Fear. We all have it and it’s the greatest barrier to our success in business and life generally. And the irony is many of our fears are quite irrational and if overcome, can lead to great things. But most won’t take the steps to absolve them.
25 years ago, the late Susan Jeffers wrote a bestselling book, “Feel the fear and do it anyway”. In it she talks about getting out of your comfort zone, trying new things and becoming powerful in the face of our fears.
Now I’m not suggesting for one minute certain fears aren’t real and necessary from a survival viewpoint. But the majority in the modern world are simply psychological and have very little basis in reality.
So let’s get more specific when it comes to fears in business.
We’re going to cover three major fears that we constantly come across with our clients at the beginning of an engagement.
The first is “Raising Prices”.
Money is a very emotive topic in the West and even discussing it can and does often bring up irrational fears.
When we suggest clients raise their prices, we always get initial pushback. “Oh our clients won’t pay that. We’ll lose clients etc.”
In short, fear kicks in – sometimes big time!
We just smile. We’ve been here before. We now work with the client to help them understand the value they’re providing the market. We show them how better marketing will help articulate value and their clients will be happy to pay more.
And yes, sometimes we have a big battle on our hands before they move through their fears and do it anyway.
And guess what, not only do they not lose clients – but they get more!
A client of ours in the property buying industry raised his prices by a whopping 39.9% and didn’t lose a client. He’s raised his prices even more since and is now one of the market leaders in his class.
We’d helped him double his prices in a previous business so we’d gone through the pain there. Ironically his new business partner hadn’t – so it took a lot of convincing to get him to agree.
To his credit he did feel the fear and did it anyway. We worked with them to explain the value his clients get, and packaged up the deal to encourage people sitting on the fence to take action before the rise. I was in the room when he announced the rise to his clients and there was an immediate rush of orders from people wanting to take advantage before the rise.
And in case you’re wondering if business slumped since. Far from it. I personally know some of their clients who are happily paying even more as they know they get supreme value for their money.
And of course raising your prices has an immediate positive impact on your profit as your fixed costs remain the same.
Still fearful? Work with us to get over it. Your business will be more profitable for it. And you’ll sleep better at night knowing cash is coming in.
The second area is providing outstanding guarantees.
One of the biggest barriers to a sale is fear. Your prospects fear that if something doesn’t work out right, the organisation won’t fix it. A great guarantee will alleviate these and get more people over the line.
But it’s surprising how much emotion we encounter around guarantees. We’ve had conversations along the lines of “We’d be taken to the cleaners if we offered a money back guarantee”, or “How can we guarantee this – people will trash our product then ask for a refund”.
If you’re thinking along these lines, relax. The vast majority of people are honest. They simply won’t take you for a ride.
Here’s a positive example from a client.
Pixel Perfect is one of Australia’s most successful professional photographic labs. i.e. the place professional photographers get their prints done.
Pixel only works with the trade and are at the top end pricewise.
Back in 2004 we were looking for ways to differentiate them from their competition and suggested they offer a 110% money back guarantee – and proclaim it at the major photography trade show coming up.
Boy was there resistance! “It’s very hard to satisfy professional photographers… We’ll get taken to the cleaners” etc.
We asked the production staff what happened if a client’s prints weren’t up to scratch. “We fix them of course.”
“So what’s the issue with telling people you do this?”
Suffice to say they did. And in the 8 years since they have never, ever had someone claim on the guarantee.
This is an extract from a longer testimonial…
“We lacked the courage of our convictions until Rashid insisted that we place our money where our mouth was. If we were that good why not offer 110% Money Back colour guarantee?
We implemented that guarantee with trepidation, believing that some unscrupulous clients could be making outrageous claims and earning 10% for their trouble. Not once in 8 years has anyone made a claim and we proudly proclaim that offer at the banner of our home page.” Lindsay Merritt, Pixel Perfect.
And as a result of that, other great marketing and exceptional customer service, they are now market leaders in Australia.
How about “All Heads Service”, who provide car cylinder head replacements to Auto Mechanics around Australia.
They provide an unheard of triple guarantee…
- If they make a mistake, they guarantee to either fix it or replace the cylinder head and reimburse the mechanic for all reasonable expenses.
- The exclusive no fault warranty where they guarantee to fix the cylinder head even if the mechanic makes the mistake!
- If at ANY TIME during the cylinder head warranty, the head gasket blows, they’ll fix it and provide a new head as well.
That takes guts! And it’s no coincidence they are a booming business because of it.
Need help coming up with a guarantee which will help you become a market leader? We can do it together.
And finally, customer surveys.
Finding out what your clients really want from you and how you’re going in their eyes is one of the most important activities you can undertake.
But you might be surprised at the level of fear many people have around commissioning a survey.
“I don’t really want to know what they think – I know it’ll be bad” etc.
Well, would you rather know and do something about it or silently live in fear.
And frankly, usually the fear is completely irrational.
Most clients are happy with your service and appreciate being asked. And as one client recently reported, once a customer has been interviewed, they often immediately give a referral. Why? Because you’re now top of mind and they remember the great service you offer.
So once again, feel the fear and do it anyway. Commission a customer survey and grow your business.
Before I go, here’s a great definition of FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real.
Remember, many fears are irrational or based on beliefs that won’t hold true if challenged. And it’s up to you to push through them and reap the rewards.
And you don’t have to do it alone. Over the last 12 years we have worked with large number of business owners and corporate leaders in over 20+ industries to grow their businesses and would love the opportunity to do the same with you.
Call us on (02) 9499-7958 and have a confidential discussion regarding growing your business.