“There are no little things. Little things are the hinges of the universe.”
― Fanny Fern
I will confess to falling in love with this expression instantly! It reminded me that the “little” actions in business and life often produce the biggest result!
Raising your rates is one of those “little things”, that can open up a new world of what is possible in your business, although I know at times it doesn’t feel so little.
Worth, value and money are highly emotive issues and women entrepreneurs can get stuck at the start of what essentially is a business decision.
My clients on the 1:1 Signature Intensive Programme often express the same concerns and fears (regardless of their industry)
- Do I raise my rates for my current clients?
- What do I tell the people who have been working with me for a long time?
- Won’t people get mad at me if I raise my fees?
- Will I have to include more in my programs if I’m charging more?
- I’m scared I’ll lose clients if I charge more
- I’m already struggling to get clients, so why would I want to raise my fees?
- How can I charge more than others who have more experience/training that I do?
I hear you…now here’s the thing…
- The fees you ask for now are not set in stone, they are not forever.
- Fear over raising your fees is actually a good thing…Yup! That fear is showing you that something that is currently holding you back in your business (usually, the fear of what others will think).
- When you know how to “stair-step” your fees, you free yourself to charge what you’re worth AND provide awesome value.
Here are three practical steps to get you started straight way.
1- Set a “How many and by when” Date.
The one thing I emphasis with my clients is that it’s perfectly acceptable to raise your rate gradually, rather than making a big leap all at once.
The key to this technique is to set a limit ahead of time as to how many clients you’ll accept at the new (higher intermediary) fee and by when.
For example, let’s say you want to double your fees and create packages instead of selling your time by the hour. With stair-stepping you can decide to create your packages and raise your fees by 50% for the first 3 clients. Then raise them again after that. Plus, you set the goal of signing on those 3 clients within 30 days.
Take Action: Write down how many clients you’ll accept at the new (higher intermediary) fee and by when, and post where you can see it. If you think you’re going to chicken out, get an entrepreneurial friend or mentor to hold you accountable.
2- Decide and Follow A System For Transitioning Current Clients Into your new package
Using this approach gives you the space to immediately start charging more while transitioning your current clients to your new package. Now this is NOT a free pass to let current clients stay on your older fee indefinitely while you’re charging higher rates for newer clients.
The solution is simple: set a “by when” date of when all of your clients old and new are going to be on the new rate. Stick to this date!
Take Action: Have a personal conversation with each of your current clients, who will be affected by the rate change.
You can use this outline for your conversation:
Talk about the results they created while working with you
Explain how excited you are that your business is changing and you are taking clients to a whole new level of success.
Talk about the new packages you’ve created- to provide more 1:1 support/room for follow up sessions/group & peer support (use whatever is applicable for your business)
Finish by talking about what might be a natural follow on to their current situation and state the new fee emphasising the difference between the two. So don’t just say the new package is £5000 for example, emphasis that it is only a £1500 difference…makes sense right!
Deep breath here…You may lose a client or three BUT the gains you’ll make with your new clients far outweigh any potential loses.
3 – Forget what you used to charge and what you currently charge.
Remember your fees are never set in stone. Your new higher rates represents the future of your business and the kind of clients you want to attract.
Take Action: Write down and practice saying your new rate. Say it as if you’ve been charging that rate for about 3 years, use that confidence to help you move forward when those little niggling anxieties surface.
It’s time to go BIG!
Julia Bernard-Thompson is The Profitable Packaging Mentor and founder of Package your Passion. Qualifying as a Forensic Scientist (MSc) in 2004 her professional career has included research and business analyst roles across the UK private and public sector.
Having successfully grown her own wedding planning and mentoring business Internationally in just 2 years, Julia now works across the UK and the Caribbean empowering women coaches, consultants and service-based business owners to increase their income by creating specialist, ultra high end packages from their current services.
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