Sales can be one of the most daunting aspects for any new business owners for reasons we will dive into in this discussion. When I first started in video production many years ago, I was just making videos for my friends because it’s just what I loved to do. I never charged a dime for my services because, truthfully I had no idea there was a market for small video production companies. Once I discovered there was a legitimate market for my videos, I had a really hard time charging a fair market value for my services. Feeling like the new guy on the block, I had serious imposter syndrome for a long time and the only cure was charging ridiculously low prices.
I challenge you to learn from my mistakes, and in this article I hope to provide you with the tools you will need to avoid the pitfalls I fell into when I was first getting my business off the ground.
Set Your Price and Don’t Waiver – For each and every one of your inquiries, make sure you are pricing out the job accordingly. Don’t guess, calculate your hourly rate, how many hours of work the job will require, and any overhead you will have (equipment rentals, raw materials, travel). Make sure you include everything and price it out properly. If you feel as though you are being compensated accordingly, you will begin to feel resentful, to no one’s fault but your own. This is a really bad place to be, and believe me, I’ve been there. Once you have a general idea about what proper pricing for your business looks like, it becomes a lot easier to start speaking confidently about your pricing. It’s understandable to feel insecure about your pricing or worried you might not get the sale. Let’s get this out of the way now. You will not land every sale, so set your pricing to what makes you feel good and it’ll be a positive domino effect from there. You’ll start performing better at each job and you will gain confidence in your pricing. Once you do, it is truly an incredible feeling.
Build Packages – Once you have enough information and you’ve collected some data on your average job price, you can start to build packages that you will be comfortable with. I personally use the good, better, best technique for packages. You want to try to make your lowest package pretty standard and your highest package a “stretch” package with your most ideal package and price right in the middle. However make sure the low package is getting a truly lower service than your higher packages and your highest package offers a truly elevated service. I always start with my middle package and work both down and up from there. Make sure the variance in the price of each package isn’t too much. For example, 700, 1,000 & 1,300 would be an excellent scale for your pricing. But going from 700 to 1,300 to 2,500 might be too wide of a gap for clients. Trial and error is the name of the game.
What’s Your Budget? – If you’re not asking this question, there is a good chance you are leaving money on the table. There are so many times I should have asked this question, only later to find I left money on the table. When you ask the client what their budget is, you can begin to craft a service that maximizes profits for yourself and the level of service you can provide for your client. If the client says I have $4,000 to spend and your pricing structure charges 3,000 dollars for the service they are looking for, you just left $1,000 on the table. Don’t get me wrong, pricing structures work great and a lot of people enjoy packaged/window shopping, but if you have the opportunity to talk to a client or sit down beforehand, I always recommend asking this question.
Meet With Your Client in Person – We are in the service industry, offering service and working with real people. So it is very important to begin building those relationships from the get go of any sale. If you can meet with your potential client in person, not only does it show them that you are serious and professional, but you can also read body language and facial expressions. Most people have never been through the process of planning a wedding before, so make sure you speak confidently and take the lead. Ask questions about their personal life and really take interest in them as a person. It goes a long way. Meeting a client in person also allows you to create a customizable experience and package for the client which may result in more earnings for you.
Be Yourself – It’s a common theme here at WBG. Being authentic and true to yourself is the best way to own and land the sale. People can read through disingenuous behavior and will very quickly disengage with you and the desire to work with you. Smile, laugh, be yourself and you will attract all the right clients at the right times.
Remember, you had the confidence to go out on a limb and start your business from the ground up. Sales will be scary and intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, it can be one of the most rewarding aspects of your business. So go and own that sale! That is all for now. Cheers.
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