A lot is going on in the world.
A lot has been going on in the world for quite a few years now in fact.
And, as a reaction, it’s making coaches and consultants who mainly sell high-ticket services wobble about their prices
And in certain circumstances, some are… DROPPING THEIR PRICES. 😱
In most cases this rash decision has been prompted by, dare I say it, desperation.
Never a good frame of mind to make business decisions in. Or any decisions for that matter. (See list of Janine’s old boyfriends for evidence.)
In this blog I’m going to bust some myths around cutting prices and show you realistic alternatives to prevent panic price plummets.
Misconceptions that might need extracting from your tender brain right now:
- Cheaper things are easier to sell- WRONG
- No one’s got any money at the moment- WRONG
- No one is thinking about buying your stuff at the moment- WRONG (probably)
Let’s take a look at each one in turn.
Price-drop Myth 1. Cheaper things are easier to sell
What evidence do you have to back this assumption up? Has anyone said this to you? If so, send them my way and I’ll give them what for.
Let me hazard a guess: you’re thinking about when shops need to get rid of stock so they slash their prices and announce a mega sale.
This logic doesn’t apply to selling services.
Take me for example. With every price rise, I’ve actually sold MORE not less.
Why? Because over the years I’ve got clearer on who I’m serving, sharper with my messaging and I’m getting better-than-ever results because of the experience I’ve accrued.
If you can pinpoint a chronic need that you can help with AND you can communicate it clearly; you’ll be able charge whatever you need to make a good living and clients will be happy to pay.
If you haven’t managed that yet
If you think this is taking advantage of people, read to the bottom of this blog. There’s a section there for you.
Price-drop Myth 2. No one’s got any money at the moment
Yes our planet is a turbulent place to be and every year there’s some other horror in the news. And what with the cost of living crisis still hanging over us, it’s tempting to think that no one’s got any money. But there are ALWAYS people with money. The key to running a successful business is to make sure that you are offering your stuff to these people.
This can cause a bit of inner conflict- especially if you’re a coach or therapist with a calling. You want to help people in need. Not people with money. Only helping people with money feels callous at best, greedy and immoral at worst.
The trick is to earn your money from people who can afford to pay you first, then you’ll have the time and headspace to help people who haven’t got as much money with free content, low priced offers like courses or books. You could even ear mark a couple of spots a month as pro bono or discounted as a ‘scholarship’ for people who you know will benefit massively from what you do, will definitely put the work in, but who don’t have the funds to pay you.
And remind yourself that many people have plenty of money people who:
- Have had a promotion
- Have businesses that are doing well
- Have savings
- A big pension
I had a coach friend who said she was tempted by a group coaching programme that cost £12,000 but she didn’t have that money to hand so she asked her folks to lend it to her. Now, my parents don’t have that kind of money to lend to me on a whim but lots of other people do!
In short, I’m calling bullcrap on this one. Yes, some businesses have suffered greatly over the last few years, but most coaches and consultants will be able to find some way to pull together an offer that a subset of their audience needs. That subset being people with access to the money to pay you.
Price-drop Myth 3. No one is thinking about buying your stuff at the moment
People’s pain points and desires haven’t gone away. In many cases, they’ve become more acute.
- Health and fitness goals
- Managing stress, anxiety and burnout
- Working out what to do next in their career and/ or finding another job
- Managing their finances
- Support with life changes e.g. divorce, marriage, birth, death, family relationships e.g. parenting coaching
Problems people are having right now that can be helped by buying coaching/ consulting services:
- Helping members of staff with stress, anxiety and burnout
- Team motivation and productivity inc. leadership coaching and training
- Short term and long term financial management and planning
- HR services
- Legally protecting themselves
- Finding leads and closing sales
But Janine, I see people suffering and I want to help them, not take advantage of them you horrible cow!
I promise, you are not helping people by dropping your prices. You’re restricting your ability to pay your bills.
Have you thought through the repercussions of a price drop?
- How will you increase them again, and when?
- Are you prepared to sell more to get the same revenue?
- How will your price cuts affect your brand position?
Will 10% or 20% drop in prices really make any difference to sales? If what you’re selling is £1000 now, are people more likely to buy it if it’s £800?
The only exception I’m willing to concede on is if you have current customers who are struggling to pay you but still desperately need your support. I’ve seen some lovely business owners offer their clients payment holidays and such like. But please don’t do this if it means you’re going to get into debt.
How can you help people if you go broke?
Things you can do instead of dropping your prices to help people
There are plenty of other options for helping people that don’t involve charging less for what you do:
- Produce richer, more helpful content e.g. a free webinar
- Design a new lead magnet that helps people with what they’re experiencing at the moment
- Create an offer that is more affordable but takes up less of your time and energy to deliver
- Have a few ‘scholarship’ spots reserved for people who you know will put in the work but who can’t afford to pay full prices.
And if all else fails, take a step back and do some scenario planning.
Imagine a best, worst and a most-likely scenario. What do each of those worlds look like? How could you plan to adapt to each one?
Not keen on charging more?
I know that pricing can be a triggering and scary thing to tackle. That’s why I’ve put together this free guide 6 Steps to Charging More with 100% Confidence work book.
Click on the button below to sign up and get it. You’ll be signing up to my email list and can unsubscribe at any time.