Have you been thinking about raising your rates? That can be both exciting and nerve wracking for business owners. On one hand, you’ll produce more income from the same amount of work. On the other hand you may be concerned by the risk of losing clients due to higher rates. While this may be true, there are best practices for handling a rate increase that, if done well, can get you new clients!
1. Give prospects on your list advanced warning. I recommend that you announce a coming rate increase two-three months in advance. This gives you a great reason to check in with prospects and see how they are doing on their own and if they might be ready to work with you.
2. Use a variety of communication methods to announce the rate hike. Sometimes you have everyone on your email subscriber list. Other times you may have phone numbers or a physical addresses. It’s perfectly alright to make this announcement in several ways. You can email, call and send hand-written notes to prospects – whatever way you have to communicate with them, do it. You can even consider sending the information multiple ways to people to catch their attention.
3. Explain getting “grandfathered” in at old rates. Let people know that if they choose to work with you before the increase, they will be covered by the old rate like your current clients. This can help incentivize prospects to become clients in two ways. They don’t feel trapped because you’ve given them plenty of notice and it makes people get off the couch a little faster so you get clients.
4. Ask questions to create the need to work with you now. Sometimes prospects think they don’t need to work with you even though their current situation demands change. To help people open up to the idea, ask them what’s not working right now. This can plant a seed and inspire prospects to work with you now due to a current need and to avoid a price hike.
5. Tell new prospects about increased rates. As you meet new prospects, share your new rates with them. For those who choose not to work with you, add them to your subscriber list. Then announce your coming price increase in an email, which tells everyone including your newest prospects how they can still get in at the current rates. This can act like a back-door incentive for newer prospects, motivating them to get started now before prices go up.
When was the last time you raised your rates? If you‘ve had the same pricing for more than one year, you may want to consider taking an increase. By following the five steps listed above, you can actually get clients while raising your prices. This process has worked for me and many of my students. So have no fear about the price increase you are dreaming of.