What if the client says no?

I’m not asking what you will do if your client says no. If you get a lead and they decline your offer, what are THEY going to do next?

Answering that question will give you insight into how you’ve positioned your business and the value they see in you.

  • Why didn’t they want to work with you?
  • Was your price too high so they went with a less expensive alternative?
  • Were you not able to get them to see the value of your solution?
  • Was your solution overly technical and confusing?
  • Did they want to work with you but your price exceeded their budget?

If your client rejects your offer, it’s easy to just block out the experience and move on. But, the world doesn’t stop when the client says no. It doesn’t stop for you and it doesn’t stop for them either. So, what happens next?

Answering Unkown Factors

The entire point of a client meeting is to answer the unknown factors. If all the factors were already known your client would either already be paying you or they wouldn’t even want to meet. The way you handle the unknown factors can have three different outcomes.

It’s A Bad Fit

It’s important to keep in mind that not all leads are good clients. There are unknown factors on both sides of the table. You need to discover if the client meets your criteria as someone you feel like you can help. It could be the cast that they need you to do something that’s not something your comfortable doing. For example, maybe they need you to manage a SalesForce migration but you focus on building WordPress websites. Sometimes, things just aren’t a good fit.

There are factors on both sides of the table. Maybe there’s something about the client that is offputting and you just don’t want to work with them. For example, maybe their highly indecisive. That would be a deal-breaker because you’ll never be able to make forward progress if you constantly have to change directions.

It’s All Good Except The Money

Most of the time, the web designers I talk to will tell me everything went great in their meeting until they started talking about the prices. Everything was a good fit on both sides but they just weren’t able to see eye-to-eye on the value of the project. We’ll talk more about this in a minute when we unpack the two different types of unknown factors.

You Win The Client

OK, great! You won the client. Or… maybe it’s not so great.

  • Did you have to lower the price and undercut your own value?
  • Have you painted yourself in a corner with no way to deliver your best work?
  • Do you have the budget required to generate a good outcome for your client?

You don’t want to win a client on price. That’s unsustainable and burns your out. But it also doesn’t deliver the best results for the client either.

Two Types Of Unknowns

The difference between winning clients by lowering your price and getting the client to see the high-ticket value of your solution comes down to the fact that there are two types of “unknowns” in the client’s mind.

  • Type A: Things the client wants to know (price, how long it will take, when you can start, etc)
  • Type B: Things they don’t know that they don’t know (new revenue streams, new marketing ideas, etc)

Most web designers only focus on answering Type A unknowns and never tap into Type B. That’s why client’s don’t see the value. That’s why you have you have to lower your prices to meet their expectations.

Implementation vs Leadership

Only addressing Type A unknowns means you’re in implementation mode. Providing clarity on Type B unknowns means you’re in the leadership position. This is where you need to be as a high-ticket consultant. Otherwise, you’ll be just one out of a million garden-variety web designers all in the price race to the bottom trying to offer the same stuff for less than the other guy.

What Happens Next?

If you’re stuck only answering Type A unknowns the next step for your client is going to be for them to hop over to the next option in an unending list of alternatives to working with you.

If you’re leading your client by exploring Type B unknowns then you’re setting yourself up as a leader and an authority. This is the secret to high-ticket consulting.

Who Is Asking The Questions?

One way to know if you are answering Type A or Type B unknowns is to look at who is asking the questions. If your client is the one asking the questions then you’re answering Type A unknowns. So, we need to get you to the point where you’re asking the questions and leading your client meetings.

If your clients are asking all the questions, you’re definitely not in the Type B category. But simply asking questions is not all that you need to do to start providing leadership for your clients because you might just be asking them questions they are expecting to answer.

For example, what’s the difference between these two questions?

  • Client: How much will the website cost?
  • You: What’s your budget for the website?

It’s the same exact thing – addressing the topic of price.

If you want to win high-ticket clients you have to ask questions that establish you as an authority with the expertise to solve your client’s business problems. You do that by bringing new concepts to the table. When your client realizes that you understand their needs AND you have ideas that they had never heard of our thought about before you achieve leadership status.

This is the difference between low-budget implementation and high-ticket business consulting.

Let’s Get You Some High-Ticket Clients

So, let’s get you out there winning high-ticket projects by showing your clients that you have what they need even when they don’t know what to ask for.

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The Authority Framework

Discover the counterintuitive strategies I’ve developed over the last 20 years for landing serious, growth-oriented web design clients.

This is a modern approach to solving the most frustrating problems of running your own web design business.