Prospects Who Check References
What indication can you draw from prospects who check references? What does checking references reveal about a client’s price sensitivity or their orientation toward value? The episode explores those questions.
John Ray: [00:00:00] Hello. I’m John Ray on the Price and Value Journey. I once spoke with a client about better discerning prospects whose sole concern is price. His experience led him to the belief that when a prospect doesn’t check with references, which have been provided, then that’s an indication that the prospect is exclusively focused on price.
Now, I hadn’t thought of this before, but the idea makes sense to me. If a prospect checks your references, they’re interested in the how of what you do, how you work with a client generally, your responsiveness, your ability to explain difficult concepts in plain English or other intangibles, which they value. They may sense you possess these intangibles they’re looking for because of the conversations that the two of you have had up until that point, but they want to confirm them.
Further checking with references takes time. The effort involved in emails, going back and forth with phone calls, all that can be tedious. And a client’s willingness to make this investment is probably a reliable indicator of a client who is not just serious but one more concerned with a decision to buy grounded and perceived value instead of price.
My client’s hypothesis, I think, rings particularly true in an extraordinarily complex service offering, where a client is particularly uncertain in deciding and where the cost of selecting the wrong provider is high. It could be, on the other hand, that a prospect doesn’t check your references because you’ve got stellar testimonials so thoroughly documented that there’s no need to make a phone call. Such a circumstance is probably rare, though, as most professional services providers really don’t spend that much time at all cultivating and documenting effective testimonials.
So, what’s the point? The point is that you’re better off in your practice spending time with prospects interested in making a value-oriented decision. Those are the clients willing to pay a price that’s reflective of the value that they perceive, and they’re the ones that are much easier for you to work with. So, how do these thoughts apply to your own business?
I’m John Ray on the Price and Value Journey. This series can be found at PriceValueJourney.com or on your favourite podcast app. And we’d be honored if you would subscribe to the series. If you’d like to connect directly, you can email John@JohnRay.co. Thank you for joining me.
About The Price and Value Journey
The title of this show describes the journey all professional services providers are on: building a services practice by seeking to convince the world of the value we offer, helping clients achieve the outcomes they desire and trying to do all that at pricing which reflects the value we deliver.
If you feel like you’re working too hard for too little money in your solo or small firm practice, this show is for you. Even if you’re reasonably happy with your practice, you’ll hear ways to improve both your bottom line as well as the mindset you bring to your business.
John Ray, Host of The Price and Value Journey
John Ray is the host of The Price and Value Journey.
John owns Ray Business Advisors, a business advisory practice. John’s services include advising solopreneur and small professional services firms on their pricing. John is passionate about the power of pricing for business owners, as changing pricing is the fastest way to change the profitability of a business. His clients are professionals who are selling their “grey matter,” such as attorneys, CPAs, accountants and bookkeepers, consultants, marketing professionals, and other professional services practitioners.
In his other business, John is a Studio Owner, Producer, and Show Host with Business RadioX®, and works with business owners who want to do their own podcast. As a veteran B2B services provider, John’s special sauce is coaching B2B professionals to use a podcast to build relationships in a non-salesy way which translate into revenue.
John is the host of North Fulton Business Radio, Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Radio, Alpharetta Tech Talk, and Business Leaders Radio. house shows which feature a wide range of business leaders and companies. John has hosted and/or produced over 1,300 podcast episodes.