Raising your rates is never just about asking for more money or hiking a fee. It’s all about moving to the next level of your business at the right time, with both you and your clients feeling good about it.
In the Business Session, Raise Your Rates – 7 Ways to Plan Your Rate Hikes, included is a list of 21 Ways to take action. Here are the first five!
1. Know Your True Worth
Before you raise your rates, create a specific goal for the new annual figure you arrive at. That means knowing your “why”, doing research on your competitors and reaffirming your ideal client. Know both your actual value in terms of what you do and your past experience and accreditations and your perceived value to your ideal client. The more specific you are and the more carefully you analyze every facet, the more you will actually realize your own worth and appreciate yourself, your journey and where you are today.
2. Ask with Confidence
You do not owe anyone an explanation for your rates; nor do you have to apologize. In fact, if you feel like you want to apologize, you haven’t done all the homework in tip number one. Confidence comes from a place of knowledge.
3. Always Add Value When You Raise Your Rates
If you want clients and new prospects to accept your rates without quibbling, show them the increased value, and focus on how this will move them closer to their big results.
Again, do the research to find out exactly what would be the most value-enhancing addition in your ideal client’s eyes.
4. What to Say When Clients Return to Higher Prices after an Absence
If a client comes back to you after being away for a while, don’t lead off with the rate hike that happened in the interim. First, reaffirm that you would love to work with them again; then announce your rate hike as a matter of course. (“By the way, my rates have gone up since we last worked together, to $XXX an hour.”)
Don’t start explaining why. Treat it as a casual fact, because it is. Stop speaking and wait for your client’s reaction. If they protest, let them know you understand if they need time to think about it. Put the ball in their court.
5. Count Your Successes
If you’re having trouble justifying a price hike to yourself, first think of your successes. Write down who you’ve worked with, how you helped them and what you helped them do. Then write down their ‘Before’ and ‘After’ results. When you’ve done that, raise your rates to reflect the value you now realize you habitually provide.
I know that raising your fees and prices is a topic that many entrepreneurs find stressful to think about.
Even if you are totally ready to go ahead and raise your rates, it’s a big step. Lurking at the back of your mind are thoughts like, “What if my clients say ‘no’?” or, “What if no one signs up for my mastermind group?” “What if I lose customers?”