I would like to tell you a story about how I went from making $10,000 a month and working 50+ hours a week, to making over $25,000 a month and only working part-time. Does that sound good? Would you like to hear that story? I thought so.
So, this was back a few years after I had started my consulting agency. I found myself working 50 plus hours a week. We had a lot of clients. We had a large team. (At one point, we had over 60 staff members in the Philippines.) We had created an army of content creators and link builders, which basically allowed our clients to get rankings on demand. But, even though we had these teams, we still were not able to be very profitable as a business, which meant that I wasn’t taking home as much money as I should have been.
One day I found myself talking on the phone with my mentor. And it was this phone call with my mentor that actually changed the direction of my business — and literally changed my life. I was speaking to my mentor, explaining to him how frustrated I was working so much, how I had all of these clients, and they were paying us anywhere between $500 and $1,500 a month. As I was explaining this to him, he asked me a simple question. He said, “Well, what is your long term goal?”
After a bit of a pause, I replied, “My long term goal is that I’d love to have five clients that each paid me about $5,000 a month.” If that happened, I thought, then I would be able to really focus only on these five clients, and I would be able to dedicate myself to making sure that I could get them really good results. I wouldn’t be pulled in 18 million directions. I wouldn’t have 20 or 30 different bosses in the form of small clients, each with different needs and different activities. I’d also be able to reduce my team because, with just five clients, I wouldn’t need so many different people doing different things for different clients. I wouldn’t have to continually build our team and build more clients, which was what my life felt like at that moment.
I was explaining this dream of being able to have a bigger impact on my clients, being able to provide more value, and being able to perform at a higher level. He interrupted me and asked me, “So, why is that your long term goal?” I didn’t know. I wondered, “Why is that my long term goal? Why do I think that I need to work another year, two years, or three years to be able to play at this level?” I didn’t know. He says, “Well, this is what I want you to do. I want you to call up your top five clients, and I want you to tell them what your new goal is. Introduce a new program, a very select program, and have them each make the $5,000 a month investment you’re looking for.”
And then my mentor told me, “And, after you say that, I want you to stop talking. Just be quiet. Don’t say anything else. Because,” he continued, “the first person to speak after you make an offer always loses.”
I promised my mentor that I would make this commitment and follow through. I wanted to win and I didn’t want to wait any longer. But, even though I managed to be confident on the phone with my mentor, inside I was dying. How in the world could I ever have a phone call with these clients, asking for $5,000 a month, when the most they ever pay me is $1,500? To say I was terrified to have these conversations is an understatement.
The thing was that I didn’t have any doubts about being able to provide value to them. I didn’t have any doubts that I was going to be able to perform for them at a higher level. I didn’t have any doubts that the service I was going to be able to provide was going to help their businesses make a lot more money.
There wasn’t a doubt that I could perform for them, but there was a lack of confidence on my part to ask for the sale, and to ask for what I knew would be good for me, even though I knew it would be good for them, too. I knew these clients were already in pain; it wasn’t just me not enjoying our relationship. I knew these clients were currently paying other vendors to do the same type of work that my team and I could do.
I started to think, “Well, why are they paying all those extra people? I can do a much better job than those people, and, if they cancel their services with these other people and they give it to me, then it’s all going to be under one house. We’re going to be able to work more cohesively together. We’re going to be more efficient. We’re going to be able to get results.”
Right then I realized that, yes, they had the money.
I knew they had the budget, and I knew that I could provide huge value to them. But, I was still terrified about getting on the phone and asking them for the sale. But, my mentor pushed me, and I had already made a decision a while ago that when you have a mentor, you’re paying them for their advice. You’re paying them to teach you what you need to learn to grow your business. The only thing that you need to do is just follow their instructions.
The next time I spoke with my mentor, he asked me when I was going to actually take action, when was I actually going to get on the phone with these clients and close the sale? As much as I wanted to say, “A month from now”, I forced myself to tell him tomorrow, I was going to get this done tomorrow.
Well, something happened. I didn’t do it the next day, which was a Thursday. I did it on the day after, which was Friday. And it was very scary. I got on the phone. I got on with the first client and I followed the script. I reminded this client of the results they had been getting with us. I reminded them that I would only be taking on five clients from now on — and that it would be $5,000 a month. Basically I was saying, “You’re either in or you’re out.”
Then, I stopped talking and you could just hear the fear in my clients.
They began to become fearful because they knew how much I was helping them with their business. They knew they didn’t want to lose me — or the rankings, or the traffic, or the sales, or… I could literally feel their fear of losing out on the business relationship and they began to think, “What can I do to make this happen?” And, after the conversation that followed, I made a deal with that client. And I made a deal with the next client, and the next client, and the next client. In fact, I became so confident as these calls continued that I actually had a client agree to $10,000 a month!
So, within just one day, and with only a few phone calls, my sales went from $10,000 a month to over $25,000 a month. And the best part was that it didn’t require expending more money to get those new sales. What it did require, however, was confidence. What it required was asking for what I knew I was worth, knowing that I could provide value to my customers, and knowing that they wanted a higher level of service and results, too.
So, first off, my advice to you would be to take a look at your existing clients. Are there any that could be paying you more? Could you put together an offer for them where you can say, “Look, I want to provide more value to you and here’s how I’m going to do it.” Have those challenging phone calls and get what you really want from your business by giving your clients what they really want!
That’s my challenge for you today: It’s time for you, especially if you’re in a service based business, to finally start charging what you’re worth. It’s time for you to ask for that next sale.