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There are times in business that we feel we can’t increase our prices any higher. And without the increase in prices, we may not reach our desired income levels, or provide for the lifestyle we wish to live.
There are times when we work locally, and the local market feels like it dictates the prices we can charge. Or we have similar businesses with strong brand recognition that are attempting to price-set in that market or industry. So how can we get around this?
How can you increase your income when you feel like your prices can not increase any further?
I am going to preface this by saying, if you believe people in your area are coming to you because of your price, then you are stating that you believe your customer base is a price-sensitive one. This means that you think people use PRICE as one of the MAIN decision-making metrics as to why they purchase from you. I have found there are only a few industries where this is absolutely the case. And I am pretty sure most of your businesses do not fall in that category. Price consideration is definitely part of the decision-making process, but not the only factor in why people buy.
In saying all of this, let’s just consider for a moment that our resistance to increasing our prices may be more a reflection of our own belief or story around the value of what we offer, as opposed to what our potential customers think.
Consider that you may not be ready to increase your price. And this is a reason not to.
Consider you’re facing resistance because of a comment someone else made.
Maybe a colleague or mentor charges much less and you’re not sure you can charge more than them?
If you feel that right now you can’t increase your standard prices for consulting or coaching particularly, here are some ways to increase your income overall without increasing your standard pricing.
AN ADD-ON OFFER
Is there a product or service that can COMPLIMENT what you offer?
Think of this as going to a restaurant and ordering a glass of wine with your main meal. We just expect restaurants to have drinks. They compliment the food.
What is the wine to the main meal you offer?
What are you not offering that someone would like to purchase at the same time?
(This is not a McDonald’s ‘upgrade’ from a medium sized burger meal to a large; they feel a bit gross. I’m not encouraging “Here’s the usual 60 min session, and grab a second one for 50 bucks instead of $150!” No, no.)
It’s the cookie with your coffee.
The card reading after your Reiki session.
It’s the personalised oil blend to take home after your massage.
It’s the head massage with the facial.
It could be a 15-min phone consultation a week after your appointment.
It may be the prepaid, quick toner refresh 4 weeks after your hair has been cut and coloured.
How can you increase the pleasure or enjoyment for your customer? How can you help extend the benefits of what you offer, even after the client has had their appointment or purchased your product? These are not free; they are optional extras.
AN EXPRESS OFFER
To be truthful, many business owners resist this option. They feel that there is no way to make an ‘express’ version of what they do without devaluing the results of their work. But let me give you some examples of how offering an option in your business that may take half the time (and you charge approximately 2/3 price) may actually serve a particular client or market that you may not have thought of. And consider in your own life, where do you like to take the express option and you don’t realise you’re doing it?
These may sound familiar:
Chiropractors offer shorter session around $60 and longer consultations $80.
(GP Doctors do the same.)
Beauticians offer full manicures and pedicures, or for busy people, the express mani/pedi.
Massage therapists offer 60-min or 90-min sessions. And some Chinese massage therapists, even shorter.
What could your ‘Express’ option look like?
A 30-minute session to fix just one issue or answer one specific question.
A short massage of a particular area instead of the whole body.
A quick design or logo fix as opposed to a whole re-brand.
A short e-book or video addressing one topic instead of the entire e-course.
I’ve been here, resisting the ‘express offer’. Once I said to a colleague, “I can’t do single appointments. It’s too hard to try to tell clients everything they need to know, I need to work with people on a monthly basis for at least 3 months.” And her response was, “Just help them through the first step to get going, then they can always come back when they’re ready for more. You don’t need to solve the whole problem at once.” And it’s so true. That’s one of the reasons I now offer a single session.
This type of offer allows people to start down the path, try before they buy, invest a smaller amount before taking up the bigger investment. It also suits people pressed for time, who just need one thing solved or aren’t in a position to commit to the larger offering. It’s definitely something to consider.
A PREMIUM OFFER
Okay, so I know you’re thinking, “Why would someone take up a premium option if I’m already sure I can’t charge more for what I offer?” And my response is: offer something absolutely wonderful that is so valuable and special that they may wish to take it up only once a year, for a special occasion, or that they may wish to gift to another person.
It could be a 90 minute massage with reflexology and a face mask for birthdays and mother’s day.
Or a completely customised, bespoke, personalised option for a premium price.
A rose oil infused face cream that costs $$$.
The monthly retainer for clients who do not want to think about the service you offer them, it just gets done to an exceptional service level every time.
Why should you offer this? A couple of reasons, this type of offer helps increase your monthly revenue without you having to increase your hourly rate or usual pricing. If one person purchases this a month, it can make a huge difference to your bottom line and to their life! When you are too afraid to offer the personalised, custom, high touch option that means the people seeking this out have to elsewhere.
Even your normal customers occasionally splurge and if you’re not offering it, where do they go?
What if a customer doesn’t even see it as a splurge, it’s a necessity to them?
I offer a premium service, where I collate and analyse the financial data of businesses on a monthly basis. It takes hours of pulling together information, putting it in an understandable format, customising monthly reports where I work out ratios and stats to check the ‘financial health’ of the business and then meet with the clients to explain it to them in about an hour. Each month they pay me to keep my eye on their figures, do the work and translate it in their language to them. They can call me at the drop of a hat, ask any questions they wish during the month and know that an experienced accountant has their back. If I didn’t do this for them, how would businesses with more complex business models keep track of all this? They simply wouldn’t have the time.
Do you have a Premium Offer in your business that you’re not confident to put out there?
This option may be seasonal like running an in-person retreat. It may not have a high uptake of customers, but it’s not always supposed to. So pull back on the pressure of ‘selling it’ and know that when the right person sees/hears about it, they will know if it’s right for them or not.
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