For many people, the idea of ”high-end marketing” or attracting premium customers simply means raising the prices of their current services. In fact, that’s what people always said to me: “Robert, you have to raise your prices.”
But for some reason, he couldn’t do it. I couldn’t make it work for me.
Over the years I have discovered that marketing to Premium clients is much more complex, it does not imply raising prices for the sake of it, people who are willing to pay a higher price also want better services or products.
Today I’d like to do something to simplify that complexity so that it’s easier for you, too, to attract Premium customers.
I use an acronym that I think is useful: “HEOB” (High-End, Outcome-Based services and programs, that is, Programs and services based on high-quality results).
This means that you need to focus on developing high-end services and programs that deliver a tangible result. You have to have both a premium and tangible product or service.
Another way to look at it is to shift the focus from price to value. You are working on developing new services and programs that are of substantially higher value than the services and programs you have been offering up to now.
There are many ways to present these services, but I would like to focus on the three that I am most familiar with and have had the best results with my clients.
I call them the Patrick, Kendall, and Alan models. They are all very different, except that they are all versions of HEOBs, that is, they are programs and services that offer very high value.
Patrick Summar is a close friend whom I have helped with his business and marketing for the past several years. Patrick is a business coach who primarily works with business owners who want to take their business to the next level without giving up on having a life.
Here Are Some Of The Elements Of Patrick’s Model:
1. Work with customers who can justify a much higher price. Patrick charges his clients approximately $2,500 per month (for weekly meetings) and typically works with six to eight clients at a time.
2. It places a lot of emphasis on service. For every hour you work with a client, you spend one hour preparing. Part of that time is taken up by studying the “pre-report” that the client sends you before each coaching session.
3. Pre-reporting is critical to the success of Patrick’s clients. It forces them to look at what is working and what is not working, the issues they need to focus on, and the opportunities they want to take advantage of. It also provides you with data about how your clients are progressing.
4. Patrick does a quarterly progress review of his clients to see how they are doing overall and to validate the value of the training. By pointing out where the client was three months ago and where he is now, the client sees how far he has come and almost always wants to move on with Patrick.
5. Patrick does not require long-term contracts. He only asks the client to commit to three months at a time (and doesn’t even force him to keep it). Clients want to stick with it because they see that it helps them produce results that justify the high cost of its service.
6. Patrick bases his own marketing on networking. He is currently working on incorporating other approaches, but I must confess that I am really impressed with the income (in six figures!) that he is able to generate from referrals alone.
The following model was inspired by Kendall Sumerhawk. Kendall offers a variety of high-quality programs for small business owners. His main goal is group programs. This is the closest model to how I work myself and very close to the model I use in the Marketing Mastery program.
Here Are Some Of The Elements Of The Kendall Model:
1. The key concept is to offer a “high-level group program” that really immerses clients in your work. This means a long-term program (one year) that includes workshops, lectures, study materials, one-on-one coaching, and email feedback.
2. The goal of all of these programs is for the business owner to master a certain body of knowledge and skill set that will have a measurable impact on their life and business.
3. It is important to note that one-on-one workshops are not a viable business model or an effective means of instilling long-term change. It takes time and work to change. This type of program is very successful in producing the results that the client is looking for.
4. Reporting, tracking, and other systems like the ones Patrick uses are also key elements in high-level group programs. Individual attention, counseling, and feedback are essential. Programs that are “information only” simply don’t work.
5. It is also highly recommended to take advantage of the contribution of others. Creating a Google Group or interactive communication system is the key. Putting people in small groups to work on projects, and doing everything possible to encourage “cross-pollination” makes a big difference in increasing participant engagement.
6. In my experience, online marketing, teleclasses, and live presentations are the most effective marketing vehicles for these groups. One of my most effective practices is to have people apply to my programs and not enroll directly.
Because? Because I only want to work with participants who have very high goals and a willingness to play 100%.
The following model, inspired by Alan Weiss and described in his book “Million Dollar Consulting”, is best for offering in-house services and programs for small, medium, and large companies. No matter which model you use, I highly recommend the book.
Here Are Some Of The Elements Of Alan’s Model:
1. Above all, you need to remember that you are offering a solution, not a process. Processes (such as training, coaching, and consulting) become commodities and push the price down. The solutions, on the other hand, deliver measurable results and have a Premium price.
2. HEOB services and programs can include many modalities. Several of the participants in the marketing master’s program, for example, offer a combination of assessments, training, consulting, and coaching. The synergy produced by the use of several simultaneously speeds up obtaining results for the client.
3. If you want to design one or more HEOB programs, you must understand that some customization will also be required. Companies want programs to be made exclusively for them. However, by assembling different existing modalities, high-impact programs can be created with relative ease.
4. The challenge of offering these types of programs is offering more than “the two-day leadership program” or “a couple of months of management training” for an underperforming executive, which are often requested by companies. The question is, is this approach really going to produce a result or is it just “fitting your current budget”?
5. It pays to be demanding with the companies you work with. You may have to spend considerable time in sales talks. A best practice is to partner with the client to build the proposal. Only add the price when you are completely aligned with their needs.
6. Marketing to reach these companies usually requires networking, publishing articles in magazines or websites and maybe books (Alan has written over 25!), and my favorite: public speaking. All these marketing activities will allow you to stand out as an info guru or expert in your field.
In the Marketing Mastery Program, I work with independent professionals to develop a model that is appropriate for your business. No one size fits all and you have to work on developing a HEOB program and marketing plan that helps attract premium customers consistently.
There is more than one type of HEOB program, however virtually all professionals can successfully develop a program that matches their expectations, skills, experience, and the type of client they wish to reach. It takes a lot of work and requires support to get it done but this is the way to go.