September 18, 2009
Imagine spending the same amount of money on marketing and performing the same amount of work to deliver your products or services, but earning more money and keeping more after your expenses. That's what happens when you institute elite positioning for your business.
With elite positioning, you are not any old accountant, cabinetmaker, software maker or fitness trainer. You deliver superiority or exclusivity and therefore charge (and get!) more. Here are five ways to add an aura of extraordinariness to your business.
1. Specialization. If as an accountant, you only work with family businesses, clients perceive you as more familiar with and more skillful in dealing with their unique issues and circumstances. Whether or not you really have that much more expertise is not the crucial factor. The clients' knowledge that you specialize makes them comfortable paying more for your services.
2. Selectivity. Suppose that as a cabinetmaker, you didn't take any job that came along, but only those that offered interesting aesthetic or technical challenges for you. In that case, clients feel grateful that you have taken on their project and understand that if you are turning away projects, you of course charge more than your competitor who serves one and all.
3. Better results. Do you have any very, very impressive testimonials, awards or performance figures that prove you get superior outcomes from the work that you do? If so, highlight those credentials and raise your prices. Clients understand that the software that never, ever crashes computers costs more than the buggy kind.
4. Fame. When you're the fitness trainer who's just appeared on Oprah – or actually who ever appeared on Oprah! – you have a license to charge premium fees. As with most other kinds of elite positioning, your skills aren't necessarily greater, but your visibility places you at a higher level than colleagues who aren't trailing clouds of media dust.
5. Self-confidence. Perhaps you don't specialize, turn away clients, get better results or have fame. If you have bravado and nerve, you can charge premium prices anyway. This works only if you can say, "I charge $400 an hour" (or whatever stratospheric fee you choose) without any wavering or uncertainty in your voice. Does this idea make you indignant? Then consider whether you're ready to charge more. If you believe deep down that you're worth it, then you have what it takes to pull off higher prices. Stop letting fear hold you back!
Marcia Yudkin is the author of 6 Steps to Free Publicity and 10 other books. She runs an online mentorship site, MarketingforMore.com, which supports business owners who are growing their businesses. Download her free report, "Charge More ?http://www.marketingformore.com/survey.htm . Or find out about her upcoming Marketing for More seminars at http://www.marketingformore.com/seminars.htm .