As a small business owner you’re an expert at something your customers are not. That’s why your customers come to you. That’s why they pay you to help them. And how well you help them is key in building your brand. Yet sometimes we miss obvious opportunities to share our expertise – and then it’s hard charging what you’re worth and getting people to pay it.
Just yesterday I reached out to a travel agency I am using for an upcoming trip. I needed help choosing the best seats for comfort during a 16 hour flight. The response I received: if you log in to your account with the airline, you can do it yourself. Here is the confirmation number you need.
Well here’s the problem. The plane seats about 750 people. Just looking at the diagram of the seating configuration made my head spin. Sure I could go to Seat Guru, do a bit of research and try to choose the best seat. But I hired a travel agency for their expertise in helping me plan this trip. I not only don’t have the time to spend becoming an expert at choosing the optimal seat for my trip, I don’t have an interest. That’s why I hired someone else to book my itinerary for me.
I’m sure the travel agent wasn’t trying to shirk her responsibilities. To her defense she likely assumed I would appreciate the opportunity to choose my seat for myself. Most of her clients may prefer that option.
However, here’s what I propose to all small business owners. Take advantage of every single opportunity to handle any decision for your clients. If they prefer to choose for themselves, they’ll tell you.
If you’re a professional photographer, are you sending your clients home with prints and telling them to frame it themselves? Are your clients really more of an expert at framing than you are (or should be)?
Are you an interior designer who asks your clients to choose their own color palette? While their input is important, they’ve hired you for your style, taste and vision.
Or maybe you’re a landscape artist who asks your clients to search online for a cheaper price on the trees they’ve selected for your yard. Sounds far-fetched, right? Yet it happens.
Your clients have hired you for your expertise. Take every opportunity to demonstrate it to them. It creates value for your products and services and frankly helps justify the higher prices your clients pay to you as a boutique business owner.