Posted By Administration,
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
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“…do not throw your pearls before swine,
or they will trample them under their feet,
and turn and tear you to pieces…”
You worked long and hard on that last resume.
Others wish they had a LinkedIn profile like
the one you did for your client. When one of
them called to thank you for helping her
ace the interviews, you should be proud.
All the value you deliver comes from more than hours of
hard work. Think of the days you devote to mastering the
latest and best practices. How long did it take you to earn
your CPCC? Consider the investment you made to attend
the PARW/CC Conference in May
You should be paid for all knowledge and wisdom you
can impart. That’s why you never give away your stock in
trade…or do you?
Read this article.
It’s worth at least $900!
Because we’re in a helping profession, it’s easy to offer
insights for which you should be compensated. However,
if you give advice without being paid for it, everybody
loses. You lose. You may even set the stage for that to
happen. Do you offer resume critiques?
How easy it is to pass along vital information without
realizing it. [See “Are We Abdicating Our Marketing
to the Uninformed?” The Spotlight, December 2016, pp 4 – 6]
Here’s an example: “I can help you optimize your résumé
to score well in the applicant tracking software so many
companies use. A high score increases your chances of an
Tell potential clients the
“what,” never the “how.”
Now the client sees the value you provide and know they
must rely on you to leverage that worth fully.
In this article, I’ll outline suggestions to help you, your
clients, and our industry remain winners.
Replace your price lists with offers to write proposals.
Price lists are great for commodity sellers. A commodity
For example, it was so natural to describe ATS and how
it works during the first conversation with a prospective
client. If you do, you may have lost that sale and set the
caller up to fail as well. That’s because it’s natural for
uninformed clients (that’s all of them) to think you’ve
told them everything they to know to move their careers forward.
Because the potential client thinks she got all the
information she needed from you, she’s disappointed and
frustrated when things don’t work out.
And so, you lose again. It’s more than lost revenue; you
may have damaged your brand. You can see that potential
client post this on Twitter: “I spent 30 minutes with that
‘resume’ expert and did everything she said to do. I sent
out 500 resumes and nothing happened! Boy am I glad I
didn’t cough up all the money she wanted!”
Our industry loses as well. That tweet may drive more
misleading posts that often show up under a subject line
like this: “Why you should never hire a resume writer!"
How do you avoid wasting time and missing
opportunities? In the initial call, explain what you can do.
We can never offer “one-size-fits-nobody.” That’s why
I recommend you offer proposals: plans to move your
clients’ careers forward.
What’s in your proposal? Begin with a brief paragraph
about what you think the client’s requirements are. You
must understand completely his or her needs, constraints,
and goals. If you missed something, the client will tell
you…before you discuss the details.
Then, describe the goods and services you plan to provide
to meet the client’s needs.
You’ll need a small section that addresses any limitations.
For example, you can’t guarantee jobs or interviews or
how hiring officials may react to the documents you write
or the guidance you suggest.
is a standard product. When you decided on just the right
make and model of that refrigerator you want to buy,
you know it will be the same appliance no matter where
you buy it.
That’s why commodity sellers so often must compete
on price. And that’s why you see online ads for resumes
There are two reasons why we cannot offer commodities.
[“Career Professionals Must Never Be Commodity
Sellers,” The Spotlight, April 2017, pp 4 – 6] No two clients
are alike. All have different backgrounds, experiences,
needs, and goals.
Never forget: what we offer affects the lives of our clients
and their families for years.
Consider this example. You quote an investment of $1,500
for the goods and services you outlined in the proposal.
The client is targeting positions that start around $100K.
Every week your client isn’t employed at that level costs
him or her the nearly $2K they didn’t earn. Therefore, if
you can cut their job search by just four days, they will
have made up their investment with you before their first
day on the job. That’s an easy promise to make since the
average job search can take weeks.
To keep the momentum, ask clients to review your
proposal, making any notes they need to. Then suggest
some days and times for you to answer them.
Finally, offer what I called deferred value. These are the
elements you think clients don’t need now, but you want
them to know are available later. For example, a client who
purchases a resume might need help with interviews later.
Because writing proposals takes time, you should be paid
for your effort. The time you took to write it, email it, and
review it with the client is time taken away from serving
That idea allows you to offer a proposal as a way to qualify
potential clients quickly and well. Describe the proposal
briefly and its value to the potential client. Say you’ll be
happy to set aside the uninterrupted time to do the work.
That’s why there is a modest investment required. Make
it clear the investment is for the proposal alone—not the
goods and services it describes.
Please don’t be discouraged if potential clients won’t pay
for a proposal. If they can’t afford the modest investment
it represents, they certainly won’t be able to afford your
services. Or, perhaps you were unsuccessful in educating
them about the risks of trying to move forward by
themselves. It doesn’t matter. You can’t afford to spend
any more time (billable hours) in the attempt. You didn’t
lose a sale; you gained valuable, billable, hours!
How much should you charge for a proposal? Start small
to sense the level of resistance in your market. Consider
charging $25 for each proposal at first. If you get little
resistance, increase the investment marginally, say to $35.
Continue until you get too much resistance, then stop. No
matter how much you charge for the proposal, the process
Set all the expectations. Clients must know what to expect
from themselves. Too many think we will do all the work.
But you know clients must be part of the process. Clients
should know what to expect from you, as well. Here’s
where you brand comes alive. For example, part of that
section might read like this:
“You will be able to ask me any question and expect a
prompt, complete, accurate answer.” Add your guarantee
if you have any.
Now show the level of investment. I don’t use that word,
“investment,” lightly. Clients will only buy from you if
they know you will make them a lot more money than it
costs to engage you.
Read the previous sentence again; it’s that important.
itself will probably be a money loser. But qualifying clients
faster and well will make up for any loss.
Here are very conservative numbers to help you judge the
impact. You write just three resumes a month. You want
to charge $25 for each proposal. $25 X 3 per month X 12
months per year = $900.00. That’s $900 worth of value
you were giving away before.
Your practice will be different from mine. I started charging
$35 a proposal; I now charge $150. That generates at least
$6K a year.
Every client you will ever have wants to be paid what he
or she is worth. Every client brings skills, knowledge, and
abilities that help organizations reach they goals. They
expect to be paid reasonably. You are no different.
You love what you do. But you’ll have more to do when
you are paid what you are worth.
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