How to Set a Retail Price for Your Services – Remember, people pay for experiences!

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As a business owner, you have many jobs, and one of the most important ones is to determine the costs of your products or services. The number you stamp on them will greatly impact your sales, income, and your success.

Yes, ultimately you have control! But that control has to rely on several other factors when it comes to determining the worth, the value, and the asking price for your goods. If you overprice, nobody will buy them. In essence, you’ll price yourself out of the market. However, if you underprice them, potential customers might be reluctant to invest in what they psychologically deem to be an inferior product.

In our current economy, I am finding that people are willing to spend money on experiences – possibly, life altering services (such as joining Michael Jordan’s Basketball camp in Vegas, learning how to sail a boat in the South Pacific, and writing a book, perhaps! ) – rather than spending money on products that teach you these things (Why read about sailing in the South Pacific, when you can just go do it!).  

Case in point, sales of info-products have steadily decreased for the past few years (The last thing people want is another DVD binder product to place on the book shelf!), while the percentage of people working one-on-one with coaches (dating coaches, business coaches, marketing coaches, life coaches) has been increasing massively. The latter can obviously be more expensive, but people are willing to pay more for quality experiences if they see them as valuable.

So, how do you determine your value? Well, there are several things you can research to determine a realistic price range for your product or service—a price a customer is likely to be willing to pay for the value they will receive. Let’s take a look at them:

1)  Do your homework and find out the price of similar goods and services in your area. What are your competitors charging their customers? Is their product or service selling at that price? And, last, does your product or service have more or less value than their offerings? If either, adjust accordingly.

2)  Ask previous clients to give you feedback. Did they find value in your product or service? Was it worth what they paid? Did they get more than they expected for the price, or less? If they had to do it again, would they pay the same price for the same product?

3) Test your market. Perform telephone surveys, distribute questionnaires, and try to find out how much your target market is willing to pay for the goods or services you offer. Find out what they like or don’t like about your business, and how they compare it to others within the vicinity. Then, set your price based on their honest feedback.

4) Ask yourself this question, Is your product or service scarce? Let’s face it, there are so many hours in the day. If your coaching practice is keeping you on the phone 40+ hours a week, and you have a wait list of clients wanting to work with you, you are obviously not charging enough for your time. In this case, raising prices will not only make you more money, but will ‘buy’ some of your time back!

Do one or more of these four things and you’re likely to establish an asking price for your product or service that is within the expected range that potential clients will pay. If you overprice, you’ll lose customers to the competition. If you set your price too low, they’ll assume that your product has less value or worth.  As you can see, this is one area that’s far too crucial to your success to leave to guesswork. Do your research, do your homework, and you’ll find your answers.

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