If you want to earn a premium fee for your services, you need to provide a premium experience and market that experience.
I call this idea; marketing the EXPERIENCE rather than the CALORIES.
Allow me to explain.
Experience and calories
The reason there are restaurants that can successfully charge 5 times as much as others, is because people are not paying these top venues for the calories. They can get the calories from Burger King for pennies. People are paying for the experience; great atmosphere, sumptuous food, incredible service etc.
The lawyer in your town who charges the least for their time, is usually as qualified as the lawyer who charges the most. Using the restaurant example, you could say they both offered the same calories. The bargain basement lawyer is selling his services based on the calories. The lawyer who attracts the best clients and the highest fees, sells her services based on the experience; outstanding service, quality of staff, speed of client responses, exceptional reputation etc.
The bottom end of the market is fee / price sensitive: Those who target this market segment, are always looking for ways to shave a penny here and a penny there off their costs, so they can get their sale price or service delivery fee as low as possible. For those who lack the funds to buy a premium product or premium service, this is how they identify value. They may see the benefit of buying a higher priced, higher quality product or service, but if it’s genuinely beyond their budget, they will go for the best of the cheapest options.
The top end of the market is about experience based value: It’s about pumping as much value into your services as you can. It’s about making the best product you possibly can or rendering the highest quality of service you can and always looking for ways to make it better. A new client recently referred to my marketing services as “Disney quality service”, after the legendary customer service experience Disney are known for. That’s a wonderful example of the effectiveness of marketing and then delivering a premium experience.
Already offering a premium quality service?
If you are already offering an outstanding service, but find yourself attracting cost-conscious prospective clients, it’s a sign that there is a disconnect between the value you offer and your marketing. Look at your marketing and see if you are marketing the calories or the experience.
If you are placing too much emphasis on the elements of your service, which the bargain basement guys also provide (the calories), you will attract the wrong people and they will think you are too expensive. Focusing your marketing on the elements of your service that are outstanding, (the experience), means you are marketing to your strengths and making it easier for the right kind of clients to find and fall in love with your services.
Not offering a premium service?
The reason we see so many average businesses out there, is that very few business owners realise they are average. Many people are so passionate about their business and their clients, that they are unaware their competitors are just as passionate and trying just as hard. They then waste years marketing what they think is a premium service, when in reality it has far less market value than that. It’s average and the fee is slightly above average, making the services look poor value for money. These business owners blame fee-sensitive prospective clients for their problems, rather than increasing the value of their services and marketing that value correctly.
The bottom line: If you want to sell a premium service for a premium fee, pump as much value into your services as you can and then market it on the experience, not the calories.
Here is a special 3 post series, to help you attract the very best clients and the highest fees:read this.