The pricing paradox

Very early in my coaching career, I had a sales conversation with a woman I met at a networking event. I’m embarrassed to admit that I gave her a low-ball quote that was half of what other coaches were charging. To “sweeten the pot” (as if it needed sweetening) I threw in a bonus workshop.

My thinking was that I would make it so irresistible to work with me price-wise that she couldn’t refuse.

Except, she did refuse.

We became friendly as we saw each other at other events over the next few years. Eventually she admitted to me that she specifically did not hire me BECAUSE my prices were so low. She reasoned, “How were you going to help me make money, when you’re asking for so little money for yourself?” Yeah, exactly.

I always like to say that I run the “one step ahead” coaching program, meaning, I’m doing all the same work my clients are doing but one step ahead.

If there’s some finagling to do with money, believe me, I’ve done it. I’ve given my coaching and workshops away for free. I’ve traded with other people for services. I’ve underpriced myself. I’ve devalued my programs by giving away too many bonuses.

I charged less than other coaches (by a lot) and resisted raising my prices for fear that people wouldn’t be able to afford them. I let people pay on their own schedule, which in some cases, turned out to be “never.”

Making more money is a primary reason people want to own their own business. Yet many of the entrepreneurs I work with are doing all the same things I used to do, undervaluing their product or service to “get the sale.” Other people (you know who you are) want to raise their rates but procrastinate taking action out of fear.

That fear typically is a concern that they will lose the customer or that they are asking “too much.” However, I’ve seen time and again that my client’s customers not only stay, but are OK with the price hike and pay it.

If you think you are under charging your services, I recommend you engage in an open dialog with your customer about it. If nothing else, it will give you practice in asking for what you want.

One of my clients did this recently and raised the amount of money he gets per month by $200. While that total ended up lower than he was hoping for, that’s $2,400 more dollars he’s getting per year than if he hadn’t asked at all.

Feel free to book a call if you’re ready to take some action and would like some coaching on the best approach. I’m happy to help!

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