Calaboration was struggling very early on to get clients that are willing to pay. We figured out the strategy for getting the high-ticket clients that are always great to work with for your digital agency.
Getting high-end and high-ticket clients relies completely on who you’re talking to. By talking to the more successful businesspeople, you will run into the wealthier VPs and CEOs who won’t bat an eye when you propose your pricing at even 3x what you’re charging now.
As we’ve said before, the success of your agency entire depends on the clients you have. You can build a $1m digital agency in one week so long as you have the connections to these businesses that are willing to pay that immediately. Similarly, and more realistically if you’re starting out, you can have a six-figure agency in under a year if you have the ability to attain high-ticket clients.
Many new agency entrepreneurs make the mistake of going for volume. They might attend three networking lunch events, four breakfasts, and even a few dinners in hopes they’ll sign a new client at each one of these gatherings.
Little do they consider that they just piled up all this work for themselves. You’re only going to acquire the same kinds of people at all of these events. If you signed 10 local real estate agents at $500/mo, that’s 10x the work than one state-wide real estate developer at $5,000/mo.
If it takes you five hours to sell and onboard one real estate agent at $500/mo and five hours to sell and onboard the developer at $5,000/mo, you just increased the efficiency of your agency by 10x while making 1000% more money.
Why You Want Wealthier Clients
Everyone wants to work with other people who have money. Most of the benefits of working with wealthier clients are obvious.
- They’re successful. Of course, you want to work with a business that’s already successful. They’re not relying on your marketing strategy to get them out of the red. Further, they’re going to be understanding of what it takes to build a successful business.
Many low-tier prospects who don’t even understand the value of a marketing department will be a pain to work with micromanaging whoever they hire. They’ll think they know best and they’ll wring every ounce of work they can out of you. These are not the successful businesspeople because they clearly have no sense of the value of their time.
- They have money. Money isn’t the most important thing, but it sure helps. The last thing you need as a digital agency owner is to hand over a seemingly innocent proposal for a website with a bargain price of $3,000 for the design and development and have someone taken aback by it.
We’ve dealt with these prospects that weren’t ready for a site at that price and even some who complained about the price and said it wasn’t worth it. Clearly, those prospects never became clients. In fact, we don’t even sell websites at that rate anymore as it was too low — keep in mind, the sites haven’t changed much, but they’re doubly, at least, more valuable now.
- They let you work. I’ve heard this from other agency owners and learned it to be extremely true: The harder it is to sell a client, the harder it will be to keep them happy.
I know people who have sold $10,000 contracts in only a few hours and some who took months to sign only a $1000 agreement. If the wealthier and successful clients find value in your service and trust you’re the professional to get it done, they won’t beat around any bushes and they’ll get things done in an efficient timeframe — after all, they must make moves pretty fast since they’re already successful business professionals.
Where To Find High-Ticket Clients
Finding wealthy and successful clients isn’t all that easy. If it was, you can bet that wherever they hang out there’d be tons of services pitching to them all the time. At the same time, they’re not hiding anywhere, they’re just in different areas than the morning breakfast networking events that you might be so used to.
The best way to get in the door of these much more worthy prospects is by referral. It’s true when they say that you never know who you’re talking to and who they might know.
At Calaboration, I was once pursuing a standard prospect — not great and not terrible. That very day — during our initial meeting — we ran into one of his friends in the building who also happened to run a similar company. We ended up doing more work with the friend than we did with the person I went there to meet in the first place. If nothing else, this goes to show that no connection is wasted since you always stand a chance of reaching people higher on the totem pole from their friends.
If you want to game this system a little harder, you can certainly try. Some of the safest places to find someone who would happily spend $5,000/mo on your digital marketing services is at events that have a cover charge of many hundreds or a couple thousand dollars. You will not find a local real estate agent or a two-person dentistry practice at a conference that was selling tickets for $3,500 a pop.
This is great news for you since you can walk in there and already have prequalified everyone in terms of your pricing. If they’re willing to spend that money on a day-event, they’ll surely find the value in your digital services — the only problem is how you get in there yourself; especially if you’re just starting out. We recommend volunteering at the event, trying to get a speaking role, or even emailing the organizers and asking if there are any scholarships you may qualify for. If you do have to put out the money for it in the end, network the heck out of the crowd so you can make that money back.
Other areas you can manage to find higher echelon prospects are the ritzy and boojie hobby arenas like golf courses, tennis courts, and skeet shooting. You’ll surely find some successful businesspeople who are willing to up their online presence at these events. Be careful, though, everyone at these things are probably on break, vacation, or just enjoying their day off — make work seem like a recreational activity and you’re in.
How to Sell to High-Ticket Prospects
Getting clients for your agency is already one of the biggest problems entrepreneurs face. On top of struggling to even reach more clients, closing them then becomes the issue for salespeople and agency owners.
Since landing higher-ticket clients for your digital agency is going to be the difference between the success stories and the failure tales, you have to master the idea of selling to these people so well that they’re eager to give you their hard-earned money.
Selling, in general, is different from high-ticket sales. You’ll find they’re sometimes high-pressure but other times very casual. You’ll get scared during some meetings and feel like you’ve known the person your entire life during other calls.
Ensure that no matter whom you’re selling to, you’re properly and sufficiently holding their hand through this process. Sales is a service that you have to learn to provide better than the rest. At the end of the day, you can ultimately have worse services, poorer products, and a less talented staff but more clients and more revenue if your sales department is top-notch.
The first step to selling higher-ticket items is by selling the higher-ticket item — raise your prices. Whatever is high enough that gets you scared; double it.
If you’re going to a 50-person company who just spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on their new computer and email system for their staff and you go in offering to build a website for $3,000, they’ll think it’s so oddly low and be turned off by your proposal immediately.
The very fact that your site wasn’t worth $10,000+ made them lose confidence in the product altogether. Even if the website you’re selling for $1,000 and $15,000 is the same exact site, changing that price tag depending on who you’re selling to will carry so much perceived value it’s absolutely crucial.
How to Retain Wealthy Clients
Now that you’ve gained wealthier and more valuable clients for your digital agency, it’s time to keep them around. The good news is that the more a client is paying me, the more comfortable I am when it comes to keeping them.
We’ve lost clients who pay very little — we’ve fired many clients who weren’t paying very much. This goes back to the same principles you have to keep in mind when it comes to the type of person you’re targeting when they have money and when they don’t have money.
The leads you’re pursuing who have no money will likely leave if you’re not calling them every single day with useless updates so they feel they’re getting their money’s worth — the wealthy client who is paying you 10x that doesn’t want to ever speak to you because they trust that you have everything under control and they’re paying for the luxury of not dealing with it. The second they spend more than an hour on the phone with you, they may as well have done it themselves and their money isn’t being well spent anymore.
Ultimately, you only have to worry about losing the less valuable clients. The good news is that they’ll put themselves through a market correcting situation without you even doing anything. The clients who take all your time without paying will end up getting neglected while the clients that are perfect for your business model will stick around. You’ll filter out the bad and capitalize on the good.
These are some tricks and tactics on how to sell high-ticket digital services.