If you want to earn more from your business a simple way to do that is to just… raise prices. Now, I know what you are saying. “That’s impossible to raise prices. My clients already argue that they can’t pay what I charge.” Believe it or not, it is possible to charge more AND increase business if you concentrate on three things: your attitude, the right clients, and the right product.
Many businesses manage to raise prices and charge 10 times the market price for their service and increase business so that the clients line up at their door. How do they do it, when everyone else is driven to undercut the next guy, competing on price and driving their own earnings into the ground?
Just ask Atsuko Tanaka. A New York hair stylist, she charges upwards of $450 to style a wig, when an average wig cut in New York costs around $40. She also seems to enjoy a steady stream of clients. Oh, and she doesn’t advertise since her clients come from word of mouth.
I am a firm believer that everything starts and end in your head. If you are totally sure that your service is the best thing since sliced bread, your clients will believe it too. But if you are sitting there, agonizing about every word you say out of fear of being judged, forget it. Clients will not be interested. (If this is an issue for you, do yourself a favor and give me a call. In three weeks from now, you won’t believe you felt that way.)
Just yesterday, I had a conversation with Sarah* a client in my coaching group, who is also a wig stylist. For her, every client walking through her door is a new burden. Instead of being happy that someone trusts and believes in her enough to bring an expensive wig for a haircut, she is eaten by self-doubt. What if she doesn’t like how I cut? What if she isn’t satisfied? What if she never comes back? What if I am not professional enough?She would really like to increase business, but there is no way she can do that if every new client is a treat to her self-image.
Fortunately, we had a few other wig-wearers in the group, so we asked them what was REALLY important to them when styling their wig. They mentioned things like, courteousness and interest on the part of the stylist, short waiting time, and responsiveness to their requests. And yes, they want the wig to look good, but somehow they didn’t mention it in the first three.
If you want to make good money doing what you are doing, stop obsessing about your ego! It’s not about you; it’s about your clients. Give them what they want (not what you think they want) and they’ll adore you and pay your prices. They’ll also refer friends, allowing you to increase business without spending all your money on ads.
5 steps to raise prices and increase business:
- Get the right clients – if you want to get paid top buck, you need to target premium buyers. These are the people who are willing to pay for convenience and prestige or simply believe in getting the best. This means that your service will not be right for most of the population. That’s OK. You can create scaled down packages with lower price tags to attract more budget-minded buyers.
- Get the right product – you maybe selling a service, but the clients are buying a whole slew of emotions and feeling that go with it (image, prestige, efficiency, time, convenience, peace of mind… you name it). Identify what your clients are buying and figure it into your service in a way that is different from others in your field. For example, you can develop a first-time buyer package complete with consulting and hand-holding. Many buyers will be happy to pay more to be guided through the process. Or come to their home instead of them coming to you. Convenience is worth the money.
- Educate your clients – clients don’t know many of the things that go into your service. If your service is exactly like everyone else, he client can only compare based on price and settles for the cheapest alternative. Consider what the client is hoping to resolve or achieve with your service and show them how you do that. Also show them the possible obstacles and why they may not be able to achieve that result with lower-priced alternatives.
- Use trust building marketing strategies – many clients are afraid of making the wrong decision. Use trust-enhancing marketing strategies (joint ventures, orchestrated referrals, etc) to develop trust in your work. Often clients will be willing to pay for the peace of mind that comes with working with a trusty service provider. The pay and forget approach.
- Give value BEFORE you sell – if you give valuable advice and ideas BEFORE you sell, clients will be convinced that your paid service is 10 times more valuable. And they’ll believe in your work enough to pay good money for it.
Want to learn more? Join my FREE webinar: Turning Perfect Strangers into Paying Clients on Tuesday June 18.
Have you been able to raise prices in your business? How did you do it?