Four Tips on Getting Your Clients to Pay You More



I’m a big fan of spending time on building new relationships and prospecting for new business, so you are never left scrambling for new business.  However, there are some other ways to increase your revenue as a business owner.

Every business needs a good client base to keep income figures healthy, but that doesn’t mean that attracting new business is the only option. Instead, think about ways that you can get more work from the clients you already have.

The main reason that this is a good idea is that your existing clients already know and love your work. They may even have given you repeat business or testimonials.

That means you don’t have to spend a lot of time marketing to them. And the less time you have to spend on marketing, the more you can spend on working and earning.

Here are some tips on making the most of your existing client base.

1. Assess Your Offerings

Before you can present new options to the clients, there are two things you need to do. First, take a snapshot of your business.

Spend a bit of time brainstorming. What services do you offer now? Is there anything that you already know how to do that makes a natural addition to your service or product offerings?

Here’s an example of how this worked in one writer’s business.

She ghostwrites blog posts for various clients, but knows that clients often have trouble finding good blogs to place them on.

She offered to handle blog post placements for an additional fee, presenting it as a timesaver for the client (which it is). The client was happy and so was the writer.

2. Ask Your Customers

At the same time, think about what clients have asked you to do over the last year? Perhaps there’s a clue to some of the services they might be looking for. You can even ask clients to share their pain points with you to get some ideas for how you could solve them.

If you are a web designer, you could help your customers by sharing their new website with your social network.You might do it anyway, as it’s part of your portfolio, but it has a value for your customers.

Writer Sharon Hurley Hall recently edited an ebook for a client and then helped her get it published on the Kindle. She is now offering that service for another client.

3. Check Your Pricing

Value is such a subjective thing, isn’t it? But as a business owner, you must recognize that your time has a value – and that means all of your time.

When we work for clients, sometimes we forget to include all the little extras in our quote – like the hour of handholding on Skype and the responses to emails at unsociable hours.

Have a look at your pricing structure and see if you have taken into account all the time you actually spend working for particular clients.

If you don’t, then it’s time to implement the next step.

4. Raise Your Rates

If you are under-charging for the time you spend on a job, raise your rates. If you are under-charging in comparison with the market, raise your rates.

And if you are under-charging for the value you offer, raise your rates. As long as you don’t do it too often, even existing clients will handle an annual rate rise.

One option is to announce that your prices will go up and give them the chance to book – and pay for – work ahead of the increase.

That improves your cash flow, makes your clients feel looked after and ensures that the next job they book will be at the higher rate.

5.  Bonus Tip:   Get Early Commitment on Your Offerings

In Robert Cialdini’s book “Influence”, he describes that we are hard-wired to complete something if we already put just a little effort into it.

That’s why if you just get yourself to the car to go workout, you are most likely going to go complete a workout since you already changed your clothes and got to the car.

So what does this mean?  If you are launching a new information product, you could have your existing customers pay a small fee to be the first to receive it.

Example: If you run a consulting business and you haven’t had room to add any new clients, you could have your existing clients pay $15 to $20 to get on a waiting list for a new type of consulting you will start to offer that you think they could benefit from.

They are already invested in your services and will most likely want to receive additional help since they are already spending money with you and have an existing relationship.

Resource for you: Good article with Ramit Sethi discussing how to raise your rates.

Follow these steps and you can increase your income from existing clients, and the work you do will also help with your marketing to new clients – a win-win.

Action for You

Which one of these techniques can you start using today?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Stein owns, is a college business professor and a mom to Gabriela and Elle. Lisa is dedicated to playing a part in helping women and moms run a business they love, help support themselves and their family and create a flexible lifestyle. You can find her online on Facebook and Twitter or at home burning something in the kitchen.