How To Get Paid For Your Client’s Results


Are your clients getting exceptional results from the work you do/what you offer?

How important are the results your clients receive? For many entrepreneurs, the results their clients receive are the driving force behind what they do. Results are also something you should be getting paid for without being made to feel guilty about what you charge.

Red Handled Wrench

Years ago one of my teachers shared a story that has stuck with me over the years. She referred to it as  The Red Handled Wrench Story. I've heard her tell it multiple times. It's a favorite of mine.

The story starts out with a cruise ship about to leave port for a 7-day cruise. The ship is completely sold out, the passengers are aboard and the crew is ready to set sail. It's in the final moments of preparing to leave the dock that the ship's crew realize there's a problem. They can't get the engine to start.

The Expert

After the crew has done everything they know how to do to get the engine started and failed, they admit to the captain they're at a loss on how to get the engine working. Then, the captain starts to panic. He's worried they're going to have to refund all of these passengers their money. The captain frantically orders the crew to call an old engineer who retired long ago. He's willing to spare no expense to hire this old engineer to come to the dock and see if he can get the ship's engine to start.

When the old engineer arrives, the crew notices he's not brought a toolbox. The engineer has one tiny red-handed wrench sticking out of his shirt pocket. Then, once in the engine room, the old engineer slowly walks around. At times, he presses his ear close to parts of the engine. After listening and looking for about 5 minutes, the old engineer takes out the red-handled wrench and taps 3 times on a part of the engine. Tap, tap, tap. Then, he turns to the crew and informs them that the engine is ready to start.

The crew, of course, are shocked but they radio up to start the engine. And to everyone's surprise except the old engineer, the ship starts. The old engineer pulls out an invoice from his back pocket, hands it to the crew and leaves. The ship sets sail and all is well.

The Bill

Days later as the captain is reviewing the outstanding invoices, he comes across the old engineer's bill for $13,000. The captain is shocked. His crew had shared that it only took the old engineer 5 minutes and only one tiny red-handled wrench to fix the problem. How could it possibly cost so much? The captain feeling very smug, emails the old engineer and asks him to itemize his bill. He figures there was no way the old engineer can justify the cost.

Then, within a few minutes, the captain receives a response.  The email states:

  1. Red Handled Wrench $5.00
  2. Knowing Where To Tap $12,995

Total $13,000


Knowing Where To Tap

Having the expertise to solve a problem or meet a need for a client, isn't about how much time you spend and or any fancy tools you use, it's about knowing where to tap. Stop trying to justify your prices based on time spent or tools used.

Recently, I did a price increase to my strategy sessions and I received some pushback. Before increasing the price, I offered people a chance to book at the lower rate. One client in particular who took advantage of the lower rate already did her strategy session. As a matter of fact, five minutes after we finished her strategy session, she purchased a second strategy session to keep on reserve for when she needs it.

Within 4 days of our session, she asked if she could write a testimonial for me. Of course, I was thrilled and thanked her for asking. This is what she wrote:

“Working with Nikki in a strategy session single-handedly transformed my business overnight. I thought I was good at sales, I thought a 20 close rate was good. In our call, Nikki gave me the specific language and tools she thought I should use to raise my close rate to about 50.  Then, after implementing the techniques she shared my close rate went to 80!  I could not believe that in almost every single call clients signed up to work with me.  It was spectacular. I plan on working with Nikki again as I feel I have so much more to learn.”

Jacqueline Snyder,

Not A One-Off

As freaking amazing as her testimonial is, and as deeply appreciative as I am of her taking the time to write this, it's not an unusual response. I can think of three other conversations I've had with clients in the last two weeks where they've been shocked and thrilled with the results of our work together.

Having 24+ years of sales experience along with my NLP training, I can often quickly discern where to “tap” to get people unstuck.  And even though the results are fairly consistent, not everyone who hears about my work is ready to jump in.

I once had a woman share that she'd hired a marketing company to get leads. The ads they put out brought in 40 leads and yet she couldn't get anyone to buy. Then, when I suggested she hire me to do a strategy session to learn how to close these leads, she told me she'd invested so much money in marketing to get the leads, she couldn't spend any more money to learn how to close them. Not surprisingly, she ended up firing the marketing company because none of the leads converted to sales. It's always interesting how people blame marketing for bringing in “bad” leads and never themselves for not knowing how to close them.

Be Whiskey

Not everyone is going to hire you and not everyone is going to agree with your prices. So, learning how to accept it and move on without any angst is my wish for each one of you reading this article. We can only help those willing to help themselves. Besides, having room in your schedule to focus on clients who value your work and receive exceptional results is so much more rewarding than trying to convince people of your worth.

One of my favorite quotes is this:

“I'd rather be one person's shot of whiskey than everyone's cup of tea.” -Unknown


So, as you go about building your business this week, take a few minutes to acknowledge what it is about you and your work that is the “knowing where to tap”. Being keenly aware of this will boost your confidence as well as give you language to talk about what you do and who your ideal client is.

As always, wishing you continued success in all areas of your business.

Agree? Disagree? Have additional comments or thoughts on this article? Please share.




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