What Your Price Says About You

Price

Price can raise your status, and it can hurt your status.

Price telegraphs to the world your status as a coach or consultant. It can raise your status, and it can hurt your status.

And just as price is an indicator of your status in the market, it’s also an indicator of your customers’ status. The price someone is willing to pay says something about them.

If you’re priced at a premium, you’ll attract people who are willing to pay a premium for what they want. Of course, the opposite is also true: if you’re priced very low, you won’t just attract the price buyers: you’ll actually repel the premium buyers.

So by setting a price—whether it’s high or low— you telegraph to the world who you choose NOT to do business with as much as who you choose to do business with.

A CEO friend once told me that you can choose to do business with “victors” or “victims,” and that his company made a conscious choice to work with the victors…and repel the victims. While price isn’t the only criteria in defining victors and victims, it’s one of the most important.

The Worst Customers in the World

The absolute worst customers to work with are those who choose to buy based solely on price. Price shoppers are the whiners. They want you to do stuff for them for free. And they have zero loyalty: price buyers continue to shop around even after starting work with you. They are also less likely to comply with your advice, and may even openly doubt you as an expert.

Yet in most markets, for 60% of the buyers, price isn’t even one of the top 10 criteria for making a buying decision. So if you have a choice, why not price yourself at a premium?

The Best Customers in the World

The absolute best customers–especially in the world of coaching–are those for whom your price is a stretch. Those are the people who will be more likely to comply with your teachings and more committed to achieving success. And that alone makes it more likely that they’ll get there.

We have customers who sell business consulting services on the back-end of some of their programs costing $20,000, $50,000, and even $100,000. And the success stories of people who go through those programs are stunning, helping people grow their businesses and covering the cost of their investment many times over.

Price as Part of Your Offer

Before this turns into one of those “guilt you into raising your prices” articles, there are practical limits to what people will pay, and generally accepted guidelines for what specific services should cost.

The super high-end programs just referenced are the result of diligent, consciously-structured sales funnels that move people up the chain from first purchase to higher and higher priced services. At each rung, there are correspondingly higher levels of commitment on the part of both the customer/client and the service provider. The metaphor of initial dating to marriage matches the process well.

Ironically, the first step towards a $20,000 or higher relationship is very often a free one, and in our world, that usually means a free teleseminar. But it’s very clear that what is offered is merely a “Free Preview” of a deeper, more intensive coaching mastermind group or multi-module program.

Figuring out what to offer at the end of that teleseminar and how to deliver the pitch is one of the most challenging marketing questions coaches face. I once heard Instant Teleseminar customer Lisa Sasevich say that “your offer equals your life.” In other words, what you offer at the end of your preview call will define your life for the next 60 to 90 days, or maybe even a year—because you have to deliver on whatever it is that you promise.

That’s why getting that offer and price right is crucial, and it’s not just the money, either. The money requirement is just a surface-level indicator of commitment. There’s also a price to be paid in terms of time, energy, and effort.  Which is why it makes sense to hire your own coaches to help you get this right. Because we, too, can decide if we will be “victims” or “victors.”

 

13 comments for “What Your Price Says About You

  1. June 25, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Thanks so much for sharing and caring. For many entrepreneurs like myself it is hard to monetize our wisdom. However, I come to realize that those who can’t or won’t pay your price are living in their reality. There are many who are very affluent who can and will pay the price to have someone solve their problem and alleviate their pain.

    Thanks again, Judy Helm Wright Pet Grief Coach

    • June 25, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      Thanks for your thoughts, Judy. Those who “can’t pay” are rare in any modern developed country. For those who “won’t pay,” more often than not it’s a problem of rationalizing the decision, which is the process of finding the words we need to convince ourselves (or a spouse) that we’re doing the right thing. As I wrote about in a recent post, it’s the coach’s job to give clients those words, or “won’t pay” will happen more often than we wish.

  2. June 25, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Great article! I think it helps to decide up front who your ideal client/customer is and that will determine your price and at what level you will pitch your product or service. We can’t be all things to all people so we need to go after our target market without apology.

    • June 25, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      Well said, Donna. To your point, “determine your price” is really what I’m getting at here. Too few coaches (and business owners generally) spend the necessary time evaluating the perceived boundaries of their pricing and offer structure.

  3. June 27, 2015 at 12:19 am

    HI Joel,
    Thanks so much for your article!
    It solved a question in my mind that has presented itself this week in regards to my training.
    The part the struck me was:
    Quote: The absolute best customers–especially in the world of coaching–are those for whom your price is a stretch. Those are the people who will be more likely to comply with your teachings and more committed to achieving success. And that alone makes it more likely that they’ll get there.
    Really I am most interested in my coaching clients doing the work that I know will help them. I have gone down the “low price help everyone path” and very few people appreciated the value of what they received and actually did the work. Those that did experienced success. In terms of my own benefits I expanded my training skills but the low income slowed down almost every other aspect of my life….
    So bro,
    Very grateful for your article and as of now I am more than quintrupling my price. I had thought about it before but now I am convinced 🙂
    Blessings!
    Carl 🙂

    • June 27, 2015 at 12:21 am

      One other part that really struck me from your article:
      Quote: Lisa Sasevich say that “your offer equals your life.” In other words, what you offer at the end of your preview call will define your life for the next 60 to 90 days, or maybe even a year—because you have to deliver on whatever it is that you promise.
      I have fallen in that trap so many times and although I have delivered have had to really push to deliver..
      Once again great article thanks!

      • June 28, 2015 at 12:40 pm

        Yeah, that one’s a gem. Lisa’s a great “coach’s coach.”

    • June 28, 2015 at 12:38 pm

      Hi Carl – It really is about clients doing the work, right? So if a higher price motivates more people to do the work, you’re hurting people by keeping prices too low. Congrats on bringing prices up to where they should be, and thanks for your thoughts!

  4. tg
    June 27, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Thank you for this article! It was helpful and insightful. Toni

  5. tg
    June 27, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Also, People pay for what they value. I have clients that pull up in BMW convertibles, carrying a $1500 purse. Money is not the issue, what they value is, get them to see the value in you and your work.

    • June 28, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      Hi Toni: Thanks for your thoughts. Money is almost never the issue. The client’s own “head garbage” gets in the way, or the coach’s skills at coaching people through the onboarding process (most often a combination of both.)

  6. April 12, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Great article and insight. So glad I found this site and your services. Getting ready to launch very soon!

    Question: Do you provide moderators or know of VA’s familiar with instant teleseminar. I’m a one person show and need access to those resources.

    Many thanks,
    Kimberley

    • April 12, 2016 at 6:07 pm

      Hi Kimberley: Yes, we can recommend a few teleseminar producers who are familiar with us. Get in touch with our tech support team by visiting our home page and clicking on Live Chat at the top of the page, and we’ll let you know who we recommend.

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