Part 1 from last week is HERE. Go there to read it for the fist time or to refresh your memory before reading part 2.
Live a Life of ServiceThere are two components to getting paid what you are worth.
- A foundation of service and contribution
- Skill with creating more accurate and more effective value perceptions
Make a Choice Today--if you have not already done so--to live a life dedicated to assisting others. To be of service. To be an agent in overt operations designed to assit others in reaching their pinnacle--or at least the next plateau and vista. This is the foundation you must come from to act ethically with tools of influence—and to be justified in greater latitude in the type of influence you use.
Why is this important?
It is important for two very different, yet deeply related reasons:
- Coming from a place of service--only serving another's need and goals--your communication dynamics will be cleaner. You will not be trying to get what you want--from or for--the client; you will be assisting the client in reaching the higher fruits they find appealing. You are in partnership. There is no call for conflict. This and one other organizing principle I operate by as a practitioner has yielded me only 1 hostile client situation in a pool of 200 clients over a span of nearly 5 years.
- If you are truly being of service to another achieving what they want--and it is an outcome or goal that does no harm to any living thing, it then becomes your duty--yes, duty--to leverage them beyond their limitations. What that means to you is that your grounding of service, coupled with the permission you receive, or context implicitly set by walking into your office is the gateway to free reign with tools of influence. If what your desire creeps in, or more subtly, you desire for them to set a goal or an outcome that you think they should want or that you see as possible for them, you have lost your footing and your just cause—unless you enroll them in that and gain their permission to influence them towards that end.
You must be genuinely coming from assisting them in creating the life they want. You must not appear attached--and hopefully you do the intra-personal work to actually BE unattached. Otherwise you will seem desperate. And in romance, politics, and in business, desperation is not an aphrodisiac. Either way, consider your service to them as your organizing principle: how would your behaviors show up? How far would you go to inspire or help them? Would you care about them? To what degree? How would you relate to their opinion or their experience of you? Your approach should be determined by what serves them as an individual. Some need loving care and safety. Some need a kick in the tush. I can call upon any style that serves them--and I encourage you to take that on as well.
Whatever the truth of your situation and concerns, you must act as if you do not need them to sign anything. The best way to do that is to put your concerns out of your head, and focus on theirs and theirs alone for at least the time you are together. Your concerns for your own life are simply irrelevant for that hour. Pretend to set them down next to the door right after you hang your coat up, or boot your computer, or whatever ritual you conduct in your office when you walk in.
They are not in service of you and your needs. They are not lucky to have you. You are lucky and honored to be in their service. Act that way. The referrals will pour in. You are in service of them living the life they dream of. Continue to help people attain what they envision for themselves, and you will eventually have everything you could want.
You will be far more spiritually fulfilled. If your life and your business is about helping others--that is your livelihood is sourced in assisting others in realizing and attaining a higher level of excellence in any context in their lives--you can not help but be fulfilled.
How does one shift away from a subject-object orientation to an orientation of service in support of another's vision? A relational orientation. The organizing principle and the effective method is simple: you are not trading time for money--you are not really selling a service. What you are selling the prospective client is their vision for how their life could and will be.
If they achieved their stated desired results working with you, How would their life be different? what would that be worth?Of course, when you ask the question of them, you may want to say "will have achieved" not "if". I wish I did not have to stress this, but you also want to be sure before you go any further that your service will, with an overwhelming percentage of certainty, give them what they need to achieve their outcomes.
It is probably priceless. That is certainly the answer I receive more than any other--so valuable to their life It is certainly worth more than your fees. In fact, your fees are insignificant compared to what any client would say the experiencing of achieving ABC or resolving XYZ would be worth to them.
You can ask further:
- How would their relationship with their spouse or significant other be positively impacted
- How would they feel about their life and themselves?
- What would that make possible [or] what would arise in their life as a result of these changes?
These are not rhetorical questions. You must openly guide them to answer explicitly--several times--to get clear on why they would purchase your product or service. That is the value perception you would ask them to consider while reviewing any agreement. I do so openly as I hand them the agreement. After they answer the questions, I hand them the agreement saying:
"That is the value you are considering this agreement against--the context you are to hold as you review it."
That is why I maintain rigorous integrity to my policy of not discussing rates or fees before the exploratory session. Until they know what they want [of prospective clients do not know what they want they do not r for services before we meet. If I tell them a number--whether it is $30 or $300 dollars it means nothing. I do not know what they want in full yet--and neither do they until they meet and I ask extensive questions--they do not really know what I do as I have not explained it yet. And last I heard there was no "going rate" for an Evolutionary Guide except the one I am currently charging. They certainly have not considered what the services would make possible and what that is worth. I have only ever had one client in nearly 200 clients that has considered it fully before I inquire specifically.
Not only do the numbers mean nothing at early stages of the process--worse, they are comparing it, in their mind, to commodities they could buy with that amount of money. Are they "worth" the same? Of course not. You can not get more love in your life and connectedness and intimacy by paying a car lease, or buying groceries, or a new suit. You can not improve your embodiment of your spirituality by buying a second house.
Yet that is what we encourage them to do by telling them a number up front. They are looking at how many groceries or car payments your fees compare to.
The outcome is inevitable. They start to price shop. And you have assisted them in misunderstanding the true value of your services. You have done them a disservice.
If you truly want to be of service to them in improving their lives, it is irresponsible of you to discuss money or rates before you meet, AND before the appropriate time during that meeting; near the end of that exploratory session. After they have met you, after you have inquired about their desires and outcomes in full. After you have then explained what your approach is--and how it can assist them in getting what they want. You should not selling in your presentation--you are just demonstrating competence and establishing unimpeachable credibility. And finally, after you have addressed any questions they have about the process or your offering, but before they see the agreement and your rates.
And really, the be of service, money should be the last thing you or they are concerned about. It should certainly not be your primary focus.
It is this approach that has me with a consistently full business of one-on-one clients [over 20 a week] and a 98% success rate of converting prospects to clients for 5 years running.
As you look at the above stats, know that I do not re-new clients. We complete at the end of 6 months. I am talking about constant new client acquisition.
With the one-one-one clients it is my general policy to only renew them under special circumstances. I am not just renewing them automatically--and do a full inquiry into the purpose behind doing so. That means I go through this process at least 3 or 4 times a month with a virtual stranger. It works. And I want you to be able to have that kind of confidence in your results--and to turn your practice into a business so that you can live a financially prosperous life as a result of your spiritual principles and living a purpose filled life. Rather than in spite of or in conflict with your spiritual life.
In nearly 5 years of being in this business full time, I have never once had this backfire on me--no one has ever declined to meet me for an exploratory as a result of this policy. I have twice had people in which were not financially qualified, but they were not financially qualified for anyone. And that is the risk I am willing to take for the benefits of this approach.
So HOW do you use this organizing principle?
- Have a firm and unshakable resolve to not discuss your rates. Put it in your FAQ and declare it to the world on your web site. Then, keep your word about it. [check your local laws and regulations if you are a licensed therapist]
- Discuss rates only at the appropriate time--after they say what it would make possible in their life, and right before they are handed the agreement
- Use these formulations to ask that question:
- "If you had XYZ, what would that possible in your life?
- "Once we achieve all of that together in this program, what would that open up for you in
- Your relationships
- Your emotional life
- Your professional life?
Get three or 4 out. Unless they go to something universal and spiritual that brings tears to their eyes--in which case, stop right there, it will not get any better than that. Also--be transparent. I usually add, "and that is the context you hold, and the value you are weighing this agreement against". Sometimes I am even so transparent as to say, "Ok, time for me to do ask a silly sales question--because it is my duty to leverage you beyond the limitations you came here to resolve...that experience it makes possible? What is that worth to you if you could put a price on it?"
The more you hear the mind-blowing answers people give, the less you are fearful about raising your rates for new clients--and finally getting paid what you are worth; getting paid more in alignment with the differences you are making in their lives.
Of course, this is one small component of the larger structures you will need to have in place to become more effective at new client acquisition, but it is an important one. I look forward to sharing more with you and being your Guide as you turn your practice into a business in the 21st Century Marketplace.