Let me ask a question for your consideration: What Are You Worth?
Let me provide the answer for you: “It depends.”
The reason you have to give a less than precise answer regarding this question is simple: the value of any product or service is not entirely inherent in the product or service by itself. You cannot answer the question without asking about the context.
For example, consider a six night Western Caribbean cruise on Disney Cruise Line in March, inside cabin, for $1,296. Is that a good deal? What if you upgrade me to a balcony cabin for free? That cabin on the same cruise is listed for $2,490. Is it a good “deal” now?
Not to me. You cannot make a good deal out of that particular cruise for me. I don’t want to go.
The value of a good or service does not exist solely in the offer. You have to find the right audience.
A good or a service has value only to a select group of people. In fact, the entire science and art of marketing is all about determining to what group an offering has value, informing that select group of the offering and then delivering the offering to that group. If you market the above cruise to me, no matter how attractive you think the offer, you are wasting your time and resources.
I used travel to illustrate the point, but, as you know, you don’t sell travel. Expedia sells travel. You sell your services. Now, what are your travel planning services worth?
Consider the context: what are your travel planning services worth to whom? In a sense, we are all involved in a niche market: people who value travel professionals. But 80% of all travel consultants treat their services as being of general interest to everyone. As a result, much anguish ensues as the eager travel consultant is rebuffed by first one client and then another. In fact, one of the greatest mistakes we all make at some point is to decide everyone will value our services once we properly explain what exactly we do.
That’s not the way it works.
Certainly there is a vast market which does not properly understand the value of a travel consultant. To that market we need to dedicate some portion of our marketing to education. However, there is also a very large market that does not value what you do. To the extent they speak with you at all, it is to bleed every bit of knowledge you are willing to give away for free.
Stop marketing to everybody, because everybody will not be your client. Learn to move on quickly and gracefully.
Part of the qualifying process is to determine the value the client will place on your services. If you provide information without knowing, then you will indeed occasionally, perhaps often, be rebuffed. If, instead, you focused your efforts on people who value your services, you will be more productive and have more time to spend on the most valuable of your clients.
Naturally the job is not over once you find the market valuing your services. Then you must listen to the client, learn what they want and map your expertise against their needs. But having laid the initial groundwork makes that part of the exercise so much more likely to succeed than marketing without a solid context.
Identify and market to your best prospects. Everyone else is a headache waiting to happen.