Everyone wants to know how to charge more for their services. I mean EVERYone. Let me put that another way: I don’t know anyone who wants to charge less. Especially now with COVID-19 wreaking havoc on 2020 clients who are now taking all the 2021 dates!
I’ve talked with many event pros who are considering charging less to make sure 2021 fills in. First, don’t do that. Second, don’t do that.
If we were in an economic-driven slowdown lowering rates might be a solid strategy. In 2008-2010 that worked for many businesses. However, right now, we’re in a pandemic-driven slowdown that’s shocked the economy. Lowering rates won’t book more business when it’s illegal to gather, or couples don’t want to party with the risk of getting friends and family sick.
Get everything you can out of 2021
Knowing that most of 2020 is in the recycling can and 2021 is already filling up for many/most wedding pros, you’ve got to find ways to make more money than you ever have next year and in 2022.
That means raising rates. Sounds scary? It is, because if you just raise rates but don’t raise the quality of the service you deliver, then you’re unlikely to see your conversion rate hold at current levels.
It’s not that you need to stay at your current prices though!
It’s the same perspective when not in a pandemic.
Back in February when the earth wasn’t spinning off its axis, pigs weren’t flying and hell hadn’t frozen over, I talked with a wedding pro who said that she raised her rates because she was booking a ton (good) but increased them by over 30% (not so good). She’s gone from having the best year ever to the worst on record.
She thought she was charging too much for her market and I disagreed with her. I personally know two people who were doing the same thing she was in the same market she’s in– and they’re charging more than double what her entry price is.
It wasn’t that she was charging too much it was that she wasn’t conveying enough value.
Read that one again. It’s important: It wasn’t that she was charging too much it was that she wasn’t conveying enough value.
The real issue isn’t price, it’s value
You see, people don’t necessarily want cheap. (They also don’t really want expensive.) They want good value. They want something that meets their needs and feels reasonable compared to what they would expect to pay for it – and what others are charging.
So, a few things are going on here:
I want to point out the operative word here:
It’s not what you do that matters as much as how you show people what it will do for them.
How do you show them? Well, I’m thrilled you asked!
We’ve been talking about it these past several weeks. (Go back and read the blog posts from February and March if you’re on the blog.) You do it in the sales process. You connect with them. You make them feel heard. You help them identify their own needs. You take what they’re feeling and thinking, and then you translate it into the vision they couldn’t articulate themselves.
2 tips for your next conversation with a client
Want a simple approach to show your value without much effort or training from me?
1) Take notes on your next call with a client or buyer. And actually tell them you’re taking notes. “I may be a little slow in responding to some things because I’m taking notes so I get all the important stuff written down. Is that okay with you?”
Boom. They immediately feel heard and valued.
2) After the call, send an email recapping the most critical points. Put in how great it was to chat, thank them for sharing, and then highlight the biggest takeaways for you. If you can connect what they said “on the surface” with what you felt was going on “down below” then you’ll score big bonus points.
Give it a try. These kinds of tactics allow you to charge more for your services. Not 30+% more, but a fraction here and a fraction there starts to add up. You’ve got to squeeze every last dollar of revenue out of 2021 and this is the way to do it.
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