What Your Clients Think You Value is What They'll Send Your Way
Updated: Sep 26, 2020
The person who loves cheapened products, reduced rates and finding a good deal will be sent your way if you're constantly giving discounted services and products. If you let missed appointments and lapsed bills slide, you'll be sent people who don't keep their commitments and don't pay on time. Why?
When you give your customers an experience, you're communicating your values to them. You're telling them who your ideal client is and trusting them to send that person your way. Be cautious with the clients that you keep around and keep representing your brand, service and product. A full schedule with tons of clients feels amazing, but what if only 25% of them are your ideal client? What if 25% are paying the price you feel your work is worth? That's not so fun anymore. How do we let that happen, though? I'm sure it's never our intention to make less money, work more and accumulate clients that aren't our people.
When you're building a business or starting a brand, it can feel a little desperate. You may feel that in order to really become successful, you've got to cave on some big issues (billing, type of client, etc). You've got to take what you can get. This is a fear based reaction and you deserve better. How about that gut reaction when we hear someone's situation and extend empathy in the form of discounts and free services? Not a wrong move. In fact, as business owners - we get the ability to do some pretty amazing, charitable things! However - our actions communicate to our customers. There are ways to work with people and be understanding of their situations without discounting our services, talents and products. Extend a listening ear, direct them to another provider that's at a price that's more affordable or even offer a fraction of your service at a price point they can afford. You can even opt to do the work pro-bono or set up a strategic partnership (i.e. I'll do work for you and you refer X people to me).
The key is to be aware and clear on why you're adjusting things. Is it for an ideal client who is having a hard time? Is it motivated by fear or desperation? Are you in a season of growth and giving back? Is it an intentional choice you feel good about? Will this cause burnout for you? Do you have room left to accommodate ideal clients? More importantly, be sure that if you make big adjustments in pricing/services you have communicated with the highest amount of clarity your values and expectations to the client or customer. If you're able to do that - your brand maintains integrity and strength.
If you've got existing business that's troubling...what can you do? Establish boundaries. Layout your baseline expectations and be clear to communicate with them. If you haven't set up the ground rules....that's on you, not the client. It's not too late to do this either so don't you worry. You get to have this conversation at any point! Lay out the ground rules, communicate them and stick to them. For example, when you hold your clients to keeping appointments, paying full price and working inside your mission and vision - they know exactly what you value. They'll refer people to you that also respect integrity, can pay for your services and share in your mission.
If you want to increase your quality referrals, take a look at what you've been communicating to your current clients through actions, pricing, scheduling and feedback.
Start simple. Write a list of your top 3-5 values. Assess whether or not your current clients uphold those same values and are aware those are your top values (and if you're really bold and want to know - send out an anonymous survey to your top 10 clients and ask them to input what they think your top 5 values are!). Be sure your words, actions, branding and language are all communicating your values clearly and effectively. When you're aligned and congruent, you'll attract people who are seeking the same.
For more information on aligning your mission, vision and values contact Alicia at firstname.lastname@example.org
(self-awareness is a great place to start. find your biggest strengths in 10 minutes, click here)