Question: I normally charge $300 for my services. But, I am offering a promotion at $75. I need a few models for marketing purposes so I thought this price would be a win-win. I will still perform the same level of service as my $300 service. In exchange, the client would release the photos for my upcoming social media campaigns. However, a few people have told me that they don’t think it’s fair that they have to pay if they are a model. What should I do?
Answer: Pricing is one of the trickiest areas when you are a service-based business. You have probably spent thousssssannnddds on education, supplies, and learning your craft. But clients don’t know the blood, sweat, and tears that you have put into learning and perfecting your skills.
They consider price based on their understanding.
I’ll say it again – good people often want lower prices based on THEIR understanding of the service.
This post focuses on service businesses in the beauty space. But if you analyze the suggestions, I bet that you can find solutions for your industry.
Have you shared why your services are important from the CLIENT’s perspective?
I remember the first time I visited a high end hair salon. Biggggggggg difference from my local salons. I was treated like a VIP. There was no waiting while the stylist attended to friends who entered the salon after me. The stylist cut my hair in layers that performed without product. I could even duplicate the look when I went home and styled it myself. It kept its shape for weeks after the initial cut.
So why did I agree to pay 10x the price for this VIP experience?
A friend schooled me on the difference. She explained that her hair looked amazing after a 2-hour performance under stage lights and other grueling conditions with this particular stylist. I had an important event and knew that my hair needed this expertise. So I booked an appointment with the same stylist.
In today’s social media age, it’s easy for talented professionals to be ignored or dismissed. People don’t know what goes into the “pretty pictures”. Things like:
- The lighting
- Finding the right space
- The person who is being styled – ie. hair, clothes, makeup, facials, exercise
- The written work that accompanies the post
They think that the person “woke up like this”. That anyone can do it.
We know that it is not the case. But many individuals don’t know the process behind the scenes.
This is YOUR job to educate them. Explain why your services are valued. What type of education did you receive? What ongoing training and education do you seek? How often are you learning new techniques or new things to add to your services?
And most importantly, why does that matter to your client?
- How does it make a difference in their lives?
- Do they have an upcoming event where they need to look their best?
- Are they dealing with life and need a moment to “feel amazing”?
- Have an upcoming meeting or interview and need to dress to impress?
Also, ask your friends who have you used your services about the benefits. Why did it help them? You might hear some surprising insights that you can use in all of your presentations.
This technique works whether you are an industry veteran or even just starting out.
Will this always work? No. But you will probably build more long term clients if you find a way to educate why it matters to others.
Know that YOU have value
It sounds trite. But it is not. You might not be the top of your industry. But I’m betting that you bring something to the table. Something that the client wouldn’t be able to do at home – if they were to try it for themselves.
So spend time in your marketing explaining your value.
First, you have to believe it for yourself. Know it in every cell. As you are exploring this concept, dive in on a regular basis and share highlights and tips about what you know.
In this example, I can see/hear a few blog posts or videos:
- The top 10 things you didn’t know about (your subject)
- Why I went to school for (your subject) and the 3 things I learned that most clients don’t know about the profession
- The top 4 mistakes that people make when picking a (your subject)
Do you see where I’m going?
If you can explain your value, it goes a lonnnnnggg way in others being able to connect the dots.
Every client ain’t your client
This is an entire course.
Every person you speak to – even those you know, like and trust – might not be your client.
You have to come up with a plan for who are the clients that are a fit – and those who aren’t.
When I first started in my business, I discovered there were several clients I enjoyed. They included:
- Clients who are doing good work – ie social justice
- Clients focused on building genuine relationships
- Clients that focus on learning – where I can learn and also interested in my ideas
Over time, the list expanded and I gained more clarity fit for my company. But I also listened closely to the advice of mentors and coaches on this subject. They had a library full of knowledge and helped me better analyze this topic.
Not everyone is going to understand your business. And why does it matters to them? Or why they might want to buy from your company.
And yes, it hurts when you are interacting with people you know. Or you need the money. Or ……fill in the blank.
But keep talking. Find out why they aren’t interested.
Is the price too high for them right now? Maybe $50 would work.
Or are they just not interested unless it’s free…and you know that your supplies are more than free.99?
It’s fine to say “thanks no thanks”.
The good part of running a business is that you get to make these decisions. The bad part is that you get to make these decisions.
And if you are in business for a few years, you will find more of these situations. You need a strategy for how to handle it.
So here a few tips:
- Develop questions that explore objections– Be willing to ask questions when the person initially tells you no.
- Listen honestly to their answers – People don’t like saying no. So they might not tell you the “real” answer when you first ask. Maybe they are low on budget. Or maybe they had a bad experience. Or never used this type of service. You might have to listen very closely in order to understand the real reason for their answer. Consider this valuable market research for your business and take the time to listen.
- Have a script that closes the door temporarily – Rehearse in advance what you’ll say if you opt to not work with them. It might be something that doesn’t work at this moment. A number of people have told me that people who didn’t want to work with them initially came back several years later. So, no might mean not now. It’s not always permanent.
- Don’t take it personally – It can be hard. Service-based businesses are often so personal – they are frequently based on your personal strengths and talents and can feel like an attack. But, it’s never personal. Spend some time meditating, take a run or do whatever brings you back to a place of being grounded. And just ask more people.
I hope this list gives you some ideas about how to handle the $75 model question. If you have others in your business, don’t hesitate to ask and I’ll feature them on upcoming posts.