You want to raise your prices. You are ready to raise your prices. You are excited to raise your prices, but...
The moment you are ready to pull the trigger on your new rates, your head is flooded with negative scenarios.
What if your current clients can't handle the price increase and want to go elsewhere?
What if your returning clients are upset when they learn about your price increase?
What if your new clients are scared off by the price increase, when they would have otherwise purchased from you?
You're busy and it might be easier to just keep things the way they have already been.
You are probably considering raising your prices because your prices need to be raised!
I've been coaching entrepreneurs since 2011 and I cannot think of a coach, healer or any other kind of expert for that matter that I have come across who was overcharging.
On the other hand, I've seen many people undercharging and undervaluing themselves. What do I mean by "undervaluing?" Not considering the time, expertise and massive value involved in what they were delivering, and in turn, merely surviving in their business- rather than thriving.
So I encourage you to follow the impulse, if you are feeling called to take greater ownership in what you are offering by raising your prices. But instead of making your way in the dark, empower yourself with the following process:
Step One: Determine packaging & pricing for new customers, from here forward
What is your new pricing? And what is included- Q&A support, bonuses or anything else?
If you know you need to raise your rates but you are still feeling nervous, play the Add-More-Value-Without-Adding-More-Time Game.
Here's how you play:
How can I multiply the value my clients are receiving, without adding more (or much more) of my time?"
All kinds of fun ideas will pop into your head, that will allow you to incorporate even more goodness for your customers, for your new price point...but because it is non-time-based value, adding more won't be overtaxing to you.
For instance, once when I adjusted the pricing and structure for a 1-1 program, I raised my prices substantially but I also:
- added a bonus homestudy training, plus
- an automated self assessment feedback process
- extended my individual sessions by 10 minutes
The additional 10 minutes for the session actually added NO more extra time because all of my sessions were going over by ten minutes, so I figured I might as well sell them that way. The bonus home-study training and monthly self-assessments added even more value + a high-level professionalism...while adding no more of my time.
It was even easier for me to communicate about and sell the new package rates with all of the value included in the program.
How could you add (and communicate about) the value you provide your customers? They WILL thank you for it!
Step Two: Create your Transition Plan for current clients
This is the part of the "raising your prices" conversation that is often missed and can create a huge difference in making an effective, and elegant, transition.
Decide how you are going to transition your current customers.
There is no one way to do this, so here are some options:
Keep current active clients at their previous rate until they discontinue. Then, if they choose to return, they invest at the higher rate.
When your clients already love you, they will understand about your price increase. When you let them continue at their old rate (as long as they are an active client or subscriber) they will feel like they are getting something premium at a special and like they are in a special club. You benefit as you get to keep your Raving Fans around and reward them for being with you for so long.
Keep current active clients at their previous rate for a limited time frame. Then at the end of that time frame (for example: 6 months, or "until the end of the year"), they can step into the new rates, should they choose to continue.
Again, most clients understand about price increases and will appreciate the fact that you are communicating with them and giving them transition time. Typically, not everyone will step into the new pricing, but if you communicate about the transition openly, your past clients will appreciate your professionalism and that created a transition plan with them in mind.
Notify new and current customers of the new pricing and transition current and past customers right away. This might give your veteran clients the least amount of time to adapt.
So, a classy move would be to have a referral source ready, if they feel they cannot follow you into the new pricing, at least you can send them to another resource. If you like, you could even set up a partnership where you get a referral commission for sending the referred practitioner new clients.
Pro Pricing Note: None of the options had to do with increasing prices without notifying your customers. Having your clients show up to a session, or get an extra bill without their knowledge and consent is not cool, and needless to say, your clients will not appreciate that!
Step Three: Make sure your marketing materials (online and offline) are aligned with your new pricing
Most often, when your new clients resonate with who you are and what you have to offer, they will accept the pricing and structures you have in place. So make sure if you have your pricing online, or if you have materials that say "starting at X dollars," that all of those materials are accurate to your new pricing.
Now, you are ready! Update your materials, put your transition plan into action, and start enrolling new clients at your new pricing!
Raising your rates can be scary at first, but the more you stretch your comfort zone by raising your rates, and practice effective communication skills to new and old clients alike, the more you will realize how many people will accept- and respect you and your new pricing.
So go ahead, let your pricing reflect the unique, high-value, caring, exceptional service-provider you are. Start with Step One and see the entire process through.
Your clients (new and old) may even thank you for it. 😉