundational pillar upon which your successful business is built.
That’s powerful! Isn’t it? That’s the kind of committed decision you must make about your business.
For example, you could decide to do whatever it takes. You could decide to build a successful business or to make a meaningful impact in the world. One of my favorites is beautifully simple: Commit to being a business owner. Decide to be a business owner!
Unfortunately, a lot of business owners who are “trying” to grow their business haven’t made a committed decision to succeed as a business owners. They are feeling things out, waiting to see what happens, and hoping to get clients. There is no real commitment or determination. Don’t let this happen to you! The first step to going from “trying” to “succeeding” is a decision.
Benefits of Making a Decision
Building a business is not easy. If you don’t fully commit to doing what it takes, you won’t succeed. It’s that simple.
When you make and connect with your committed decision, you will have more focus, clarity, and purpose. You will have more inspiration and more motivation. Let’s face it, obstacles will arise! If it was easy to build a successful and profitable business, everyone would be a business owner.
Your decision will remind you of the reasons why you became a business owner and why you want to succeed in this business. Right? When you deeply connect with your decision and your reasons, you will be inspired to take the action necessary to succeed.
This may sound contradictory, but the decision, in and of itself, means nothing. It is the inspired action that results from you making a decision and connecting with it every day that really matters.
What a Decision is, it’s Not a Goal
I think goal setting is great, but the power to achieve them comes from the DECISION. The first step is to make a committed decision. THEN you set goals that are congruent with your decision. But the decision comes first.
Decision: Declaration, commitment, general, comes before the goal. Example: To have a successful business
Goal: Where you want to be, specific, measurable. Example: To have 10 new clients in 6 months.
A Decision is Not a Mission Statement
I don’t want you to turn your decision into a long, flowery, descriptive mission statement. There is nothing wrong with having a mission statement for your business or life, it’s just not what I recommend right now!
I’d like you to make a decision that stirs up your emotions. Your decision should connect you with your passion for business. Your decision should strengthen your commitment, inspiring you to act even when it isn’t easy.
Decision: Clear, Concise, Memorable, Inspiring. Example: My life purpose is to be a good business owner. It is who I am.
Mission Statement: A narrative description of a purpose or aim Example: I endeavor to manifest my destiny by enabling single women to achieve greater fulfillment while contributing to the peace and joy of humanity.
Below is a short lesson on making decisions.
Assignment 1 – Make Your Decision
Make a conscious decision, a real declaration, about your commitment and desire to build a successful business.
Ask Yourself: “What decision can I make right now that will spur me into action and help me stay committed to being a successful business owner?”
Examples: “I commit to building a successful business.” “I’m doing this and not giving up!” “I’m an amazing business owner with a huge practice and great life.” “I commit to being a masterful business owner, having a thriving practice and living the life of my dreams.”
Elements of a Powerful Decision
- Clear: It should be easily understood by a 12-year-old.
- Concise/Memorable: You should be able to easily recite your decision from memory. Evokes Feeling The actual sentence isn’t as important as the feeling behind it.
- Inspires Action: The best decision you can make is one that inspires you to take action, even when you don’t feel like it.
Are You Ready? Take time RIGHT NOW and make a powerful decision that inspires and motivates you. This is a critical piece of the foundation upon which your successful business is built.
_____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________
Assignment 2 – Build Your Commitment
Now that you have made a decision, the next step is to get fully committed. The key is desire! Identify WHY you want to make it as
Identify WHY you want to make it as a business owner. You need to be fully committed to your decision, because if you’re not, you may falter when challenges arise. And there will be challenges.
It’s not always easy to build a successful business! The key is having strong, compelling reasons so you commit to your decision, take action, and never give up. Below, write down all the reasons WHY you just made a committed decision.
This is a critical step, so set aside some time and think deeply. Why is this important to you? Is this the reason you were put on the earth? Will it enable you to be the best you can be? Will it give you the freedom you desire? How happy and fulfilled will you feel? How will this impact others?
Why I am committed to my DECISION:
________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________
Assignment 3 – Create a Contract with Yourself
Finally, print the contract on the next page, sign it, and hang it where you can be reminded of your promise to yourself every day.