( Part 2 of a two-part article – In part 1, we looked at behaviors of smart, capable women that holds them back, along with selling on value, not on price. We review how to overcome common missteps to truly earn what we’re worth. )
Remaining 2 Issues Holding Women Back
[& the Solutions to Increase Your Earnings]
Have you ever felt bewildered that you were overlooked for a job or client project when someone far less qualified or experienced was hired? This might help bring some perspective:
Women feel they must know 90% about a subject before they’re qualified to jump in (or apply for a job) while men feel they only need to know 10% and can figure out the rest once they get the job or make the sale. While I can no longer find the source of this factoid, my long career spanning many types of business and work sadly bears it out. Of course this doesn’t apply to all men! My clients and husband defy this stereotype.
Yet I point out this huge difference in belief systems because I see this as a significant force holding women back from charging their full value when bidding new contracts, negotiations, and raising their rates.
Are you making this mistake?
I hear extremely capable women tell me they need more classes, training or education when in fact they are just trying to avoid making sales. Don’t fall into that hole. [It’s hard to see for yourself. Try to take a really deep look!]. Get some help strengthening your capabilities in marketing and sales so you can truly earn what you’re worth!
Prepare for the sale
Learn all you can about what a potential client needs, what issues they have, and how they like to work. Review their website, LinkedIn or Facebook profiles to get some information and have an open discussion before selling your offer. After all, most people start service businesses so they can really help their clients, right? So, make sure your service is the perfect solution – and if not, refer them to someone’s who is right for them. What goes around comes around.
Make It Easy For Clients to Say “Yes”
Remember the old expression: “If you have to ask you probably can’t afford it?” Why not make it easy for clients to say ”yes” and put your prices online! I regularly get clients thanking me for this and telling me they hired me because it was clear I wasn’t trying to hide something important like pricing.
Package Your Services.
It strengthens your sales to package services rather than sell them hourly. Why? Because your clients don’t “control” your work so they won’t know how many hours it takes to get something accomplished. Better to let them know what results they’ll get and charge for that. If you’re not sure how to package your services, just contact us and we’ll show you how.
4) Shying Away From Conflict
As my co-author, the mother of two boys explains, boys are raised to spar, fight and wrestle. Girls are raised to play house and co-operate. While the gender roles might be shifting, it’s not fast enough to get women business owners to stand their ground when facing heated pricing talks instead of trying to “play nice” and feel liked by everyone around them.
Many women believe that conflict is inherently bad, rather than perceiving it as an opportunity for education and growth. I believe conflict is about expressing “conflicting opinions” – a valuable way to explore the “what ifs” so you can really think things through to figure out the best solution. It doesn’t have to be charged with anger or negativity. Often women worry they will be perceived as difficult rather than “easy to work with”.
This is the hardest and yet simplest of solutions. Be bold. Be strong. Exert your opinions. After all, that’s probably why clients approached you in the first place! Smart clients don’t want a “yes (wo)man” – they want someone to challenge them and show them how to make improvements.
We get it, really! It’s hard to change patterns and beliefs that have been ingrained since your childhood. The first step is being aware that some of these limiting beliefs might be holding you back for achieving the success you so want and deserve.
The second step is reaching out and finding help to make change so you can move forward. Find a great mentor, a knowledgeable consultant, coach, or therapist and enlist them as your travel companion along the route to help you earn what you’re worth and fulfill your full potential.
About the Authors:
Allison Bliss, Director, Allison Bliss Consulting
Allison runs a marketing & communications agency that delivers strategic business direction for mid-size enterprise and small companies on a growth track. Directing full-service marketing with top level teams of writers, designers, social media mavens, publicists, and the full gamut of services, Allison directs all projects to manage strategy, costs and time for companies who do not have an established marketing department but need to achieve business success. All pricing is on her site at: http://www.AllisonBliss.
Guest Author, Jo Ilfeld, PhD, Success Reboot
Jo is a leadership coach who specializes in working with corporate professionals and entrepreneurs to become confident, effective leaders with high-performing teams. To learn more about Jo and download her free success kit, go to www.successreboot.com.