Authentic Leader Webcast Episode #3: What to Charge, Where to Find Clients and How to Close the Sale

Do you wonder if you’re charging too littleΒ (and therefore feel like you’re working for free and not making enough to sustain) or if maybe you’re charging too much (and therefore people aren’t buying at the rate in which you need to sustain)?

Are you hoping for some creative ways to get more clients? Would you like to know the specific formula for approaching those prospects?

And when it comes time to telling your prices and asking for the order, do you get that sinking feeling or feel insecure about the process?

If you answered YES to any of those questions, then this episode is for you! Check it out:

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  1. One takeaway you got from today’s training
  2. A question you’d like to ask Amber

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  1. Nancy D. Solomon on January 21, 2014 at 11:27 am

    As usual, this was a great live video filled with lots of usable, valuable and practical tips. Thanks for consistently over-delivering! Wouldn’t think of missing any of your presentations!

    • Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer on January 21, 2014 at 11:48 am

      Thank you SO much for all of your comments Nancy!! I love that you always see my intention. πŸ™‚ I definitely think you could and should do a monthly video! Even a livevideocast like this could go really far! πŸ™‚

  2. Nancy D. Solomon on January 21, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Top takeaway is the information you provided with the specifics of how to package and charge for a video series or an ebook. Thanks!

  3. Corina Walsh on January 21, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Great session! I have so much trouble closing but the service package idea is brilliant, I am going to get working on that. Thanks.

    • Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer on January 21, 2014 at 11:49 am

      Oh great Corina!! Feel free to send me your service package once it’s ready and I’ll offer some quick feedback for you. If you feel comfortable, let me know what trouble you face when closing and maybe I can offer some specific tips here for you. πŸ™‚

  4. Pamela Zimmer on January 21, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Great tips Amber! It’s nice to hear what you started out charging and that it’s okay to start low and raise prices as you go and as your business grows to give you that credibility. I guess keyword here is patience. πŸ™‚

    • Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer on January 21, 2014 at 11:51 am

      Haha!! Pam, I think the keyword is ALWAYS patience!! lol But, if we’re getting clients (even at a reduced rate), we build our own confidence, we then add even more value, and we get better results. Always ask clients for “feedback” – I never tell them what to say, or fish for feedback. I want honest feedback because then I can improve. Improving is key to success (and allows us to charge more and feel really good about it). xo

  5. nomi on January 21, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Thanks Amber!
    Great info. – I liked your ideas on monthly payment plans for videos. Something I’ve thought of but never felt I had time for. I plan to make time for that now — twill be fun!
    Many blessings,

    • Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer on January 21, 2014 at 11:52 am

      Oh GREAT Nomi! When you put the package together let me know. I’d love to check it out. πŸ™‚

  6. Kevin Cullis on January 21, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Top Takeaway: “Service Menu” being detailed + adding in call to action and testimonials. Missed some of your info as I was writing things down, need to go back over it again.
    Question: For those businesses that have limited chances of doing online training, i.e. training has to be done in person, what suggestions do you have about getting customers to buy into your training?

    • Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer on January 21, 2014 at 11:56 am

      Hi Kevin! Thank you so much for listening today! I’ll be sending out a polished replay on Thursday as well. As per your question.. I’m curious because most in-person training can be done online in recorded videos – if you want to be more specific I can go deeper in my suggestion too. But if it had to be live (let’s say a workshop) then chances are I’ve done the workshop in the past and can get video testimonials in that live training – this will help me sell future live trainings. Also, I’d get heavy on “local” forums and targeting social media prospects local to the live training as well. If you strike up local conversations, you can lead them to your live training as you develop the relationship. Also, I’d see if I could record the live training and then package that up for sale at a reduced rate. Again, all of this is theory and my answer changes based on specifics. If you want to clarify, I’m happy to dig deeper. πŸ™‚

      • Kevin Cullis on January 21, 2014 at 12:08 pm

        Thanks Amber,

        While I can’t tell you specifically, here’s a quick illustration: Because of the exclusiveness of the content (less than 1% of the industry does this), putting it into a video to sell cheapens the content and pricing. In addition, while the information is exclusive, it is the one-on-one training that is required in order to receive the FULL benefit of the content. Think of some content like a black belt in self defense, or a Ritz-Carlton chef’s recipe., or a bank’s security system, that is the content I’m talking about.


        • Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer on January 21, 2014 at 12:25 pm

          Aaaah… ok. Thank you for that. Well, it seems you could still get those video testimonials. You could even rile up the troops by instructing them before recording, “Now, don’t give away the secret sauce, but you can be specific about the result you got or the ah ha you got,” .. then give them an example like, “For example, you could say, ‘This is the formula I’ve been racking my brain trying to come up with and now that I went to x event with x person everything makes sense!” .. then you can even give them an example of what not to say. That could go a long way in selling it online (through YouTube and your website or even partner websites). Then on your ‘local interactions’ like I mentioned earlier, you can still offer general advice but then add into the conversation about how x person does these live events and is really seeing results. Suggest they go to x website to look into it. I agree you can’t sell the recordings – so that’s out. Maybe you could offer the same content online in a private video webinar format and still charge a high amount – I don’t see why not. As long as it’s live, it shouldn’t cheapen it. The price would help it to not be cheapened. Or if you got someone really interested, tell them to find x number of people to get on board and then the event leader could fly out to their city to give the presentation. This gets other people to help sell the event. Lots of ideas. Again, I could be more specific, but hopefully that helps a little?

          • Kevin Cullis on January 21, 2014 at 12:33 pm

            Yes it does. The idea is sort of like a workout boot camp: Seeing a video is one thing, experiencing the workout is TOTALLY different. You gave me some great info, thanks.


            P.S. This is sort of what I’m talking about, for those that are sheepdog veterans πŸ˜€


          • Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer on January 21, 2014 at 1:14 pm

            Oh interesting! But this is also a perfect example of the type of video testimonial that could be done. Then I could see other facilities and program instructors jumping on board for promotion too. Very cool!

  7. Vicki M Taylor on January 21, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Amber, this was a great session, every thing you said had awesome value for me as I start out on my Writing Coach business adventure. I’m an award winning author with 25 years of professional writing experience. What you said about creating a services menu was awesome. I do have some of my packages on my site, but having that “in hand” and available to send to potential clients in a document is brilliant. My question for you is this, “What would I consider a signature package?” I have various packages that I offer, how can I make one of them stand out and have extra value than the others? Would it be price or extra details? Thanks for the video and all that you offer, I wish you a blessed day.

    • Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer on January 21, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      Thank you SO much for that feedback Vicki!! Feel free to send me your service menu when it’s ready and I’d love to peek at it. πŸ™‚ Typically your signature package encompasses everything your average client would need from you. Now, as a service provider, clients come to you for a variety of different needs such as editing, coaching, research etc. But if you can think about the ONE service that is more popular then you are on track. Then I’d be thinking about how to turn that into a product (in addition to a service). For example, let’s say people come to you most because they want to have you look at their content and offer suggestions for improvement. I would make a 4-8 week online course where each week you offer a webinar (with slides). I’d structure the course in a way that literally walks customers through your mindset when you review content, common mistakes you’re seeing out there, and then offer live hot seat reviews where you review the customer’s content on one of the calls (or select a few to review on one call). Get them into your brain and teach them what you know. Then naturally, customers will want to hire you for their 1-1 review separately. Then, you package up the recordings and sell them for a reduced rate (which continues to bring new 1-1 clients to you ongoing) + that will be an introductory way people can get access to you and see your value. That would be your signature product which would feed your services. You could offer that once or twice a year as a live course. You could even add a bonus or two into the program as extra incentive but I think that would be really awesome!! Feel free to let me know your feedback. xo

      • Vicki M Taylor on January 21, 2014 at 12:53 pm

        Amber, what an awesome idea. Thanks for the tips. I truly appreciate them. Now, how do I get over that weird feeling of speaking into a camera? How do you do it?

        • Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer on January 21, 2014 at 1:05 pm

          LOL Vicki!! A few things actually. One, just before I begin I take a deep breath and say, “It’s not about me, it’s about them.” I get really clear that I am not dong this video for me, or to look perfect, or anything like that. I am doing this video to help others. When I really get that, all of my fear or nervousness goes away. Two, I know that the more I am just myself (flaws and all) the more people will connect with me, feel my vibrancy, and get impacted. Last, I focus on looking through the camera as if you’re sitting on the other side of it. I get lost in the lens and that really helps me. xo

          • Vicki M Taylor on January 21, 2014 at 3:18 pm

            “I’m not doing it for me, I’m doing it for them.” Amber, that’s the best piece of advice you just gave me. It will help me overcome my fears of rejection and fears of looking silly on camera. It’s not about me. It’s about them. Thank you and have a blessed day.

          • Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer on January 21, 2014 at 3:33 pm

            Yay Vicki!! Yay!

  8. Quay Hayden on January 21, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    All good information as usual Amber! I’m not outgoing and so I struggle with the group sharing concept. I know it is a good way to share your expertise and get clients I just have trouble doing it. So I guess my takeaway would be one of your slides flashing off to the right that says “be boldly, authentically you”. As to pricing, I think the first pricing discussion is the hard one. After setting the price most clients expect a cost of living increase each year. The trick is to keep it within reason. My question on pricing would be how do you suggest handling the price increase? Do you have a conversation with each client or do you send an email notifying prices are going up x%?

    • Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer on January 21, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      Thank you so much for your time and COURAGE Quay! I remember a client who was SO utterly terrified through and through to do video (ok, two clients like this come to mind). They were so against video and so terrified – it was unlike anything I had seen. But, I advised them both that it’s too important to growing your business. People need to see you and feel your energy and excitement. People are WAY more engaged than reading text. Point is, they BOTH started doing video and now, it’s not nearly so terrifying. Almost everyone (myself included) has trouble with “exposing ourselves” out of fear we’re not good enough, we’ll fall flat on our face, or ____ you name it. But, just like riding a bike, the more you do it the easier it becomes. So the key is to just do it. Don’t even allow yourself time to talk yourself out of it. Just take action and just do it. Then you’ll feel better talking in groups and letting your brilliance shine through. Now, on to your other comments… To handle a price increase… I usually only update my price for *new* clients and leave existing clients at their current rate. Then, at the end of the year, I send an email out to all clients and notify them of the price increase. I just tell the truth in a loving and logical way. I say something like, “Our prices are increasing at the top of the New Year to $x/hr. due to increased business operating costs but I hope you see that our value is still far below what our competition is charging. We hope to service you for a long time and highly value your business.” – Something along those lines. I don’t go on and on about it because that could create an issue where there isn’t one. You’re right that it is pretty standard each year. But, I really play it by ear. One of my very first clients who is still with me today (very loyal, and buys a bigger block of time each month) – I charge her less because we are loyal to each other. I raised her price only twice in 5+ years. Largely, all clients get the same price, but I also look at who deserves a price cut, ya know? Hopefully that helps a little. πŸ™‚

  9. Carol on January 21, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Amber….I am always inspired and motivated by your webinars. As a business of service in both the nail industry and creating jewelry, what is the best and perhaps most cost effective means to get my businesses to show up more on-line. Ie: Google search etc.? My website has helped tremendously once people find it. I often find myself overwhelmed with the magnitude of what I “should” be doing to promote my businesses (linked-in, facebook etc.) and am not as consistent as I would like to be….kind of all or nothing πŸ™‚ Top take away: service pricing and researching your “competition”. Thank you! πŸ™‚

    • Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer on January 21, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      Thank you so much for your feedback Carol! I think the first thing I’d suggest you tackle is that “all or nothing” approach. This can really impact our results. If you want more consistent results then you want to market more consistently too. And I’m totally not singling you out here! We all do this. We all know what we should be doing but we don’t always do it. Even if you learned nothing new, you would know more than enough things to do (even some you mentioned in your comment) that could help. So we need to take it one step back and ask why we’re not executing on a more regular basis. Maybe it’s because we don’t think it’ll get us results, maybe it’s because we don’t want to bug people, or because we’re just so tired at the end of the day. Once you identify what is really causing you to not want to do the work, then you can find a solution. For example, if I am too tired at the end of the day, I know I’d better start my day with those tasks otherwise they’ll never get done! (And yes, this is true in my business too!) Or maybe if I’m feeling like “I don’t wanna” it’s because I’m not inspired. So I need to find a solution that gets me to take inspired action. So instead of feeling like social media is for pitching, maybe it’s for building relationships with incredible people – just like the people you talk to at the shop – but all over the world. When you work on your gorgeous nails, you ask your customers questions and conversate with them. That’s all social media is too, and a great way to get you better results. I hope that helps! πŸ™‚

      • Carol on January 21, 2014 at 3:37 pm

        Thanks Amber…..this makes sense and totally resonates with me. I am typically so used to managing everything on my own, that I forget what a difference it can make to reach out and network. πŸ™‚
        Any thoughts on what is the best and perhaps most cost effective means to get my businesses to show up more on-line with Google search engine etc.? Thank you!

        • Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer on January 21, 2014 at 5:02 pm

          That calls for a conversation with our SEO expert Richard! Yes, SEO is the answer if you want to get more visibility on Google. But you know my other answer…. blogging!! πŸ™‚

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