Charge Them More! Create an ideal client profile and pay attention to its outcome. If you're not a hand-holder, create interview questions that will let you know that your clients can easily make their own decisions. Listen as the prospect answers. Most of us can catch "clients from hell" during the interview process (although we might not pay attention to our gut). If you want to work with the client anyway, raise your rates to accommodate the extra time it will take you to get this client's project done. Thanks to: Maria Marsala of Elevating Your Business. Read 104 more "Best Ways to Deal With Difficult Customers here: https://www.carolroth.com/blog/105-best-ways-to-deal-with-difficult-customers/ They're on Carol Roth's website. Carol is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation
Life is all about making choices and growing. The same holds true when you're pricing your service. Use the articles below to assist you as you make informed decisions about price structure. Before you read the articles, consider these observations: a. I have never worked with a business owner who charged the right fees for their ideal clients. Early on, I made this mistake as well. Undercharging demeans the value you provide an makes prospects wonder what's wrong that you're charging such a low fee. When your prices are "just right" for you, you don't give discounts. b. Most often, things like the time it takes to travel to and from a client's site, the costs associated with travel, and time spent on the phone during the year, are not pre-figured into the art of pricing but should be. c. To post your fees on your website or not is your choice. There are pros and cons to doing so. d. Your best clients, i.e. your ideal clients or "AAA" clients, should NOT be paying for you to serve your "B" clients. If that's how your business is being run now, you're not acting as a fiduciary to your AAA clients. That's NOT a way to run a business. You will spend almost double the time hand holding and teaching, your "B" or less than ideal clients. e. Providing "virtual" services, i.e., services via phone, Skype, Zoom etc., are not priced lower than when you provide the
When I ask for a client's personal budget, many clients, including the financial advisors, don't have one or haven't looked at it for a long time. Those who watch their budgets (personal or business) always tell me there aren't any places they can save money. WRONG! Peter* is saving $500 per month personally. Mary* just sent me a note that she's now saving $1000 per year on one line of her personal budget. Why? They had their coach, who has a background in finances, check their family budget. Greg* isn't saving anything because he puts the $400 per month right back into the business for the target marketing he really wants to do. Request a Financial Accountability Review and let your financially-savvy accountability coach view your personal and business budget. During the month of October, I'll be providing budget forms to subscribers who become "Budget Conscious". I'll analyze your business and personal budgets for 50% off the $200 fee. If I can't find at least 1 way to save you money, I'll return all but $50 of the fee you paid. If I reduce your expenses more than the fee you pay, provide me with a bonus based on what you feel this service was worth. The coupon code is: birthday and you'll get 50% off my regular session rates. Now just $100. Start here *My clients' confidentiality is important to them and me. The situations have occurred, the names have been changed. "A belated thank you.
"You can preserve wealth in a country that doesn’t respect it." -- Eric Baldwin, Forbes Writer, in an article"Smart Money Strategies For Obama 2.0" that he wrote at http://www.forbes.com/sites/baldwin/2012/11/26/smart-money-strategies-for-obama-2-0/ Do you feel that we live in a country that doesn't respect wealth? (and why) Do you disagree? (and why) What does being wealthy or successful look like to you? Personally, I agree with his comment. For many, many years, I've noticed that as much as we strive for success, and for most of us wealth is a part of that success, it seems that as soon as someone or a company becomes "successful" people look to "chew them down".
Financial Advisors: How to set boundaries with clients and friends when they become ‘freebie-seekers’
Establishing where free ends and fee begins can be challenging, but learning the art of declining gracefully is essential to focusing on what's important in your practice. As long as you’re in the financial arena, you’re going to be asked to work for free. Financial professionals endure a specific set of boundary-crossing issues. Timothy Yee, a corporate/non-profit retirement planner from Green Retirement Plans Inc., says this about the people I call “freebie seekers”: “It is amusing to be asked if they can buy a no-sales- charge/ultra-low-expense fund through me and not pay me for my time. I can’t imagine the same person going to a doctor and asking to fix a broken leg for free. Why has financial planning allowed itself to be turned into a commodity?” Read the entire article, leave a comment, and take action to plug up areas where you maybe leaking profits at http://www.riabiz.com/a/15222007/how-to-set-boundaries-clients-and-friends-when-they-become-freebie-seekers
by Maria Marsala Summary: Know where to go for tax advice? This article will assist you! Where can a business owner obtain tax information? When you don't know what questions to ask, it's very helpful to take some classes, and read a few articles prior to visiting with a CPA. Enjoy these resources: Internal Revenue Service (IRS) the best free classes around! Call your local office to find out when the home business or sole proprietorship classes are held. The home business class is a half-day class; the sole proprietorship class is a full day. The difference between these two classes -- the extra half day -- is spent dealing with employee tax information. Take a class every year. Expenses are deductible and I bet you will learn quite a few things each year. Visit their web site at http://www.treasury.gov/Pages/default.aspx, or call toll free (800) 829-3676. Ask for Business Kit Publication 454 and STEP Publication 1057 (Small Business Tax Education Program). Tell them what type of organization you are considering, how many employees you will have, etc., so they can send you other free helpful publications. They'll even send you a very nice Tax Calendar. Just ask for it! Local Authorities Let's look at some local taxing authorities. In some states, the Department of Taxation provides monthly classes for new business owners. They cover state-specific topics such as business income tax, occupancy tax and sales tax. While we're on the local level, don't forget to contact
I've been asked about the importance of ratings and what they mean. IN GENERAL The main importance of a rating is to the entity issuing bonds. The higher the rating (AAA being the highest) the lower the interest rate to the entity selling the bonds. Entities can be the government, municipality or corporation. Another importance is to those individuals, institutions or companies who own bonds. If you own a bond and rating goes up, your bond should be worth more money. If you own a bond and the rating goes down, if you were to sell the bond, it would be worth less than you paid for it. MORE INFORMATION (from the horse's mouth so to speak) Moody's : http://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_79004 S/P: http://www.standardandpoors.com/ratings/definitions-and-faqs/en/us Fitch: http://www.fitchratings.com/web_content/ratings/fitch_ratings_definitions_and_scales.pdf OTHER: MBIA: http://www.mbia.com/about/about_main.html AMBAC: http://www.ambac.com/ The columns, articles, and tips featured on our blog or website do not represent a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any security. The views and opinions expressed in an article or column are the author's own (period).
Freebie Seekers Want To Pick Your Brain? Turn Them Into Clients and Referrers - or Turn Them Far, Far Away!! Service professionals are always busy, but often give away so much of their value - and then wonder why people don't hire them. In the name of "giving back" or "marketing," these owners are providing way too much information for free. Some shifts in thinking are necessary if these business owners expect to be in business years from now. As a newly trained coach in 1998, I was actually taught to do pro-bono work. Why? They said that we needed to practice. But the bottom line, in my opinion, is that we already have the gift, knowledge and experience to succeed in what we're doing -- even if you're new to business! Shifts in thinking and action need to occur. One place to start is by moving yourself from an employee mentality, where you "give information for free because your company is paying you and it's just what you do in your job" to thinking like a business owner who values their gifts and expects to be paid for those gifts. There's a definite shift in the right direction, thank goodness, taking place on the Internet. I think it started after the dot.com bust settled down. The first site that went from free to paid that I remember was Consumer Reports, a publication I've been reading since 1973! I thought, "how could they" and then realized what a novel idea - business web sites
Terrific students attend the classes I teach. They ask profound questions that "stretch" my knowledge and resources. When I teach a building a business foundation owner class, I'm usually asked, "How does someone price a product or service?" During a recent class, I promised to write down what's in my head and send it to the students. And because of them, you now have it, too. In order to keep things simple, I'll use "services" to mean both services and products in the list below. 1. Locate a trade association, organization or networking group whose specialty is your service. If none exists, find an association with a similar product. In general, associations can tell you the high-low and average prices charged by members. You can find some organizations listed in an article I wrote called "Network To Success". Find the link at http://www.coachmaria.com/articles/ 2. Trade/Business Journals and newspapers contain articles that may include prices. At least once a year, I see an article about my industry online or in a periodical that contains industry fees. 3. Ask your CPA for some ideas; after all, they deal with business owners’ finances all the time. 4. There are many career and employee guides that provide industry or job related prices. You can view my favorite resource, Occupational Handbook; online at http://www.bls.gov/oco/home.htm You’ll also find this book at your Library's career resources area. Also check the Labor Department and Employment Security Commission for resources and brochures that can assist you.
If you have a business where you have determined the price your product, service, or send out proposals, it’s more than possible that you’re “leaking” profits. I hear about it all the time. Proposals aren’t written according to what “could” happen. It’s determined that the costs associated with a product or service is higher than what was originally thought. It could be as simple as it’s taking more time to do a part of the project or the client has asked you for more than they’re paying for. Or I’ve had situations where the person didn’t get that I worked “via phone” and insisted on meeting me in person, which cost me 2 hours of my time in travel! It you’re looking to stop the leaking from happening to your profits while you keep your client resentment thermometer in the “safe” zone, hit reply and ask me for my newest business assessment called “Rate the Health of Your Business: Are You Leaking Profits”. It measures 16 key indicators of ways service-related businesses aren’t earning what they deserve. © 2007 Maria Marsala, a former Wall Street Fortune 500 executive, business strategist, author and speaker. As founder of Elevating Your Business, Maria helps overworked and frustrated refugees from Corporate America in the financial sector focus on their success. She teaches owners how to earn more, market smarter, create profit producing services/informational products, and live great lives. For FREE tips on how to create MORE BUSINESS, visit http://www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com