You know you’re really good at what you do. You offer tremendous value. You make people’s lives better. Maybe you even help them make more money.
Yet chances are pretty good that for the sake of getting business through the door, you’ve been tempted to take on clients at ridiculously low fees. Or worse yet, you’ve agreed to work with clients that you knew from the start were a train wreck, just waiting for you to help make it happen.
There you have it: The perfect recipe for instantly turning the business of your dreams into the nightmare of your day.
How does this scenario sound instead?
What do you think about working exclusively with clients who appreciate you, who value the expertise you bring to the table, and generously (and gladly) pay you for it?
I don’t know about you, but it sure sounds like the makings of “business nirvana,” where you work exclusively with “high-end” clients. You see, high-end clients are those whose values, business mission, and vision inspire others, including you as their consultant or coach. These clients take action and produce results in the real world. They’re simply fun and energizing to work with.
The curse of low-paying, lousy clients: Is there a cure?
But even with great clients like this, far too many service professionals end up undervaluing their worth. And so they end up under-charging. Or worse: Repeatedly giving away tremendous value for free.
Let’s take a look at this more closely. The “Client Profitability and Resonance” dashboard, shown below, displays a hypothetical roster of clients, based on their level of profitability and “resonance,” that is, whether you have good chemistry with the client (or not).
Starting in the left lower-quadrant, these are clients who aren’t very profitable to work with and they have the worst “chemistry.” In the short- and long-run, you’d best AVOID these clients at all cost.
In the left upper-quadrant, these clients are profitable, but the chemistry with them isn’t great. They are HIDDEN LIABILITIES because these types of clients tend to be less appreciative of your business and more likely to dump you with barely a moment’s notice.
Moving on to the right lower-quadrant, these clients with whom you resonate well, but they aren’t as profitable to your business as they could be. No matter how fulfilling it may be to work with them, you’d do well to UPGRADE these clients to higher levels of profitability.
Finally, in the right upper-quadrant, you have your HIGH-END CLIENTS, the clients who are the most rewarding to work with AND the most profitable.
Which quadrants do your own clients fall into?
If the majority of your existing clients are NOT in the “BEST CLIENTS” category, there’s room for upgrading your business model and best practices. That includes raising your fees and being a lot more selective about your clients.
A High-End Client Tractor Beam?
If you’re ready to give up hourly fees, chronic underpricing, working with borderline clients, and giving away tons of free consulting and coaching time, I can to show you how to work exclusively with high-end clients AND get paid based on the value you provide.
I invite you to be my guest for the “Paid Sessions That Sell: How to Get Paid to Get High-End Clients” webinar. This complementary webinar is scheduled for Thursday, January 26th at 5 pm Pacific (8 pm Eastern).
To sign up for the webinar, just fill out the form below.
If you’ve ever experienced frustration in getting clients to start working with you, or ended up working with clients who don’t pay you what you’re worth, this webinar will open up your mind to an approach that I think is just ground-breaking. And it’s not just because you get paid to prospect. It’s ground-breaking because you learn how to:
- Eliminate all “tire-kickers” (who simply waste your time)
- Select only high-end clients to work with
- Markedly increase your conversion rates (in some cases, 75% – 90%)
- Set your fees (and get paid) based on value and results produced
- Get PAID while you prospect!
To your freedom, contribution, and prosperity,
P.S. I used this very approach over seven years ago to create an annualized, six-figure revenue stream in just 73 days, when I started my business from scratch. And it’s not just me: I guided one of my clients to create his annualized, six-figure revenue stream in 70 days!
P.P.S.I’m excited to share this approach with you because it’s so powerful and effective for cultivating a solid connection with your prospective client, winning new, high-end business, and ultimately, providing outstanding value to clients at all stages of your relationship, even from the very beginning. To sign up for the webinar, just fill out the form below.
Several days ago, I picked up a voice mail on my phone from a someone I hadn’t heard from in over 9 years. He said on his message that he just wanted to touch bases.
I called him back last night, expecting to start a game of “voicemail tag,” but was pleasantly surprised to get a live person on the line! I know Alan from a number of criss-crossing paths. We first met when we were both taking the same series of personal growth and business training programs. Like me, his background is in the health care field. And for years, I’ve be a subscriber to the newsletter that he writes on the topic of health and wellness.
While it was fun to catch up, one thing he mentioned along the way just stunned me…
I asked his about a wellness program that he developed several years ago and how that had panned out. While he had done well with the program, he told me that a couple of years ago, he sought to expand his product and program offerings. On the recommendation of another colleague, he hired a “marketing consultant” to help him with his website and online promotions.
While I don’t understand all the details, this particular marketing consultant didn’t produce the results he was expecting: An updated website, educational videos, active online promotions, and so forth.
When Alan took steps to terminate the working relationship, something went wrong. Somehow, the marketing consultant took the end of their collaboration as permission for him to take ownership of the content that he had taken years to create.
This marketing consultant created an independent web site, including videos that he had been asking for, branded the material with his name, and began marketing the content online. And since then, he’s kept all the revenue for himself.
This story pains me, because such a situation was entirely avoidable. Alan didn’t understand the fundamentals of collaboration. So he hired, and eventually, partnered with someone without asking the right questions and establishing a durable working relationship.
He didn’t address critical issues, right up front, such as:
- Who controls the content and owns the copyrights from what gets co-created?
- Who controls the strategy and management of the collaboration?
- How will profits (and losses) be distributed? Equally? Unequally?
- How will we resolve disagreements?
- Under what circumstance and how will we dissolve the collaboration?
In fact, most people who associate in working relationships with others don’t think to ask such questions; they’re too excited to get on with the “fun stuff.”
It just so happens that tonight, January 17th at 5 pm Pacific, I’ll be co-leading a “Collaboration Catalyst” teleseminar with partnership and relationship expert, Dorene Lehavi, PhD.
During this complimentary 75-minute session, you’ll learn:
- How to select and choose good collaborators.
- What to make sure you include in your working agreements.
- What to do when things aren’t going well with your business associates.
- And much, much more.
As you might imagine, I basically begged Alan to join us, before he contemplates getting involved in another business partnership.
I hope you will, too, so I don’t end up writing about your business collaboration horror story.
Okay, I’ve said my piece and feel I’ve done everything I can to encourage you to become informed about the power and pitfalls of collaboration.
Based on true stories (names changed to protect the guilty)…
Helen: James, great to see you again!
James: Helen, it’s been a long time! What have you been up to?
Helen: Oh, lots of things! But the biggest news is that I’m working on a potential large-scale project with a software development company. They’re having trouble with employee morale.
James: Wow, that’s interesting because I’ve recently worked out a powerful method of selecting the right people for selecting team members and leaders. And then getting team members to work well together. It’s called the “I-Factor Method.”
Helen: “Really? That sounds great!
James: Yes, it really works well and I have stats, testimonials, and case studies to back it up. My only problem is there’s just one of me and I don’t have the time or energy to handle all the work.
Helen: Well consider your problem solved. I’ve been using an approach that I call the “Fruit Fly Factor.” This approach is revolutionary; it allows the users to essentially clone themselves and leverage their time and energy.
James: No kidding. Well if we could put the “I-Factor Method” together with the “Fruit Fly Factor,” we’d be sitting on a gold mine!
Helen: Yeah, that’s a great idea!
James: Let’s start a business together!
Helen: Yeah, lets!
James: Let’s shake on it!
Helen and James both burned a lot of midnight oil, trying to get their business model off the ground.
They were so excited about this new business idea, that both of them took their attention away from their existing businesses. So now cash flow was a big problem.
But after a year of struggling to agree on marketing plans, their marketing message, and compensation formulas, Helen and James were barely on speaking terms.
Yeah, I know. This scenario sounds overly simplistic, doesn’t it? But the sad reality is this type of scenario plays itself out, in various shapes and forms, on a daily basis.
Last year, I wrote an article about the power of collaboration, through the experiences of young children working on a project together: Is the “Competitive Advantage” Really An Advantage? The Case for “Collaborative Advantage”. It turns out that that younger children were more effective in working together than the older ones. As adults in business, the problem is that most of us don’t understand where to start, what to consider, what to ask, or how to proceed, when it comes to working with others, either formally or informally.
So whether working together in a formal partnership, a joint venture, a consortium of businesses, or some other form of collaboration, most of these undertakings are doomed from the start.
Most people get so excited about their ideas and about working together, that they missed key steps of laying a solid foundation for their collaborative efforts.
And one of those key steps is writing out your agreements. Agreements are simply statements of what you are committed to achieving, how you will work together, who is responsible for what, and so forth.
Not exactly the first place you’d think to start. It’s just not as exciting as working on your product development, or going out to market your services. But in the absence of agreements, chaos reigns.
In my own business experience, I’ve been burned more than once through lack of agreements. And so have some of my clients (before they started working with me).
These experiences fueled my quest to figure out how to successfully collaborate with others, formally and informally. Fortunately, I came across the work of Dorene Lehavi, Ph.D.
As a specialist in supporting healthy, happy relationships, Dorene has used her background as a social worker, therapist, and coach to help countless entrepreneurs and business leaders achieve success—in spite of seemingly insurmountable differences with their business partners, colleagues, and collaborators.
Based on our shared commitment to ushering in a new economic era based on connection, collaboration, and communication, Dorene and I are both on a mission to support entrepreneurs in learning how to work with others, synergistically and in ways that ripple benefits far beyond the business itself.
If you are considering or currently are working on a joint effort with one or more other people, we would like to share our combined experience, ideas, and insights for how to get started on a solid foundation.
Join us on Tuesday, January 17th at 5pm Pacific Time for the “Collaboration Catalyst” teleseminar.
During this 75-minute session, you’ll learn:
- Why working with others is the business model of the future.
- The single most important place to start when considering working with one or more individuals or businesses.
- How to select and choose good collaborators.
- The three essential elements you need in your agreements, the absence of which will guarantee failure.
- And much, much more.
Who can benefit?
If you are currently involved in one or more of the following (or planning to be), there’s a good chance you’ll learn things that could mean the difference between outrageous success and costly failure:
- Joint venture
- Strategic alliance
- Working on a team
P.S. If you’re sick and tired of working as a “Lone Ranger,” with or without a “Tonto,” be sure to join us. What we have to share will open your mind to another world of practical options!
P.P.S. Even if you’re not interested in learning about working more effectively with others, I invite you to read the article I mentioned above what young children can teach us about the power of collaboration. Here’s the link again: Is the “Competitive Advantage” Really An Advantage? The Case for “Collaborative Advantage”