Selling a $10,000 project is easy once you’ve found a $100,000 problem. Your discovery process plays an important role in this so you can’t take shortcuts.
Why do you think you’re struggling to sell a $10,000 solution to your clients?
It’s usually because they have a nagging feeling in the back of their minds. They’re not convinced that your solution offers enough value to justify their investment.
Let’s reframe the approach.
If I said that I want you to give me $10,000 and I’ll give you $100,000 back in return, would you do it?
Of course you would. I bet you’d say yes if I asked for $50,000 in return for $100,000, too.
The same goes for your clients. They’ll snap that deal out of your hands in a heartbeat.
If you’re not offering that sort of value, it suggests that you’re not completely confident in your solution. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to guarantee $100,000 in return for $10,000.
The key is that you’re getting clear on the issues and opportunities that the project presents. And from there, you’re able to frame your solution as a high-value proposition.
The trick comes in finding the $100,000 problems. And a lot of that has to do with your discovery process.
I’m going to cover that in a little bit. But first, let’s look at the problems that failing to find the $100,000 issue can cause.
The Key Problems
There are two big problems that result from all of this.
The first is that you’re not getting paid enough. Your projects don’t generate enough money and the effects of that show up all over your business.
You’re struggling to cover the basic costs of running your agency. Cashflow is always an issue and you’re never fully confident that you’re not putting yourself in the red when you spend.
You’re also not making enough to allow you to focus on other aspects of the business. You’re not building a marketing strategy or improving your sales process because you’re busy trying to generate revenue.
That means you’re not growing your team so you’re not scaling your business.
The second problem is that your clients view you as a commodity.
Imagine that you’re in the supermarket and you walk through the cereal aisle. You want some Cheerios. But you know there’s not a lot of difference between the real thing and the store-brand version.
The Cheerios are a commodity that’s interchangeable in your mind. You believe you’re not going to lose out if you go for the other option.
If you’re not solving the $100,000 problems, your clients view you in the same way. You’re not offering them anything that they couldn’t get from any other digital agency.
For example, they’re talking to you and a competitor about building a website. You’re asking for $10,000 and the competitor’s asking for $5,000.
If you haven’t been able to demonstrate the value your solution’s going to bring, they’re going to go with the cheaper option every time.
In both cases, these issues come down to discovery. You likely haven’t done enough to show the client what value you bring. That means you’re not attracting the big projects and potential clients don’t see your agency as anything special.
$100,000 Problems Start with a Capital D
You find $100,000 problems through a discovery process.
If you’re shortcutting discovery or not doing it at all, you’re inhibiting your ability to identify the $100,000 problems. That means you’re not confident when you propose a $10,000 solution.
When the client asks why it costs so much, you can’t point to the problem that you’re solving.
Remember that every client’s going to take the $100,000 return on a $10,000 investment. What you need to do is mine for the gold and show them the $100,000 problem you’re solving.
What is Discovery?
Discovery is all about engaging in a mutual exploration to find the client’s true needs. That means it’s not a case of you coming up with a solution on your own. You’re working directly with the client to find out what their problems are so you can unearth the major issues.
If you just give a price to your client, you’re not doing any service to them. That price is just one of several quotes they’ve received.
If you’re not doing anything extra, you get the cereal situation I mentioned earlier.
The problem may be that the client doesn’t want to invest the time upfront on the discovery process. That’s a red flag that the client may not be a good fit. However, it’s also an indicator that you haven’t done enough to show the value of discovery.
I’m going to cover what you can do to convince a client that discovery is a valuable process a little later. First, you need to understand why discovery is valuable to your agency.
Discovery Helps You Find Bigger Problems
The big mistake that a lot of agency owners make with discovery is that they pre-plan. You may have these preconceived notions of what the project’s supposed to look like. The issue with this is that you start framing the solution around that notion.
You end up shortcutting the entire process. That means you’re not mining deep enough to find the buried gold.
Discovery isn’t about you going in with a plan already in mind.
And it’s not about just getting a client to answer some questions.
If the client fits your ideal profile and they’re the type of person you want to work with, it’s crucial that you do discovery.
Now, there’s a concern that some agency owners bring up with discovery.
What if you find a problem that your agency can’t solve?
That’s certainly a possibility. To do discovery properly, you need to be completely open to what could come out of it. And in some cases, you might find a problem that you can’t solve.
But here’s what you get from the process.
Discovery affords you the opportunity to find bigger problems that you can solve. It helps you and your client unearth problems that are much bigger than the client thought they had.
A client may come to you looking for a website. But in discovery, they may realize that they actually need a full digital marketing plan over the next three years.
That’s a much bigger problem with the potential to generate very high returns. Now, you have the confidence to ask for $10,000 because you’re solving a $100,000 problem.
What if the Client Resists Discovery?
I mentioned earlier that your client may resist the idea of spending time on discovery. That’s natural as they have their own businesses to run.
Your task is to show them why discovery offers value to them.
There are three core reasons to engage in discovery. Use them to convince your client that this is a process that’s worth doing.
Reason #1 – It Mitigates Risk
If you and your client don’t understand the full scope of the problem, the risk goes up.
You may end up uncovering things later on that cause the whole project to derail. A strategy or tactic that you’ve both agree on could become ineffective.
That’s going to result in an unhappy client as it means you’ve wasted time on a solution that doesn’t work.
Mitigating risk means you’re finding out everything about the problem. The issue that the client identifies may just be a symptom of a much larger problem. Explain that mitigating risk means you save time later on down the line.
Reason #2 – It Eliminates Waste
Your goal is to build something that your client actually wants.
The danger of preconceived notions comes into play here. If you’re making assumptions and telling the client that everything’s okay, you might create a problem. You could get several weeks into developing the solution before you show it to the client.
They take one look at it and say, “That’s not what we wanted.”
Discovery allows you to nail down exactly what the client wants, which means there’s no waste. You’re not wasting time on the wrong solution and the client doesn’t get frustrated because you’ve gone in the wrong direction.
Reason #3 – It Creates Clarity
A lot of your clients have an itch. They have a nagging feeling that there’s something wrong but they don’t know what it is.
They might get advice from other people. Someone may tell them that they need to start an ad campaign or rebrand their business.
But they don’t understand why.
With discovery, you create the clarity that the client needs. You’re not just suggesting a potential solution. You’re working together to unearth a problem and explaining why that problem needs your solution.
Discover How to Find $100,000 Problems
I’ve covered the importance of discovery in finding $100,000 problems. However, there’s plenty more to learn about this subject.
This is just the first of my Five Hot Principles for finding $100,000 problems. If you’re a digital agency owner, you need all five.
If you join the UACADEMY Community, you can find out the rest. Apply online today to find out if you’re eligible for a FREE strategy session with UGURUS.