One of the hazards of this servant selling (see also Part 1 & Part 2 of this series for reference) approach is to actually violate the Golden Rule. Rather than loving our neighbor as ourselves, we can end up loving our neighbor MORE than ourselves and, in consequence, feel taken advantage of.
I am often asked, “How do I keep from giving away too much?”
There are a few relatively simple ways to put up some B.A.R.S., so to speak:
Be consistent in your brand positioning.
Are you actually interacting with the optimal potential clients? Is your product or service mainstream, premium or luxury? Consider Apple vs. Acer, Lexus vs. Tercel or American Express vs. MasterCard.
Assess your client relationships.
If you don’t like how you’re treated ask yourself: What am I doing (unconsciously) to train my clients/employees/vendors to treat me this way?
Raise your prices.
This is the way to position yourself in the market. By setting prices and services, you signal buyers what market you want to be in. While the natural fear is that we’ll lose customers by raising prices, we often get the customers we want (and deserve!) as a result.
Many service professionals offer an initial complementary consultation. Ask yourself both of the following: What do I want to give away? What do I want to save for a paid engagement?
The next time you’re at a trade show or farmers’ market, observe how different businesses behave.
Comment: What you do to ensure your company receives the same kind of love it gives out?
This week, consider your client interactions at each stage of the client relationship. What if you were to write your own 3-act play with a compelling beginning, vivacious middle and dynamic ending while asking yourself:
What can I do differently in each of these acts to create a virtuous cycle that improves the relationship experience for both the firm and my clients?