Quote your fees?
So, a therapist sent me an email yesterday, with a very surprised, "$3000?! 6 monthly payments of 500?"
I'll keep her name private but she was referring to my up-coming Active Modulation Therapy training and the home study course I had offered in the last email I sent out to my list of clinic owners and therapists.
She was interested in learning the therapeutic approach so replied to my email, but when I replied back to her...
I did what many of us do -- I answered her direct question of "How much is it?" with a direct answer:$3,000.
The mistake happened because I was impetuous.
I got distracted and didn't follow the sales system I have set up, that works.
(You know I'm all about systems)
The advice I regularly give my coaching clients is to have systems in place for all the 'stuff' we do on a regular basis.
When we follow the systems we've laid out, we see consistent results.
When I quoted my fees, I didn't follow my system and it cost me $3k becuase I lost that sales.
LEARN FROM MY 2 MISTAKES:
I made 2 BIG mistakes by not following the way I want to "quote fees"
There is a specific way to answer the "How Much Does It Cost?" question, that has nothing to do with following boring 'sales scripts'.
There is a logical progression of taking the initial question through a conversation in a specific sequence where both the service provider and the client can determine if they're a match to work together.
I'll share the 2 mistakes I made in the 'sales' part of selling because these mistakes (or out-of-sequence conversations) are the same mistakes many therapists and clinic owners make when discussing (selling) their therapy services to clients or potential clients when they inquire about possibly becoming a client.
I KNOW that none of us like to think of ourselves as being 'salespeople', but if we are accepting money in exchange for services or education, or products or therapy or ... we are selling our offer and "making our stuff available for purchase" is what sustains a for-profit business.
Whenever we sell anything there are 2 SUPER smart rules-of-thumb to remember and apply.
RULE OF THUMB #1:
ESTABLISH VALUE BEFORE DISCUSSING FEES.
ONLY talk about the price or fee (or tuition in my case for the 40 CE course) AFTER we're sure there is an understanding of EXACTLY what we're offering AND that it is something the prospective clients wants and is a fit for.
For example, let's say you are selling a car.
If someone asks, "HOW MUCH IS THE CAR?" and you say $3k, without them knowing what kind of car, how old it is, the condition, etc, ...
$3k could be an amazing steal if it's a vintage Porche OR it could be priced way too high for a beat-up junky rusted car.
The only way to conclude if the price is a 'good value' is to know the details of the car.
As a car buyer, if we also are not able to drive a stick shift car and don't want to learn, no matter how 'cheap' or how much of a good value the car is -- it's not a good match for us.
When we quote our fees, we MUST be sure the client (or customer) knows not only the details of our 'thing' ... but there also is a strong chance they will say 'yes' when and if they agree IT WILL MAKE THEIR LIFE OR BUSINESS OR THERAPY RESULTS BETTER.
Only then will they BUY IT.
As customers ourselves, we each make decisions to buy or not to buy (to book an appointment or enroll in a class) or not, based on what we feel is a good value.
Our clients will say "YES" when they agree its a good value, and they agree it's a good fit for them to work with us.
(DIAMOND TIP: In a Precise Private Practice, the service provider must also agree the client is a fit for their practice before inviting them into their practice)
This woman was shocked at my $3k price because she didn't know everything she would be entitled to if she enrolled in my class.
She didn't have all the details, so when I prematurely told her the price, it made complete sense that she was surprised. This happens especially if she was generically comparing my course to the hundreds of other educational course options for therapists. My courses are priced high, becuase the value my students receive is extremely high.
When our potential clients inquire about your fees, it's best to first understand their clinical goals, find out more about their personal situation, symptoms, experiences, and what exactly they are looking to 'buy' to solve their pain, problem, or goal.
Use the initial consultation to be crystal clear:
• The key questions here are:
- IF we should accept them into our practice
- What service/program is best for them
- Where to start their therapy plan
- How soon they are able or it is best to start therapy
- They confirm they want to start with us.
Only after we know all that, AND we're confident we're a good fit to work together, should you discuss the specific fees that are required to have your support to achieve their clinical goals, based on the service(s) and experience you will provide for them.
Of course, you may give a price range, such as "My fees range from $18 - $1800 based on what we do together..."
I believe it is premature to state an exact fee unless and until you know exactly what you're offering.
If you're a personal fitness trainer and someone calls and asks, "how much for a stretching session?"... how do you know how long a session they need or want?
How do you even know if a stretching session is even the right solution for them?
(Maybe they really need a strengthening program, or something completely different based on their clinical needs and presentation.)
RULE OF THUMB #2:
PRE-SELL your price-point.
When you walk into a discount store like Walmart, you are probably already aware of the price range for the items you are looking for. Let's take a blanket for your 6-year old son's bed. You'll probably expect the blanket to be priced under $20-$25, even for a KING size!
When you walk into an upscale store like, Restoration Hardware, you'd probably be shocked if any blanket was priced LESS than $25!
Why is it that we go into the store already knowing the price range?
Because we've been pre-sold on the price, via the store's reputation, their marketing, their customer service, the merchandise quality, and our past experiences with the store.
It's really helpful when our clients come to us already knowing the range our fees will be.
They know NOT based on the 'going rate' other providers charge in our city for a service they believe is comparable...
but instead, based on our reputation, marketing, friend's recommendations, and past experience with us or our business.
The second mistake I made, was I assumed she already knew my reputation.
(You know what they say when we ASS-U-ME! 🙂
I assumed she knew I was an excellent educator that past students raved about. I figured she was aware that my course curriculum included tons of extra bonuses. I thought she knew the value my students receives from purchasing a course, far exceeds the tuition they pay.
Based on the comments she gave me after I told her the fee, I realized she didn't know much about me or my course value, nor that with pre-enrollment there is often a reduced fee.
Because she had been on my email list for a while, I figured she was pre-sold and knew most of my courses start at $2,000-$3,000.
I also thought (mistakingly) she would know that I don't sell my 'stuff' (courses or therapy sessions) by the hour but rather by the session or experience.
I thought she knew I have a 100% guarantee.
When our clients or prospective clients come to us, it will always be an easier "YES" when they know what the price range is before they speak with us AND know all the value we deliver.
I remember one of my very first business coaches talked openly about the cost to work with him -- he had a $5,000 program. When I spoke with him on the phone to see if we were a good fit to work together, I already knew his fee was $5,000, so it was an easy 'yes', not an "I'll think about it".
(Please note: An easy 'Yes' does not mean they have money to burn -- it simply means they came into the conversation pre-sold, knowing if the details worked out -- they are aware of what the fee would be.)
I hope you now see how these 2 Mistakes and 2 Rules Of Thumb can be applied to your practice.
Pre-sell your 'stuff' by openly discussing the price range or specific price and share the value they get by working with you -- and the clients will come to you pre-sold!
Care to share your thoughts and insight below?
(Oh, and by the way — so you come to me pre-sold:
if you want to get on the waitlist for any of my next clinical or business courses, please know the fees start at around $2000 and go up to around $150k, depending on the level of access, service, and support you need and want. 🙂
Talk with me or my team to see if and how I might be able to support you in your business acceleration or clinical competency.
Pop an email me here to get the party started.
LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW how you will set it up to avoid a similar $3000 mistake in your sales conversations and process.
This is a great blog post. It inspires me to want to make content about my fees and get more comfortable putting myself out there so to speak while I build my private practice. I have personal training & yoga on my (never ending) certification list as well so it was neat to get more of a Birds Eye view on things.