I want to encourage you with this today, and encourage you to give yourself permission to tap into your intuition and to let your intuition and let your business really kind of fill into the space of your purpose. Remember that you purpose can change with you as you grow and change as a person. I am a different person now than I was in my twenties. I’ve evolved, I’ve changed, I’ve grown as a human, as a woman, and my life experiences have helped to shape my journey. You will grow and change, and your purpose may change a bit as time goes on, but remember that those experiences just aid you in your journey. Checking in with yourself and evaluating where your purpose is and where your focus should be helps to keep that cognitive dissonance from welling up inside of you.
This morning, I sat in my living room, playing with my 7 month old son, and feeling so happy. The sun was streaming into our room, he was happy, I had gotten a full night of sleep, and nostalgia as I remembered that today was pregnancy and infant loss awareness day.
Memories of my past as shadows
Two years ago, I was between miscarriages. I was about to get pregnant for the second time this time two years ago. I remember how shattered my world felt for a season. And as I sat playing with my perfect baby in the most beautiful home, surrounded by sunlight, I was filled with gratitude. I felt a twinge of sadness, but it was different this time. I didn’t own my sadness. I felt it come into my heart, like a stranger, then leave, like a whisp of steam.
At first I felt concerned-does this mean I’m pushing away those feelings? Or, maybe, just maybe, this is a sign that I’m healing.
As I thought about the fleeting visit from grief, I saw a beautiful shadow on my wall. The beautiful sunlight streaming had hit a vase of branches in my living room, creating a beautiful play of shadows dancing on my wall. The shadows danced for such a quick minute-I ran to get my camera and they had already changed!
And then it hit me. The reason that I loved the sunlight streaming into my living room was because of the beautiful shadows it created. You see, there’s beauty in the shadows, the difficult times in our lives. They are gone so quickly, but while they’re there, they help us see the light so much more.
Your past as a prison
The shadows don’t actually exist. They’re just a mirage-when we treat them as our current reality, we are choosing to live as a shadow. And our shadows become our prisons. Trade in the prison of your past for light.
Dear one reading this today, step back from the shadows of your life and take a look at them. Why are they there? They’re there to remind you that you’re alive. That YOU are standing in the sunlight.
So, turn and face the light.
You’ve been staring at the shadows for so long that you have forgotten what the sun on your face feels like. Turn your back on the shadows, not the light. For the shadows will come and go. But the light stays.
It’s time to turn and face the sun and let the shadows fall behind you.
When the memories of past hurts or dark seasons of grief come back to your life, don’t shove them away or greet them with fear. Welcome the grief like a long lost friend coming for dinner. She’s not staying. But she’s there for a reason. Sit with her for a minute, understand her, and ask her what she wants you to know.
Could it simply be that your past wants you to remember that it’s a shadow, not a prison?
Thank you to Bekah of Sankalpa Life Yoga and Wellness for the life-giving conversation that inspired this post. (If you aren’t following Bekah on instagram, do it now. You’ll feel her beauty and strength in each post.)
You get an inquiry in your inbox-YESSSSS, this is it! You hit it off big time in that first call or meeting and feel confident they will book with you.
Of course it’s a jolting halt when you hear them say something like “Thanks for your time! We loved meeting you but have decided to go with someone else who’s a better fit for our budget.”
Wait...WHAT? Painful, right? But not permanent. Lemme show you some cool tools to help you overcome every price objection.
I’m going to share with you the very tips I’ve used to book clients, adding an extra $15k to my yearly income in 2017 that I would have otherwise walked away from. Income that other photographers DID walk away from. And income that got me major publicity and multiple referral bookings.
You see, I wasn’t afraid when a client had their Manhattan based attorney mark up my contract, hoping I’d agree to give away my copyright. I knew just what to do when a potential client told me their budget was $1,500 less than my starting rates…but they had my dream event. And I wasn’t afraid when a client told me they were deciding between me and one other photographer.
And that’s why I made an extra $15,000 last year. I mean...would you like an extra $15k this year? Read on:
What’s an objection?
Quite simply, an objection is something that prevents clients from booking with you. Sometimes they let you know…often times they don’t. That’s normal and shouldn’t feel frustrating. Today, we’re specifically talking about clients who might not book with you because you’re out of their budget. How do you turn them around into paying clients?
Uncover pricing objections early
This might seem kinda obvious, but, sometimes we forget that finding objections is on US not the client. So, asking the right questions is key to finding the objections you can then overcome.You can’t deal with an objection if you haven’t asked what they are. Don’t let fear hold you back-ask the questions!
Here are 3 valuable questions to ask to uncover your clients’ objections:
Are all the decision makers on this call right now? (if not...you’re not going to book them!)
Is there any reason you wouldn’t be able to book with me right now?
What would make this offer work for you?
Understand what “I can’t afford it really means
When a client says they can’t afford your offer, it’s pretty rare that that’s the real issue. That’s just what they think you might understand. Yeah, money may be at play, but underneath of that, clients often have 2 big needs you’d have to meet in order to book:
Budget = a fear of intimacy
in SO MANY cases, the excuse “i can’t afford it,” is covering up your clients fear of intimacy. Making a serious investment means they’re showing up for their biggest dreams. They’re allowing someone in, and they’re putting a stake in the ground and saying “hey, I am so worth it!”
If your client is struggling with a fear of intimacy, use the “ask why 5 times” method (don’t know what that is? Shoot me an email and I’ll break it down) and prepare to touch on something emotional. Give them permission to feel what they need to feel, affirm that you can give them the important thing they are looking for, and then move into the action step of booking.
Does your offer meet their basic needs?
A few years ago, I was shopping for a computer. I was seriously considering switching from apple to windows and had someone tell me about each system.
The person who told me about the Windows system overloaded me with features. Fancy things the computer could do, bells and whistles. I was impressed, for sure. But want to know why I didn’t buy a windows based system? Because they didn’t answer my one question:
How do I move between desktop screens? Suuuuuuuch a simple question, right? And it was the exact question that lost that person the sale. Why?
He didn’t take care of my actual needs AND he overcomplicated things.
Are you doing this with your clients?
The 6 core human needs and your offer
Creating an offer that actually meets your clients needs is the starting place for any offer. The shiny things come afterward.
Tony Robbins talks about 6 core needs we all have. Understanding these needs will help you know how to tailor your offer to your clients.
Take time to listen to your clients, try to identify their biggest needs from the sliding scale below, and find ways to meet those needs.
Do they need certainty?
Show them a gallery from their venue, show them results you’ve gotten someone, show them an outline of how you’d work together, get that engagement session on the calendar.
Do they need love & connection?
Send them tips/tricks you saw on their favorite blog “just because you were thinking about them.” Send them a beautiful gift, a handwritten card, etc. Find a way to show them you care, you understand, and you are there for them.
Do they need Growth?
Share your process with them-invite them in and create a collaborative atmosphere that nurtures their growth. Instead of telling them your ideas, ask for theirs. And keep reminding them of the growth they’re experiencing because of your work together. Look for ways to track and measure that growth and find ways to celebrate it with that person.
Price objections are a mirror for your inner beliefs about money
Here’s one of the most powerful take aways of this whole article: your price objections could simply be a MIRROR for how much you’re saying “I can’t afford it.”
This feels kinda hard to admit, but when I’m hearing a lot of money objections in my business, chances are, it’s because I’m saying it a lot.
Yeah! Your outer world simply mirrors your inner world! And until you take radical responsibility for your inner world, you’ll be a victim to your outer world.
Here’s the thing-Money is just energy. It goes where it’s wanted and welcomed. And it doesn’t go where it’s neglected and resented. Chances are, those bummer words from a potential client are the universe simply echoing your OWN words back at you!
Chances are, you’re in a place where you feel stuck in your business. You need help getting unstuck, getting inspired, getting unafraid. But you don’t know how you’d pay for it, so you say “I can’t afford it,” “it's out of my budget,” or “I can’t make the numbers work.”
It’s such a hard place to be in-to feel like you know what you need but can’t have it. You’re NOT alone if you feel that way. And there is a solution.
Are you ready for the solution?
You need to go spend money on something you’ve either told yourself or been told was too expensive. This is especially powerful if you can connect with something you were told you couldn’t have due to money when you were between the ages of 0-7 years old.
I’ll be sharing how I did this exact thing over on instagram stories and how it helped my business today on instagram stories.
Chances are, you’ll find that breaking that spending ceiling in a strategic, intentional, and mindful way will bring clients in faster afterward.