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Okay, yesterday I talked about the fact that of the 317.5 million people in this country (insert your own statistics if you are not in the USA) only a pittance are looking for a personal historian to do a book, audio recording, or video documentary for their family.

It behooves personal historians to also be good marketers!

Another Major Challenge for the Personal History Business is that…

Personal Histories are not inexpensive.

If you find someone who is offering inexpensive personal histories,
you are  most likely looking at a personal historian who is giving away his or her work!

Not a smart business idea!

What can you do to head this challenge off before it cripples your business?

  • First you have to sit down with yourself and have a good long honest look at whether or not you have issues talking about money.  
    • Do you cringe when you have to talk about the price of your products?  
    • Did your family talk easily about money or was money a hush-hush subject?  
    • Are you still “wobbling” about what you charge because you are afraid to set a real price?  
    • Are you “certain” every time you have to open your mouth and say what you charge that the other person is going to be in shock over the impertinence of your price? 

The sad truth is that if you are not comfortable talking about money, your potential clients are going to pick that up through your voice and body language and THEY will become uncomfortable talking to you about money… even if they are one of the lucky few who don’t generally have this issue.

What can you do about it if talking about money does not come easily to you?

    • First you can become very sure about the legitimacy of the pricing for your products.  If you really feel what you are charging is fair and provides you with a decent income, then it will be easier to talk about money. If you are continuously wobbling, being apologetic, and wavering about what you charge, talking about money will never be easy FOR YOUR CLIENTS.  And heaven knows you don’t want to put any obstacles in the way of your clients saying “yes.”
    • Secondly, you need to learn how to have a conversation professionally and confidently with your interested potential clients.
    • Thirdly, it can be very hard to identify and work with issues and feelings in your own “shadow.”  We all have blind spots when it comes to things we are afraid of.  Sometimes the easiest way to get over this issue is to get some help dealing with it.

Tomorrow I will talk about WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE PROPER SALES SKILLS if you are a beginning personal historian.

IN THE MEANTIME:  If you are looking for a business skills training for personal historians check out the description of the APH sponsored 6 month class, starting in March, on the APH Events and Classes webpage.

3 Responses to “2-18-14 Another Major Challenge for Beginning Personal Historians”

  1. Marjorie Turner Hollman says:

    Helpful reminder–our discomfort is transmitted to our potential clients, making it hard for them–it’s not all about me :-) Thanks for the reminder.

  2. cj Madigan says:

    Great piece, Dhyan. My first breakthrough in this area was when I took one of your workshops when you said the point of the sales dialogue is to decide together whether it makes sense to work together. That was so liberating because it was no longer adversarial; the prospect and I are now on the same side, trying to solve a problem.
    Then when I finally got a good grasp of the numbers involved in developing personal history products, I had much more confidence talking with my potential clients.
    Then I went a step further and put together some packages at a range of prices as a starting point for the discussion. This way the discussion doesn’t focus on what I charge, but on what the client is willing to spend.

  3. dhyan says:

    Great reminder, CJ! Thanks for the comment. Dhyan

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