Have you ever had a prospect tell he doesn’t need to market his business because he has more business than he can handle? Did you believe him?
“I already have more business than I can handle” is one of the most common blow-offs you’ll hear when prospecting. The trouble is discerning if it’s really a blow-off or whether it’s true. Some businesses do have more business than they can handle. But why? It’s been exactly two years that the Great Recession was “officially” declared to be over.
Unfortunately, many businesses didn’t get that memo. Most are still struggling. So who are these fortunate few with more business than they can handle, and how do I get a piece of that pie?
People who truly have more business than they can handle fall into one of two categories:
These are business owners who provide quality work for a fair price. They are happy with the amount of business they’re getting. They’re making money and paying the bills. They may be in demand because of the quality of their work and are usually booked weeks (or months) in advance. If more people want to hire them than they’re able to service, they have no problem turning them away or recommending them to a competitor.
(I know of a local painting contractor who fits this description. Yet, ironically, he still markets heavily during the off-season to stay busy all year around.)
These are business owners who get so much business because they charge so little, yet feel obligated to serve every customer or client who knocks on their door. Hiring extra help is out of the question, because they aren’t making enough money.
For these overwhelmed business owners, the solution is surprisingly simple: raise your prices.
(Of course, telling them that often elicits a blank stare back in response.)
What these overwhelmed business owners don’t realize is that the reason sooo many people want to do business with them is not because they’re so good. It’s because they’re so cheap. What’s more, being the low-cost leader means you attract the price-driven buyer. (You know, the cheapskate who grinds you down to the lowest price, yet demands the best service, who complains every chance he gets, then asks for a refund when you can’t satisfy his unreasonable demands. But I digress.)
Perhaps you’re one of those overwhelmed by too much business. FreelanceSwitch has compiled a list of the Top Ten Signs You May Be Charging Too Little:
10. Your clients mistake your daily rate for an hourly one.
9. You’ve won every job you’ve ever bid on.
8. Even though you work 80-hour weeks, your income level qualifies you for welfare payments.
7. New clients are always asking what “the catch” is.
6. Clients pay your invoices in cash from their wallet.
(You can read the rest here.)
Most people believe that raising prices equals less business because fewer people will want to do business with them—when the exact opposite may be true. What about you? What do you think?
Former owner and partner of web firm Jenesis Technologies, John is currently Director of Digital Strategy at Haines Local Search, a company providing local search marketing solutions to SMBs, including print and Internet Yellow Pages, web design, and local SEO. When not working or spending time with his family, John offers great sales and marketing advice on his blog, Small Business Marketing Sucks.