Jim's Marketing Blog

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How to attract the best clients and the highest fees: Part 2

Photo: Aaaarrrrgggghhhh

This is the second post in a series on how to attract the very best clients and work for the highest fees.  You can read part 1 of this post here if you missed it.

One of the cornerstones of every successful business is that the business owner knows the difference between what people pay for and what people buy.

Paying and buying

Smart business owners understand that people pay for the product or service you offer, but they buy the experience.

For example, when people go into Starbucks, they pay for the coffee.  The reason they pay for the coffee, is that they buy the experience of being able to drink coffee in a space, with other people, who also like to drink coffee and read or work or surf the web etc.  They are part of what Seth Godin would call the coffee tribe.  You can buy equally good coffee from your local store and make it at home for a fraction of the cost of drinking it at Starbucks, however, at home, you don’t get the same coffee tribe experience.

It’s the experience that justifies the 300% extra you pay for drinking coffee at Starbucks, rather than making it at home.  Starbucks don’t try and win your business by selling you coffee cheaper than your local grocery store.  They sell the experience and charge a premium.  There’s a very big lesson here for anyone, who is sick and tired of fee sensitive clients.  Your experience needs to improve, if you want to avoid attracting those low value inquiries and competing on fees.

What experience do you offer?

So, what kind of an experience do you offer your clients or customers?  What do you do for them, which makes it compelling to do business with you, regardless of your fees or prices?

If this is not something you have previously given much thought to, I strongly suggest you start.  Thanks to Google, people can find the least expensive provider in your niche, in minutes.  Thanks to social networking sites, people can learn about the providers in your niche, who offer the most remarkable customer experiences.

Unless you want to sell your services by being the least expensive (and you don’t), you better start thinking about being that provider in your niche, who everyone is talking about.  If you do, you will attract more word of mouth referrals than ever before and never have to compete for business based on your fees.  This is what I help my clients to achieve.  I strongly suggest you get to work on it too.

This is a subject I am going to be covering a lot in future posts, so remember to subscribe to the blog for free, if you don’t want to miss out!

How to attract the best clients and the highest fees part 3.

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  1. Hello Jim,

    You are so right to talk about the “experience!” Everybody can share knowledge, insights, information. What makes it valuable is how you do it, and the synergy that develops. The only problem is that until people experience it, it’s hard to explain the difference. It’s even hard for the ones that have experience it to explain to others why it is a unique experience.

    Therefore, maybe in a follow up post you can help us get a handle on how to sell the “unexplainable?” Have a great day!

  2. I have forwarded this to 3 friends. Such insight delivered with real clarity. Thanks Jim!

  3. I agree to a degree with this. It seems in this electronic age that new businesses seem entirely focused on beating their rivals on cost, as if the cheapest will win the most business. We know it isn’t true as big brands are rarely the cheapest option.

    Now a great service at a fair price – that’s the ticket that’ll get people talking.

    Good blog Jim (from a regular reader, though I’ve never commented before).

  4. Stuart Wooster

    June 9, 2011 at 21:34

    Seth Godin recently posted about how people are giving away everything for free that is digital and that consumers often feel foolish for buying anything that they consider could/should be free.
    His point was that you must start making the consumer feel like they are experiencing something ‘bigger and better’ to pay for digital goods in the future.

    As you pointed out Jim, you can buy coffee anywhere, but a customer will not have a coffee shop experience and be able to watch the world go by as they drink their latte at home behind closed doors.

    Looking forward to the next part already Jim!


    P.S. Yes, I’m a people watcher when sat in a coffee shop :)

  5. I’m loving this completely Jim! Truly, I feel I’m on track and you give me great confidence with this series! I needed to read this and am grateful to have your wisdom and expertise as part of my days – thank you endlessly!

    Much kindness,


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