It's time to make a proposal to your potential client for your product or service. You know the time is right and you know you have something valuable to offer them. But your palms are sweating and a multitude of doubts, fears, and questions are running through your head.
What if she says no?
What if you can't help her like you think you can?
What if she doesn't think you're worth the investment?
What if you're actually not worth the investment?
What if you're asking for too much?
Congratulations. You just took one more step towards becoming one of those entrepreneurs whose businesses never make it.
Not so long ago, I was one of those entrepreneurs too. In 2013 I took my first wobbly steps into self-employment. Until then, I'd only ever been an employee and my salary was handed to me on a little slip of paper at the end each month. There was no awkwardness or discomfort involved. I did my job. I got paid. Simple.
I thought entrepreneurship would be easier than it proved to be. I thought I could just do what I loved and what I was good at and people would hand over their money. In reality, it didn't work that way.
Whilst I knew I was supporting people create the lives they wanted for themselves through coaching, I found it excruciatingly painful to talk about money. As a result, I let potential client after potential client disappear into a puff of smoke. I was killing my own business. Heck, who was I kidding, I didn't even have a business at that point!
But with time, experience, and the incredible support of my own coach, I learned how to become comfortable asking for money. I learned how to move from a coaching conversation into a proposal conversation without wanting to run and hide. I've quadrupled my fees since I began coaching, and the figures I charge now flow out of my mouth like it's the most natural thing in the world.
And this is what I want for you, too. I want your business to thrive and succeed. I want you to be out in the world, sharing your gifts and making a difference. We need more people doing that, we really do.
And so today I'd like to share with you my top 4 tips that will help you shift your money mind-set so that you can start charging for what you do with confidence and ease.
Ready? Let's go!
1. Learn to love NO
One of the reasons so many newbie entrepreneurs find it tough to start asking for money is because of how they think of the word "˜no.'
What does getting a "˜no' mean to you? If it means any of the following, something needs to change:
- "I'm not good enough."
- "There's something wrong with me."
- "This is never going to work."
- "No one will ever want to hire me/buy my product or service."
- "I may as well give up."
Instead, a "˜no' should bring thoughts like this to mind:
- "Is there anything for me to learn from this "˜no'?"
- "Ok, this person didn't want what I was offering, that's totally fine. Who can I propose to next?"
- "Oooh, well done me for making another proposal. I'm getting better at this."
- "Great, I'm one step closer to getting a "˜yes.'
You must learn to detach your own value as a human being on this planet from the word "˜no.' "˜No' is simply information and it shouldn't have you slumped in a corner with a box of tissues wondering why nobody loves you.
If you find yourself taking rejection way too personally, make it a habit to tell yourself that "˜no' is just neutral information. Getting into this habit worked for me and it will work for you too, if you do it consistently.
2. Connect to a bigger reason for making money
Even when I was really struggling in my business and could barely pay my bills, I still lacked the motivation I needed to push me into making proposals.
It wasn't until a friend of mine told me about his 99 year-old grandma and how she could really benefit from having a mobility scooter to give her some freedom and independence back that something changed for me.
Hearing my friend talk about his grandma really touched me (I've always had a soft spot for older people) and I sprung into action immediately and set up a donation page to raise money for a scooter. Within a very short time we had the money and were able to buy my friend's grandma a modest mobility scooter.
I realised that making money for myself simply wasn't a big enough motivation, but when I tied making money to something larger than myself, I was able to draw on a totally different energy and motivation.
This has now become a core part of my business: I'm not only earning money for myself, I'm earning money to support the people and causes I really care about and believe in. Making more money means I can have more impact in the world
What do you care about so deeply that will have you forget about the discomfort of making proposals?
3. Give versus take
Another major problem for newbie entrepreneurs is this strange belief that by someone paying you for your product or service you're depriving them of their money and leaving them with less than they had before.
In fact, the opposite is true. When someone pays you for your product or service they are gaining, not losing.
When you're getting ready to make a proposal to a potential client, get clear in your mind all the ways in which they are going to benefit from your product or service. Visualise clearly the ways in which they are going to gain.
From this place, it should be much easier for you to make a confident proposal. After all, what you're offering is going to help them, right?
4. Turn proposals into a game
I like to turn a lot of the work I do with clients into a challenge, mission, or game. Why? Because it gets my clients out of their heads (where they're obsessing over their own self-worth) and into action. Games are also a great reminder that even if the work you're doing is important, you don't have to take everything so seriously.
Here's a quick and easy game you can create for yourself around making proposals:
Open up an Excel spreadsheet and create three columns labelled name, amount proposed and yes/no (or make up headings that are relevant to you and your business.)
Now challenge yourself to make as many proposals and get as many no's as you possibly can in a week, two weeks, or a month. Track your results and see what happens.
Over time you'll notice three things:
1. Making proposals becomes easier and when you get a "˜no' it's like water off a duck's back.
2. There's a direct positive correlation between number of proposals and money earned. The more proposals you make, the more money you have in your bank account.
3. Asking for money starts to become"¦wait for it"¦fun!
Now get out there and start collecting your no's. Go on, I dare you.