I wrapped up a Gateway to Success coaching program with Kelly, a digital marketing studio owner. In our final session, we reflected on all that she had accomplished, and what next big things were on her horizon.
When Kelly and I started working together, she was very candid about the state of her business and her desired outcomes for the coaching engagement. One of her biggest areas for improvement was the size of her average sale.
To give you some background, Kelly has been in the digital media space for 15 years, and independent for 4 years, so she’s well established in her industry and past the 2 year mark as a fledgling new business.
She’s also like a lot of creatives who I work with: excellent at her craft, however not as skilled at building her business.
And even though she’s made it past the benchmark first 2 years as a new business, she confessed to still taking small jobs, below her minimum, working with customers who often demanded far more from her than the initial proposal included. This has NEVER happened to YOU, right?
During our very first session, I addressed a common topic that seems to be prevalent among business owners. Surprisingly, many business owners and executives seem to have a deservability complex. Yep, that’s right. They secretly don’t think they deserve to be successful.
Now, I don’t know about you, but how can you be successful if you don’t think you deserve to be successful?
I’ll tell you.
You CAN’T. And if you are, you will only be as successful as you think you deserve to be.
What does deservability have to do with the size of your average sale, you ask?
If you don’t think you deserve to be successful, and you don’t operate from the mindset that you already are successful, you will take any job that walks through the door. That’s what Kelly was doing. She was receiving exactly what she was asking for.
So we set about identifying what she was asking for, what she really wanted, and the gap between the two. This was pretty straightforward, a matter of numbers.
The difficult work began when we dug deeper into who her ideal client is, and who she was actually serving. I instructed Kelly to do some homework and get really clear about the difference between her Ideal Client and Everyone Else.
What she discovered is many of her clients actually fell into the category of Everyone Else. In fact, only 4 of her current clients met her Ideal Client Profile! This clarity gave us a line of sight into why she felt like she was working twice as hard for the clients that fell into the Everyone Else category. Because she was!
The next step was to identify what the common characteristics were that her Ideal Clients possessed, and to create her profile from there. This allowed her to create a target client list and a strong value proposition to open doors and engage in dialogue with her ideal prospects.
Creating an Ideal Client Profile caused a shift in who her ideal strategic partners were, too. Again, greater clarity of the two together sent her traveling down a much more strategically aligned path with her overall vision for her business and ultimately, the level of success she had her sights on.
On Day 100, Kelly reported that her average sale had doubled during our coaching engagement, and she had surpassed her benchmark sale by 2.5X. Here are the steps Kelly took to identify her Ideal Client Profile:
1. DESCRIBE IN DETAIL THE KIND OF CLIENT YOU LIKE TO WORK WITH. You know what I mean: they don’t complain about your fees, they pay you upfront and on time, they get back to you with needed information or materials promptly, etc.
2. IDENTIFY WHO YOUR FAVORITE CLIENTS ARE NOW AND WHY. Do they follow through, arrive on time, respect your boundaries, call only when there’s an extraordinary need?
3. DRILL DOWN TO THE COMMON QUALITIES YOUR FAVORITE CLIENTS POSSESS. Most likely you’ll discover your favorite clients possess many of the same qualities, and they just so happen to coincide with the kind of client you like to work with too! Magical.
4. DISCERN THE QUALITIES YOUR IDEAL CLIENT WOULD NEED TO POSSESS IN ORDER FOR YOU TO DO YOUR BEST WORK FOR THEM. For you to be successful, you must be able to do your best work AND enjoy the process. Be discriminating and stay true to your ideal. When you make exceptions, you are actively dishonoring yourself and your business. The only person it hurts is you (and your employees, if you have them).
You now have the foundation for your Ideal Client Profile and can begin to better target who you’d like to serve, and how to position yourself as their Ideal Service Provider.
Stop taking any job that walks through the door! Ditch the desperation mindset and adopt one of deservability – you deserve to be as successful as you can imagine, so imagine big and GO FOR IT!
Here’s wishing you double your average sale, and surpass your benchmark by 2.5X or greater!