Quote your fees?
So, a therapist said to me in an email yesterday,
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 offered in an email.
She was interested and replied to my email, but I did what many of us do — I answered her direct question of “How much is it?” with a direct answer…
The mistake happened because I was impetuous.
I got distracted and didn’t follow the system.
(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.
LEARN FROM MY 2 MISTAKES:
I made 2 BIG mistakes by not following the “quote your fees” — how to answer the “How Much Does It Cost?” portion of my system.
There is a logical progression of taking the conversation through a sequence where both the service provider and the client to determine if they’re a match to work together.
I’ll share the 2 mistakes I made in the ‘sales’ part of selling my CE training to this therapist because these mistakes (or out-of-sequence conversations) are the same mistakes many therapists and clinic owners make when discussing (selling) their therapy services.
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 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 CAR IS?” and you say $3k, without them knowing what kind of car, how old it is, the condition… $3k could be an amazing steal if it’s a vintage Porche OR it could be way too high a price for a beat-up Honda. 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 student) knows not only the details of our ‘thing’ … and they will say ‘yes’ when and if they agree IT WILL MAKE THEIR LIFE OR BUSINESS OR THERAPY RESULTS BETTER once they BUY IT.
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.
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.
When our potential clients inquire about our 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:
• 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 are confident we’re a good fit to work together, should we discuss the specific fees that are required to have your support to achieve their clinical goals, based on the service(s) we 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 someone calls and asks how much a massage is … how do you know how long a session they need/want? How do you know if a massage is even the right solution for them? (Maybe they really need a strengthening program)
RULE OF THUMB #2:
PRE-SELL our 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 as an excellent educator that past students raved about. I figured she was aware that my course curriculum included tons of extra bonuses and the value that a student 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 and that 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.
I remember, one of my very first business coaches talked openly about his $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.
Care to share your thoughts and insight below?
(Oh, and by the way — 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 goes up to around $50k, depending on the level of access, service, and support you need and want. 🙂
Want to talk and see if and how I might be able to support you in your business acceleration? Pop an email me here to get the party started.