A lot of the "how to" of pricing high-end consulting or services is a mental game that takes place before you ever meet your first client. So many struggling creatives sell themselves short and eventually out of business because they 1) don't know how to price their services, or 2) don't know their value, or 3) are afraid to ask for what they're worth.
High ticket sales expert, Oliver Talamayan, also a producer for City Summit and City Gala (featuring Ashton Kutcher!), had so much good advice on this topic. And luckily I was able to catch up with him before he caught a flight out to interview Daymond John. Let's start with the platform for the sale.
Becoming Rejection Proof
It is easier than you think to become rejection proof. Just as I do with my podcasts and even this column, Oliver offers high-value for free, and has already built a platform of trust through multiple mediums before clients ever get to him. That means, when it's time for him to make the sale, most of the selling is almost done. He's already helped them with free content, he's already created value for them, he's already provided an "aha!" moment, he's already proven himself. By the time a potential client arrives on the doorstep, they are excited to work with Oliver, who is, at this point in the process, focused on closing the deal at the high-end price he knows he's worth.
How Do You Ask For What You Know You're Worth?
After chatting, we broke this out into a few simple, digestible, and absolutely necessary steps, from start-to-finish, on how to make the ask.
Step One: Be confident enough to be able to say the price with a straight face. Practice a thousand times if you need to but once you get that opportunity, you have to be able to make the ask without flinching.
Step Two: Let the silence ride. Let the pause happen. Let your potential client consider what you've said. Don't convey nervousness or desperation by trying to fill that silence. Be confident that the silence is serving your progress and let it happen.
Step Three: Don't talk them out of it. That talk is only real in your head. When internal dialogue becomes external, it kills the deal. Are you sure? Do you want to think about it? Are you sure you want to pay for this?
Step Four: Know the next step. If you make the sale, you need to be able to say, "Here's what we do next."
Detachment Over Desperation
If you lack confidence, it almost always comes across as desperation. A flawless sale happens when there is a certain level of detachment. This allows you to funnel your energy into the excitement of what you can offer this potential client, rather than into all of the "what-if's". People also oftentimes relate nervousness to a lack of experience or even capability. If you appear nervous, you also appear unprepared and incapable.
Raising the Cost & Value Basis of True Experts
This interview came at a really great time, because we are overdue for a conversation about raising the value of consulting services and brands. As the internet begins to get as tired as I am of all the "coaching for coaches" and "self-proclaimed experts" out there, the expectation will rise. That's wonderful for those of us who are offering true value, because, not only will we stand out in the crowd, we will also have an even greater platform to highlight exactly why our high-ticket cost is worth every single penny.