Today I’m going to offer you ten tips for raising your rates that won’t scare off your best clients. Follow these guidelines and you’ll find that the conversation is nowhere near as stressful as you thought it would be.
10 Tips For Raising Rates (And Keeping Your Clients)
As someone who has had this conversation more than once, I know how daunting it can be to talk about rates with your clients. That being said, it cannot be avoided if you want success and happiness in your career.
So, today I’m going to show you 10 ways you can make your next discussion about rates less painful for everyone involved (and keep your clients when it’s finished).
1. Be Honest
It may be tempting to sugarcoat your reasons or maybe downplay the changes in your rates, but neither of these are smart approaches to business. Your best clients have a relationship with your that is formed on trust, which is why honesty is key.
Tell them exactly what changes are coming, how the new pricing will be implemented, and ask them to voice any concerns or questions they may have. This will set the stage for a smooth conversation.
2. Explain Your Reasons (And How You’re Offering More Value)
The reasoning behind your increased rates could vary across a number of factors. Ultimately though, you should be prepared to explain these things in a way that shows your client how they are getting more value as part of the increased pricing.
This could take the form of additional features in a product, or more availability for your services, but always keep in mind that you should add value for your clients when you decide to raise your rates.
3. Offer Multiple Pricing Models
Depending on the work you provide for your clients, you should consider giving them several methods of payment. For example, instead of charging per hour, you could switch to an agreed retainer that covers a specific amount of work.
By doing this, you can increase rates, but also offer a different and perhaps more efficient means of tracking and paying for your services. Depending on your industry or craft, one pricing model may be more beneficial for everyone involved.
4. Expand Your Skill Set
Clients are more willing to pay a company a premium than a single freelancer. As you grow, look for ways to expand your personal brand and your online business. For example, you could start a blog and create unique and informative posts while also polishing up your writing skills.
If you have a professional website or blog, then you can argue that you’re expanding your brand and your business. This is a perfectly valid reason to raise rates as you take on new clients.
5. Offer Multiple Tiers of Services
Instead of offering a standard option for your services, you could introduce multiple tiers under your new rates. The older rates could now be charged for a standard level service, while the new rates are for a “premium” level of those same services.
In some cases, clients will stay with the standard rates, but in most cases they will want the best version of your services that you can offer. Using a word like “premium” to describe this level of service will also be enticing for them.
6. Stay Confident and Courteous
When speaking to your clients about something sensitive like raising your rates, remember the tone that you take. This applies to your wording and your voice if you’re speaking over the phone. Remember to maintain these characteristics during the conversation:
- Explain your reasons in a confident and non-defensive tone.
- Showcase any investments you made into training or additional availability to justify the increase.
- Provide real examples of how you’re offering additional value.