Stop Selling Nails

When my wife Dorie graduated from seminary our family took an out of the ordinary vacation to Jamaica. We did the all-inclusive package. All we had to do was enjoy the trip. No worrying about when or where to eat or what to do. We just had fun. I cherish these memories.
You’ve probably splurged on something. Maybe you took a special vacation or found a wonderful restaurant. Most of us have done something fun that is outside our normal budget. These extraordinary times can form memories our families will talk about for the rest of our lives.
Workshops and Seminars
Each year I attend a few workshops and seminars to keep me up to date and increase my value to my clients. Years ago some friends suggested that I should splurge and invite the speaker I was impressed with out for a meal to some nice restaurant. At first I was worried that these important people would think I was nuts.

The first time I took a speaker out to eat I expressed this worry. She laughed and said, “No man, I was a peon myself once and not that long ago.” I learned more asking questions and listening during this one-on-one time at a meal with a key person than the rest of the entire conference. By the way, that first speaker I became friends and have kept in touch.
I’ve met others, who were struggling and barely had any money for their own food, but they still took a speaker to lunch. Much later on they told me that the investment in that lunch changed their lives and their business. 
Building Supplies
Hardware stores and real estate agents sell entirely different things. Hardware stores sell nails and wood and the prices vary little from hardware store to hardware store. Real estate agents sell what a builder did with what he bought in a hardware store and the prices range all over the place depending what was done with the basic materials.

As we talk with a prospective client does the discussions quickly turning to price and the bottom line? 
The Total Package
Let’s think back to those extraordinary vacations or the meals you treated those special speakers to. Price was not the determining factor. The value of what you got for your money prompted you to take that vacation or buy that person a meal.
If the quality of your work is superior and you have consistently treated your customers with honor, dignity and respect then you have established a brand that will draw clients to you.

If you are aware of how your work defines you in the marketplace and you communicate this effectively to potential customers you will do well. You can compare what you do to your competition or you can just point out all the things that you do for your clients and never mention the competition.
If prospective clients are talking price and bottom line then stop selling nails and wood and start talking about the quality of your work and what you will do for them.

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