A while back I received an email from a woman saying that a program I was offering with a colleague was “WAY TOO EXPENSIVE” (yes, she used capital letters) and that she couldn’t “afford it”. She also referred to the program as a “seminar” as opposed to a “coaching program” so perhaps her misunderstanding of what the program was influenced her perception of what it was worth. I really don’t know.
If you clearly articulate the value of what you are offering based on the price you are asking, people will be much more inclined to purchase your services and products –*if* it is something they see as being valuable to them. This is one reason why copywriting is so important and why I often refer to it as being “magical”. Of course, copywriting is not really magical as it’s based on science, but it certainly feels like magic when it works to bring in the “right” customers and clients.
Perhaps the woman who emailed me perceived our social media coaching program to be “too expensive” because she misunderstood it to be a seminar. Or, maybe we could have done more to articulate the value of a coaching program as opposed to a seminar in the sales copy. Of course, it may also be that the price was higher than she was willing to pay for any offering related to social media, which brings me to my next point.
2. How your customers and clients view your prices is based on what they value.
What most of us say “we can afford” is based on our priorities of what we value. If you value nice, expensive shoes or eating out at high-end restaurants, you are going to be much more willing to spend your money on these than someone who doesn’t value these things– even if they have more money than you.
I ‘m sure you know people who say they can’t afford something which may not seem to cost much to you. Yet, these same people might take several vacations a year to exotic places or drive expensive cars.
You’ve probably also had clients who were struggling financially and yet they made it a priority to see you. Likewise, you’ve likely met people who were substantially well off and yet would never consider paying for your services.
Because I don’t know the woman who sent me the email, I don’t know what she values…it could be that she only values seminars and is willing to pay a set fee for them, and perhaps doesn’t place a high value on coaching programs. What I do know is that the people who signed up for our coaching intensive made a decision that coaching is valuable to them or they wouldn’t have registered.
On the other hand, there are professionals who do not value marketing education, coaching and consulting (or at least not enough to spend very much money on them) and these people probably wouldn’t take our programs regardless of what we charged. Obviously, to succeed in business you need to make sure that you target the people who value what you are offering.
3. People will often have a higher perceived value for something if it costs more.
There are countless proven examples where the sales of a product or service have increased once the price was raised. Why is that? It’s because often people make the assumption that if something costs more, it must be better. Also, people who value high-quality services and products are more willing to pay for them. I know plenty of therapists who charge $175+ an hour who have full caseloads. I also know many who charge low rates and are struggling to get by.
Most of the professionals who charge more are perceived to be leaders in their field. They often have focused niches, strong websites and marketing materials, and keep a high profile within their network. In addition, they provide high-quality services that bring their clients results. Obviously the perceived value of their services is high enough to get the fees they charge, otherwise their clients would select a therapist who charges less.
In terms of our social media coaching program, I know that some people would have paid more than we charged, and there might have been a higher perceived value for those people had we charged more. In fact, I’ve been told by people that have taken some of my programs in the past that I should have charged more for them. I’m sure you have felt this way when you have received a lot of value from something where you felt the cost was low by comparison.
Pricing services and products can be tricky. You never want to price too low, and you don’t want to price too high for your intended audience. However, it is often possible to charge more if the perceived value is there. It can take some experimentation to get the right price for the value you are offering.
How do your fees compare to the value you offer? I’d love to hear your comments below.