“How should I price my services?” Is probably the most common, and most loaded question I get asked on at least a weekly basis. Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast answer because everything about pricing is subjective.
Today I share with you my views on pricing in the coaching world and three ways you can raise your prices WITHOUT the fear that you’re going to lose clients.
Three Ways to Raise Your Prices Without Fear of Losing Clients
The thought of raising their prices sends most of coaches running to the hills. “What if I lose clients?” “Will people really pay that?” “What if I end up making even less money?”
Chances are, despite the mind-numbing fear, you are still looking at your pricing and wishing you could charge what you really feel your services are worth.
Well, you are in luck because I have not one, not two, but three ways you can do just that. Plus, just in case you’d be concerned about flying without a safety net, I’ve got that covered, too.
The fact is pricing has got to be the biggest hullabaloo in business.
When it comes to coaching, you can take any number and make it work. It really is a mind game – whether you charge $5,000 or $500 for your month-long program, the difference won’t be so much in how other people see you but in how you see yourself.
Ever see those big-names offer “discounted” coaching programs ($997, marked down from $1997)? Put those prices out of your head right now. That pricing is completely made up, based on what everyone else is charging and industry “norms”.
You’re a trailblazer, “norms” are not going to serve you. Your pricing needs to be based on the true value your clients get, and not what everyone else is doing.
Your blocks around pricing are all in your head – but that doesn’t make them any less real.
There really is no wrong or right answer to how much you should charge, but that doesn’t keep you from agonizing over it.
If you hear yourself saying:
“How can I charge that much?”
“I give way more value than I’m charging,”
“Well so and so charges this and I’m so far (above/below) them, so____.”
And then there’s my favorite, “I really want to serve the people who really need me, and those are the ones who can’t afford me, so how could I raise my prices even though I can’t make a living this way?” (There’s one that will keep you running in circles.)
Here’s a Reality check – none of these statements are actually true!
These thoughts are just the crap that comes up when you start thinking about pricing, and all of them are extremely common and very limiting beliefs.
I’m telling you this because unless you get that, I could give you ten ways to raise your prices, and you won’t be able to get past all the objections that will pop in your head.
Our self-talk comes from our experiences and how we’ve processed them, and unless we’re onto it, it becomes our reality. So be aware, know you’re not alone, and understand you may have some of these derailing beliefs to work through as you grow your business.
Now with that all said, on to the main event.
Here are three ways to raise your prices I’ve seen that really work.
- Rebranding and repositioning
- The Stairstep Approach
Let’s take them one at a time.
Packaging is not a new concept.
You may already have packages or have been told you need them. The last thing you want is an hourly mindset for you or your clients. It sets up a weird dynamic and ties you and your client to the clock rather than the process.
Really, are you selling hours or are you selling a process that gets a desired result?
By outlining the start and end points and the steps you’ll take together to get there, you can price your services as a package and get away from the idea that your work together could somehow be condensed to “save” hours or be put in a position to commit to a certain number of hours to get the client to the fixed price they want.
Following a value-based pricing model that’s not based on the number of sessions or hours will free both you and the client to concentrate on the work and not the pricing. If you haven’t already, try it and be amazed.
If you’re finding it difficult to justify value with your current descriptions and how your program is presented, you may have a branding issue which leads me to …
2. Rebranding and Repositioning
Rebranding and repositioning can help reframe the value you’re offering so asking a higher price is not just an option, it’s expected.
Exactly who is your target client? How tailored is your program to that ideal client? If your program is more of a tent than a perfectly fitting garment, your client will shop elsewhere. Look at the wording you’re using to describe the problem and the results – do your ideal clients immediately “get” it? Also look at your graphics and the message they send about the overall quality and tone of your services.
When your program is properly positioned and presented and all is in alignment, your confidence and ability to ask for more increase.
3. The Stairstep Approach
Take raising your prices one step at a time. If your branding and packaging is humming along, maybe it’s your mindset that is getting in the way. If so, don’t beat yourself up, we have a method for that. I’m calling it The Stairstep Approach (though I can’t take credit for the method).
It starts with your intention. Looking ahead, where do you want your pricing to be? Then, it’s just a matter of taking it one step at a time. For example, if you’re charging $2000 for a particular package and you want to be charging $3000, raise your pricing by $250 every 5 (or any number you choose) clients until you reach that goal. It’s all up to you — intend, commit, and be confident.
What you may find as you begin asking for more and see how doable it is and how, as long as the value is being communicated to your prospects, there really isn’t a difference in reaction to the pricing, you’ll be even more confident going forward.
Now that I’ve equipped you with these awesome strategies you may be saying to yourself “Okay, let’s do this! But, how much should I charge?”
So here’s one final piece of advice I’d like to leave you with. There’s a fine line between being unconfident and downright cocky in what you’re charging for your services.
Unconfident puts off all this tentative energy and your prospect will feel that and hesitate to work with you. On the other hand, when you’re cocky, you’re like a wall of aggression that pushes people away.
I like to use what I’m going to dub The Puke Principle to gauge when I’ve reached an appropriate price point. Your pricing should make you queasy, but fall short of being downright puke-inducing. Only you will know where that is. Remember, it’s all subjective – choose your spot and position yourself to claim it.