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Marketing Smarter to Earn More
By: Developer Shed
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    Marketing Smarter to Earn More
    by Charlie Cook

    An accountant once told me that he never met anyone who
    didn't want to make 30% more money. Whether you want
    a better lifestyle or to take more vacations, buy a fancy
    car, spend more time with your family, send your children
    to college or to give it all away, you could always use
    more money.

    If you sell services, your primary limitations on earnings
    are your costs and the number of hours in a week. Most
    independent professionals are already working well over
    40 hours a week and can't work longer hours to increase
    earnings. Your goal should be to find ways to work less
    and increase your earnings. How can you market smarter
    and make more money?

    Have you ever heard of a lawyer or carpenter offering a
    20% discount on their hourly or daily rate? Every time you
    offer a discount or reduce your regular rates, you are
    sending a message to prospects that your services really
    aren't worth what you're asking.

    Once your clients know that your prices are discounted or
    negotiable, you will always be fighting a battle to be the
    paid full price for your work. Never offer discounts; your
    clients will assume that they are expected to pay the asking
    price for your services.

    Prospects invariably want to know your pricing before they
    understand the benefits your products and services provide.
    Quoting prices is meaningless until prospects can put the
    cost into the context of the results they can expect.

    When prospects show concern about your pricing, it's a good
    sign. It indicates their interest in buying your services
    and a need to understand the value you provide. You could
    list all the benefits of your services but if you really
    want to make the sale, it's far more effective to let
    prospects sell themselves.

    A client's perception of value isn't based on how much they
    pay, but on whether their expectations will be met and the
    benefit they will receive. Don't get stuck on the dollars
    you charge per hour. Instead help prospects define the
    dollar benefit of your services.

    When prospects query you on price, respond by asking
    questions to help them identify for themselves the
    problem they want solved, the cost of the problem,
    the solution they need, and how you can help them.
    Prospects buy when they think their expectations will
    be met. Let them define their expectations and they'll
    be far more likely to sell themselves when you finally
    explain your pricing at the end of the conversation.

    Differentiate yourself from your competition by using your
    articles to regularly provide insight and ideas to your
    prospects and clients so they come to view you as an
    expert in your field. Use expert positioning and consider
    raising your prices.

    When Arnold Schwarzenegger first arrived in the U.S. he
    had trouble getting work as a stonemason with his funny
    accent, despite charging less than his competitors. A friend
    suggested he set his prices above the competition and bill
    himself and his partner as exclusive European masons. His
    business took off and look where he is now!

    Unless you sell hour-long massages, charging by the hour is
    the best way to limit your earning potential. When you charge
    by the hour you lose money if you work efficiently or if you
    get a great idea right away. Prospects can always negotiate
    with you on the number of hours they want, undermining
    your ability to put in the time needed to meet their

    Prospects want results. Help them clarify the results they
    want and then set a project fee for accomplishing those
    results. Make sure your contract or letter of agreement
    allows you to adjust your price if the project changes

    You can pay $30 or over $5,000 a night for a motel or hotel
    room. Both provide a roof over your head, a bed and your
    own bathroom, so why do some people pay over 150 times
    more for one than the other?

    People buy based on their perception of the value provided.
    If they understand the value that your service or product
    provides, they may be willing to pay much, much more than
    you are currently charging. Look at the results you provide
    for clients and reassess your pricing.

    Like most service professionals you have limited time and
    money to spend on marketing. Much of your time is spent
    delivering services. Is your marketing helping you earn
    more? Do prospects understand the unique value you provide?
    If not, take a look at the way you are positioning your firm
    and adjust it to clarify your value to clients.

    Are you making what you could be? If you apply even one or
    two of the above strategies, you'll be making more money
    than you are now without working any harder. You'll probably
    still wish you had 30% more.
    2003 In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.
    The author, Marketing Coach, Charlie Cook, helps independent
    professionals and small business owners attract more clients
    and increase their earnings with the 5 Principles of Highly
    Effective Marketing. Sign up for the Free Marketing Guide and
    the 'More Business' newsletter, full of practical marketing
    tips at
    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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