New Year Sales – Should You Be Discounting Your Rates?

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Now that we’re past most of the holidays (there are still many faiths celebrating), we certainly have passed the biggest spending period of the year. Many of us stuck to our budgets, some well… not so much! I don’t know about you, but every morning I’m still clearing out numerous “sale” emails from my inbox. It just seems that every store is discounting their discounted prices.

Which made me wonder, at what point are we discounting too much? As entrepreneurs and service providers, should we be discounting our rates? What does that look like to our clients, either the current ones that have been paying one rate for awhile, and now hear that others are getting the same services for a lesser price, or to our prospects who were quoted one price and now wonder what’s changed that we now are charging less.

There are arguments on both sides here about whether you should discount your rates at all, but sometimes discounting isn’t exactly discounting. Offering a promo “discount” is a great marketing tool, and could bring in new prospects. It’s a tough call.

Here are our top 5 ways to “discount” your rates, without actually “discounting” your rates:

    1. Find ways for your clients to save money on your services, in a way that’s mutually beneficial, for example, before I meet with my accountant every year, he hands me a checklist of documents that I need to bring with me before our appointment, including notes about when he needs originals, or copies are fine. This saves me his billable hourly rate starting my paperwork, only to have to stop and email me to chase after a receipt, and it saves him the frustration of chasing me allowing him to do what he does best – my taxes. We both win!
    1. Re-package your services in another way to appeal to a different subset of your prospect base. As an example, if you’re a nutrition coach and find that some of your prospects don’t need (or want) weekly check-ins over a long period of time, but could benefit from a 30-day nutrition check up, offer that as a standalone package. Your billable rate doesn’t change, just the way you package that rate does change. This could be as simple as a change in the commitment period, making the investment easier to justify.
    1. Offer some existing products you’ve already created as a bonus when signing up. Did you recently host an online seminar series and recorded it? Offer that as a download for new clients. You already created the product, it won’t cost you anything extra to produce, so why not give it away?
    1. Look at your current offerings, and see if there’s opportunity to change 1:1 coaching to group coaching. When doing so, you could even offer the group coaching at a discounted rate for clients, while still maintaining the same hourly rate to yourself by coaching many during the same hour. While this may seem like a lesser level of service at the outset, you may be surprised how many of your clients benefit from feeling like “they’re not the only one”. What you’re actually doing is starting to create a community and support network around your clients, which could be hugely beneficial to them.
  1. Lastly – when in doubt, go evergreen! Create programs that can be repeatedly offered as self-paced learning. You get to create one program, investing in its creation once, and then can offer it at the convenience of your clients. You can even offer the evergreen products at a discounted rate as compared to your live programs. Your clients will love the convenience!