Mastering the Value Conversation with Blair Enns

By |August 27th, 2018|

Episode 151:

In any trade, mastering the work is just the first of many hurdles. But one of the most daunting for most agency owners is pricing. What is the work worth? Who is my competition, and what if they offer services for less? What is the true value of the work we’re doing and what’s the ROI for our client?

There will always be someone (agency or freelancer) who is willing to do the same work for less. But how does that influence our pricing strategy and should it? This episode is all about the value conversation that leads to identifying a price based on the value you are offering. We’re going to dive into both the theories and principles and how to get over the discomfort of putting these pricing principles into practice.

Blair is an expert in sales, particularly in the creative services industry. He started his career working for a number of Canadian ad agencies and design firms. In 2000, he struck out on his own with a consulting practice named Win Without Pitching. In our conversation, Blair will walk us through a framework developed over decades of learning, trying, failing and perfecting value-based selling for creatives.

Blair is the author of Win Without Pitching Manifesto. He has just written a brand-new book called Pricing Creativity. I have spent some time with it, and the cool thing is, it’s not really a book – or more precisely, it’s not only a book. It’s more of a training manual – a three-ring binder full of all kinds of tips, tricks, and the psychology of pricing strategy.

This is a meaty episode and I promise – it’s going to give you plenty to think about.

 

 

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How to effectively price your creative work
  • Why a one-page proposal beats a 75-page presentation every time
  • The value of silence in the sales process
  • Moving from vendor to valued expert early in the sales process
  • Making the closing on the sale a “non-event”
  • The four-step framework for mastering the value conversation
  • How to discipline yourself to not offer solutions too early in the process
  • The mindset shift needed to improve selling skills to become a pricing expert
  • Having value conversations with the right decision-makers
  • How to move from agreeing with sales principles to making them standard practice

The Golden Nuggets:

“If you've never presented a proposal with options in it before, you will quickly notice the difference in response. The client will try to solve the puzzle: which is the best value?” – @BlairEnns Click To Tweet “The pursuit of efficiencies comes at the cost of extraordinary profits.” – @BlairEnns Click To Tweet “The most financially successful agencies have people who are able to master the value conversation. They're not only pricing based on value, they learn to navigate this value conversation with ease.” – @BlairEnns Click To Tweet “Offering one standard price does you a disservice. The brain is wired to make comparisons. So your job is to facilitate the comparison.” – @BlairEnns Click To Tweet “You can't just master the value conversation by reading about it. You have to fumble forward through multiple value conversations.” – @BlairEnns Click To Tweet “Improving your selling skills really comes down to learning how to master that value conversation, which requires a fundamental mindset shift.” – @BlairEnns Click To Tweet “You need to train yourself away from offering solutions. It's almost like an act of meditation where these thoughts come up, and you let them go for now. You let them go because now's not the time.” –@BlairEnns Click To Tweet “The most challenging part is to move away from thinking about solutions. It requires a big shift in mindset to focus foremost on understanding the client’s desired future state, and leave solutions for a discussion down the road.” – @BlairEnns Click To Tweet

 

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Ways to contact Blair:

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About the Author:

CEO of Agency Management Institute, serving 250+ agencies to help the owners build profitable agencies that evolve and scale.

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