So many Microbusiness owners that I speak to break out into cold sweats when they think about having to talk about their prices.
You go on a discovery call with someone who has instigated it, you offer a free session that someone has taken you up on but when it comes to talking about deepening that relationship into a ‘paid for’ environment the feel of the conversation changes.
I’m not going to go into your own self-worth but take a very pragmatic stand on this point. If you are in business you have to make money, If you don’t make an offer for someone to buy from you, you will not make money it’s simple really. So the question then moves onto
How can i discuss money without feeling uncomfortable about it?
The very first thing to do is to talk to yourself about it, now this isn’t you going mad or jubbering away in the corner whilst sipping a cold cup of broth but by saying it out loud ‘I charge xxxx for this service’ will help you, you have verbalised your intent , it becomes more real and you will have to say this to a prospect so by telling yourself in the mirror, talking to your beloved pet or singing it out in the shower you will feel totally at ease with those words coming from your lips.
The more you speak these words the easier you will find it, this isn’t some weird mumbo jumbo it’s a fact.
This isn’t new or even unheard of but it works yet most think it doesn’t, it’s something I have to actively practice not just when talking rates but with all conversations. Whether you are on the phone, on skype writing an email or face to face your tone changes when you smile (so does the tone of your typing). It helps convey confidence and allows you to communicate with authority not to mention professionalism.
Listen to yourself when you are speaking to potential clients, Do you say things like ‘well normally I charge….’ or ‘actually my rates are…’ with lots of stumbling or stuttering, ummms and arrrsss. How would that sound to you? Would it fill you with confidence that this is what is being offered and that they are confident in the delivery?
Be confident in yourself that you do have a product or service that is not just ok but fantastic, that it will deliver what is asked of it or you not only to the minimum levels but way beyond the expectations that your client has. under promising and over delivering is a powerful tool to have and knowing you have this in your back pocket will fill you with confidence.
Pull your shoulders back, stand or sit straight and smile as you deliver your offer, they will feel your confidence and will then feel confident in you.
When we’re nervous or feeling intimidated, we tend to talk. We want to fill the silence with something, anything, just to avoid having to sit there uncomfortably and wonder what the other person is thinking.
But guess what? He or she can feel just as uncomfortable with the silence. When you’re talking price, avoid the urge to fill the silence (especially because you’re most likely to try to justify your pricing) and let your potential client take time to respond.
You have to let your prospect digest the information, to process whats been said and to formulate their response, filling the silence will only make the chance of a yes go further away from you then you will lose control of the conversation.
Will speaking with confidence always land you a new client? No. But being able to share your pricing in a clear voice will help potential clients know that you’re confident in your skills, and that even if you are not right for them right now or in the future that what you have to offer is something worth remembering.
To your success
If you are in the business of coaching or perhaps you are a trainer then there will come a time when you have to consider increasing your prices. Maybe you’ve been in business for years and it’s time to raise your rates now you have more experience. Maybe your skills have recently improved through a new training course or qualification. Or maybe you want to attract a different client base
Whatever the reason, it pays to have a plan in place before you make your big announcement.
Here’s where to start.
First, take a look at your current clients. Will you raise their rates as well? We have always ‘grandfathered’ in our clients, this means that when our prices go up for coaching or 1-2-1 work the clients we currently have can renew at the same rate PROVIDING its a continued service. If they take a break they come back at the new higher rate. Our customers have always been very happy with this and it’s worked well for us for many years.
If You do decide to include your current clients in the price increase think about how they will feel. Communicating with them before you decide to go for it will help you and them accept the change in a positive way, it will also open up conversations as your increase may make it no longer viable for some of them to stay with you which has to be a consideration, are you able to potentially take the loss of revenue ? Maybe offering a different payment plan that you haven’t offered before could help.
Consider when your rate increase will go into effect. This might be different for each client, depending on when/how they’re paying you. A client who is on an annual coaching plan might not see an increase for 8 months or more giving them the opportunity to plan for the increase, while a monthly client might be shocked to find his or her rate is going up in a week.
If you can, give your clients at least 30 days notice of the increase or as long as possible, so they can budget for the increase this is always the best thing to do. Planting the idea and giving plenty of notice will be appreciated and will ensure that if you are increasing the prices for current clients that there is the best chance possible of them staying with you.
Think about time of year also, christmas/new year is never going to go down well with a price increase due to the financial outlay most will have over that period, if your client base is parents maybe avoiding the 6 weeks August holidays would also be a good idea as these can be costly as anyone with children will tell you.
if you’re a little flexible and want to gain a few new clients, you might think about creating a last-minute offer. Announce that your rates are going up on [whatever date], then offer to let X number of new clients lock in at your current rate, if they sign up before that date. This when done properly has integrity and value behind it, sometimes giving a little nudge to those sitting on the fence thinking about joining you in your business and can create great loyalty.
Sure, you’ll still be working at your old rate, but with a few new clients ion the ledger your cash flow will definitely improve.
The most important thing to remember about rate increases is this: You have to feel good about the prices you charge. If you think your rates are too low, chances are that they are. Raising them will not only make you feel better, but it might just let your current and prospective clients know the value of your services as well.
To Your Success