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.
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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
Kevin Arrow is the CEO of the Online Visibility Academy where ethical entrepreneurs can train in digital marketing skills
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