In his latest book, Someone Has To Be the Most Expensive, Why Not Make it You?, Andrew Griﬃths, bestselling author of 14 books sold in more than 65 countries, argues that small businesses should not undervalue their worth.
We all want to get paid more for what we do. Why wouldn’t we? And right now the world is changing. We understand that choosing the cheapest option is generally one that leaves us wanting. Inferior products and inferior services lead to frustration and angst. Never before has there been a greater opportunity to really charge what you’re worth and, ideally, be the most expensive. But you can’t be the most expensive if you don’t deliver. It just doesn’t work.
Our goal when it comes to getting paid more than our competitors is to address the key areas that increase our value to customers. Below I’ve outlined ﬁve of the most effective strategies that, if embraced, will certainly give you the opportunity to charge more than your competitors.
- Avoid making the single most common marketing mistake most businesses are guilty of
Businesses today are really good at telling potential customers how they are exactly the same as their competitors, as opposed to showing how they are different. Every accountant’s website is basically the same; every ﬁnancial planner’s website is basically the same; every hotel website is basically the same. And to make matters worse, these businesses state the obvious on their sites. Consumers are smarter, well informed and well educated. They know that lawyers do law, accountants do tax, and mortgage brokers do loans. We need to learn to tell potential customers less of the obvious and more of the things that actually make us different – and that means tell more stories, share more of why we do what we do, how we do things differently, and what makes us unique, not what makes us the same.
- Become an exceptional communicator
One of the biggest complaints customers have about professional service providers relates to terrible communication. People have to constantly chase their advisers for updates and information. They get frustrated, they get grumpy, and they are unlikely to speak favourably or refer the business. The answer is to become incredible at communicating. In fact, overcommunicate where you can. Look for every opportunity to become the absolute best at communicating. Out-communicate your competitors. This simple strategy will elevate you miles ahead of your poor-communicating competitors, and your happy customers will become raving fans.
- Create extraordinary experiences
One of the greatest ways you can increase your value, and charge more for what you do, is to make the shift from doing transactions to creating experiences.
We live in a world that craves and appreciates experiences – and we’re prepared to pay for them. If you can make the entire customer experience extraordinary, in as many ways as possible, you can deﬁnitely charge more than your competitors. The key is to focus on the little things, not just the big things.
- Encourage others to rave about you and recommend you
We think that if we do a great job people will automatically refer our business
to others. A small percentage will, because that’s their nature, but from my experience it takes a more proactive approach. We need to get comfortable about asking people for testimonials and referrals. Often we feel a bit needy when we ask our happy clients to say great things about us. But if you engage them well, explain that you are really proud of what you do and that you want to grow your business and to do that you need more wonderful clients like them, you’re heading on the right path.
- Build a reputation for being more than a mortgage broker
When it comes to deciding who we want to do business with, our decision-making processes have changed a lot in the last 10 years. Given the choice between two businesses, where one offers a service and that’s it, and another offers the same service but also plays a proactive role in the community, shares more of its philosophy of doing business, takes greater care of its people, shines the light on their customers and is generally ‘more’, it’s clear which business customers will use. These businesses can charge more because they offer more value.
In reality, the list of what we can do to charge more than our competitors is long. It all comes back to the fact that we live in a values-driven world, not a cost-driven world. I’ve seen this shift happening around the world. An ever-increasing number of people are prepared to pay for value; their biggest challenge is ﬁnding businesses that can deliver. Those businesses that really get this and look for ways to keep increasing the value they bring to their customers are the ones that can charge more. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.
Bestselling small business author