Although I don’t write a lot in my blog about business strategy, I work with many mission-driven business owners to help them grow their businesses. This blog post relates to one of the more strategic aspects of business-building— pricing.

This week, two clients asked about how to set rates. One is a reiki practitioner who just launched her practice, and the other is a Feldenkrais practitioner who’s been in business for over fifteen years. 

They were both concerned about setting their prices “too high.” They wanted to meet their financial needs, but also wanted to be fair to clients. And they didn’t want to turn people away by charging too much.

I want to share with you the six principles for smart pricing that I shared with my clients. Please know that most of my business coaching clients are healers and teachers, so the examples below mostly relate to this type of business. That said, these principles apply to most companies, and as you read, I invite you to think about how these principles might relate to yours.

One: Meals, not Math.

When I first started coaching business owners, I sat down with several business consultants to try to get clear on how to advise my clients about pricing. 

The consultants I trusted all said the same thing: keep certain principles in mind and experiment to figure out what works for your business. They told me that as much as I want to make pricing easy for my clients, I would never be able to tell a client which rates are the exact “right” ones for their business. 

Setting rates is less like following a precise recipe with measurements and more like cooking a delicious meal based on flavor, smell and intuition. There is no mathematical equation for finding the exact right price for your business. 

In lieu of an equation, what I can offer are certain time-tested principles that, if you follow them, will help you cook up prices that work for your unique business. 

Two: The Inside View & The Outside View

When choosing prices, make sure that you first get the inside view and the outside view. 

Now, what do I mean by the inside view and the outside view? 

The inside view is what your gut and heart tell you. When you’re working to land on a specific price, I recommend holding up various prices in front of your body in your mind’s eye and noticing how your body feels in response. You’ll be able to feel which numbers are too low, which are too high, and which seem to sing. You’ll likely find a range that feels “just right.” Set your rate somewhere in that range.

You get the outside view by taking a look at what similar practitioners in your field and region are charging. You don’t necessarily need to charge the same amount, but it’s good to have this information when you’re choosing your rates.

Three: What They Need

Perhaps the most important thing to consider is how much support a client needs from you to experience the transformation they want. How many sessions with you? How frequently? What blend of support?

For example, if they really need three hours of reiki, then say that. Or if one session is enough to create lasting change, then say that. You can offer different programs that meet different needs.

This principle is about advocating for what your potential and existing clients need. The more you can stand strong in your role as an advocate and encourage clients to invest in what they truly need, the more that you’ll be able to build trust and help them achieve the transformation they long for.

Four: Encouraging Ongoing Support

To promote a lasting change for clients and earn a sustainable income, it can help to create programs and packages that offer long-term support. For example, since I began coaching seven years ago, I have almost only ever invited clients to work with me for a six month period of time. My work is about creating lasting habit change, and I’m unwilling to contract with most clients for hourly sessions because, in my work, I know that they are far less likely to lead to lasting change. (Of course, clients are free to end if they feel that coaching is not advantageous, but that rarely happens.)

Five: Share Why

When you advocate for a specific course of treatment, let them know why. For example, if you really want your clients to invest in one and a half hours of reiki and a custom flower essence blend, then share why they need that. When you describe all the work you put into that and the powerful transformation they receive, then your rates will make sense to them, and they’ll be more likely to enroll.

Six: Simple Choices

When it comes to making choices, people get confused when they have more than three options. And when people are confused, many are more likely to refrain from making a choice (aka, they buy nothing) than to invest the extra time in figuring out which option is best for them. 

So, if you’re thinking of offering various entry points (like one-hour reiki sessions, one-and-a-half hour reiki sessions, two-hour reiki sessions, etc.), limit the choices to three and make them as simple as possible.

Setting Your Price

So, let’s say you want to set a price for a new offering. What exactly are you supposed to do with these principles?

While this may be the beginning of a longer process, I invite you to take a moment to reflect on how you might relate to each of these principles.

I invite you to get out a piece of paper and write down what comes up in response to the following questions:

  • What do your clients really need to get the transformation they want?
  • What packages and programs might bring them these transformations?
  • Inside View: When you imagine numbers for these offerings in front of your body, what amounts feel right to you?
  • Outside View: What are other practitioners who offer similar services in your area charging?
  • How can you make your price structure as simple as possible?

Once you’ve grappled with these questions, feel free to share what comes up along with any other questions that arise related to pricing in the comments section below my blog. 

I wish you all the best in setting prices that feel best for you and your clients!

Much Love,

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