Selling Yourself Short

What is wrong with the following statement?
FIRE!!!! Ready…aim.
It seems silly, counter intuitive and even dangerous to get such important steps this badly out of order. You would not do it with a rifle, why would you do it with your business? Sometimes we are faced with making decisions quickly in business, sometimes to avoid a problem, sometimes to avoid a calamity, and sometimes to just do something different. While I am a firm believer that change is good; I do think knee jerk reactions are dangerous. They often can cause more harm than good, and create even more issues than it solved.
If you are seeing a decline in your business and you want to build traffic and revenue, you are right on target. Identifying this is half the battle. Recognizing it at its onset is key, because it gives you time to think out a plan and execute it with precision. If you find yourself surprised, and realize you are now in a bit of trouble, the LAST thing you should do is throw away reason and offer your services at ridiculously discounted rates.
I received an email from a therapist who realized her clients had slowed a bit, but it was the holidays, she was otherwise occupied and had not really realized how dire her client list was in need of a jolt. Once the Holiday craziness subsided, she was in a panic. How had it become so slow? How had she let this many people just fall off? Her answer was to cut her prices by 70% and do a group sales marketing effort. This did indeed net clients, and for the moment, the crisis she was in was averted and she had cash flow. However, when it came time to rebook these clients, many did not want to pay for the regular priced massage. Some said they would wait for her next sale.
Now, DO NOT GET ME WRONG…I like these group buying plans. When a well thought out and properly managed campaign is launched, it can net you some revenue and potentially more clients. When you virtually give yourself away to get your phone to ring however, you have devalued your service. Additionally, you will likely sell a TON of massages, which would ordinarily be a good thing. But when you sell 200 massages at 70% off your regular price, you are working three times as hard to generate the same revenue. Keep in mind, all 200 people need an appointment…How will you service this inbound phone traffic? How will you make the most of each opportunity you are presented? Will you even have TOME to see your regularly paying clients in the wake of an unlimited campaign? Before you give yourself away, take a moment to think out the whole plan.
Limit the number of “deals” you can take. Do not devalue yourself to the point of giving yourself away. Your client, < even those who buy discount packages> will value you only as much as you value yourself. Do not sell yourself short.
Make sure you have a plan in how to handle the wave of calls you may receive so that your new prospects can hear from you the same day they call you. Calling a potential client back several days later is not a great first impression. Edit your voicemail to let your clients know they are important and you will be back with them shortly.
Do not cut off the needs of your current clients to service the new ones. The grass is not always greener, and keeping satisfied clients is much more cost effective than hunting down new ones.
If you are considering doing a group sales thing, I encourage you to try it! But I also hope you will think about what happens AFTER the promotion and the time comes to service the clients. Think also about the message you want to convey. Do not come across as just being “cheap”.
If you can take a moment to breathe, think, and then act, you will undoubtedly get a much better return.

1 comment for “Selling Yourself Short

  1. January 16, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Angie, As always you make great points!  The group discount buying is huge craze and not everyone is going to be want to pay full price, majority of those customers using that system are looking for that type of  one time deal.  So you are so right, you have to consider your target market when you go to using this type of marketing strategy.  I always encourage my customers and potential customers to think about your BEST customer, why they do business with you and to be honest, aren’t those the type of people you want more of?  So if your BEST customer didn’t come from a group discount buying, why would think others will?  DON’T get me wrong, I’m not saying to not try them.  Just be aware of all the outcomes and if it makes good business sense for you.  Lots of examples of volume buying, factory discount business have made millions but even they are still making a profit and not losing money when they sell.  Most  business owners don’t realize the ripple effect the group sales can have on their business.  If your branding is to push quality, service, and not on the all mighty dollar or value or price, why confuse your IDEAL loyal customers with a mixed message?  Enjoyed the post Angie, very thought provoking, thanks! Stephanie Beck

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