The Client-centred Blog

How to raise your fees (and have clients willingly pay them)

Going back over ten years to the early days of my coaching business I was walking along Piccadilly on the way to see a client one day and, quite by chance, I bumped into my friend Jamie who is also a business and corporate coach.

We both had a little time so we dropped into Starbucks by Green Park tube station for a coffee.

He was also on the way to see a client and as he was telling me about his practice one of the things that really got my attention was how strong his fees were compared mine.

What I got really curious about was how you create incredible value within a conversation so that people willingly pay higher fees.

I know this is an area where many of my adviser clients have wanted to focus too because they see the value in moving away from a purely transactional service to creating a transformational client experience (which is where higher fees live).

So, what is the foundation from which you can raise your fees? A simple truth is this…

We are willing to do a great deal to get what we really want in life. We will put significant time, effort and money into what really matters to us.

Look back into your own life at the things you have spent the most money on or put the most effort into. What drove you? What motivated you? What did you really want at the deepest level?

The perception of value is everything.

A coach who worked with me on the area of fees helped me realise two very important things:

 

1. Most professional people will only give potential clients a relatively small amount of their time before they expect to be paid.

2. Most professional people are far too quick to diagnose the clients problem and then jump in with a solution.

 

This being true it presents a wonderful opportunity to be different and give yourself a significant advantage.

Firstly, be the one who explores what matters most to your client, and why. Go deeper with them than anyone has before and do this with no expectation of being paid.

Secondly, even though you may uncover areas where you know you can help the client, do not jump straight into ‘solution mode’. Keep exploring.

I know this can seem counter-intuitive but think about it – isn’t it true that a good client could be with you for many years and be worth well into five or even six figures in fees?

There is no need to rush.

Moving away from product lead conversations is a shift for many advisers and something they can feel uncomfortable with because it is a step into the unknown.

But it is so much more rewarding to have heart-centred conversations rather than head-centred conversations. After all, who else in the client’s life is likely to have this kind of conversation with them?

So, the real shift is from head to heart. A ‘What matters most to you, and why?’ conversation is a heart-centred conversation.

As your client connects with what matters most to them and why, and they begin to see you as integral to helping them accomplish the things that matter, it creates value.

Creating value and higher fees go hand in hand.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Dashfield spent 14 years as a self-employed adviser. Since 2006 he has been a coach, mentor and author helping advisers create transformations in their business and personal lives.

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