How can you best position your offers? How can you change or tweak your positioning and potentially increase your income up to four times?
Recently, I came across a business owner who ran a hypnotherapy business – for the purposes of this article let’s call him “John.” John had been struggling to get more clients; more importantly, to get more clients who would pay premium rates for his packages. He specialises in a “Quit Smoking” programme and was selling hypnotherapy sessions at £50 for a one-hour session. To get more bookings he was discounting the initial session by up to half price, in the expectation that once clients saw the benefit, they would then pay £200 for a further four sessions.
It just wasn’t working. Can you see what the problem was?
Firstly, he was discounting his time. Time is one of the most precious resources in your business; when you are a solopreneur you cannot get more time.
You can get more money through loans, hustling, getting a part-time job, by whatever means you like, but there will never be more than 24 hours in the day. If you start discounting your time, sure, you may get more bookings and be really busy, but you will still be struggling financially. You can’t magic up more hours to sell at half the price.
Secondly, when clients came to him for their initial session he had a very high success rate; at least 50% of them would stop smoking straight away, which is amazing! So why would they want to book in another four sessions with him when they had already quit? They wouldn’t. There was no incentive for them to do so.
As for the other 50% who had not stopped smoking after the first session, they were left feeling that it had failed, that the hypnotherapy didn’t work for them. Smokers know that there are many ways to help them stop smoking other than hypnotherapy. If they don’t think that hypnotherapy is working for them, they will try something else. They will not invest more money into John’s sessions.
So, John was left struggling to grow his business. He could not find clients who wanted to keep working with him, who would pay the full price for his ongoing packages.
How Can You Manage This Problem In Your Own Business?
I know a lot of therapists, coaches, and consultants who sell their time by the hour. If someone books them for an hour, they charge say £100, £50 or £30; the actual price is irrelevant.
When you start selling your time by the hour it becomes a commodity, but what you are doing in your business as a coach, consultant or healer is not a commodity – you are delivering value to your clients.
People Do Not Buy What You Do. They Buy Why You Do It.
Simon Sinek said, “People do not buy what you do. They buy why you do it.”
There are several layers to this statement.
The first one is obvious. When you, as a business, go out there and say “Hey, we are here to make this change in the world, and everyone’s computer should be easy to use. You should be able to carry all your music library on just one device.” These are the kind of huge positioning statements that distinguish you as a business from all your other competition and basically, make the competition irrelevant.
There is another layer to this statement; when you explain to potential employees ‘why’ they should work with you.
As a business owner, you want to attract “A” players to your team; top performers with a great career history. They are not going to just come and work for you because you have a job available; they will be sought after and in a position to choose who they want to work for. You need to explain to them why they should believe in your company and your vision, why they would feel excited to jump out of bed in the morning to come to work, why they would be driven to do their best work for you, and why you are their best choice as opposed to other options.
Vision is why so many people want to work for companies such as Google and Apple; not just because of the rewards and benefits and the snooze lounges, but because they want to be part of a vision that is much bigger than themselves. They want to be part of a team that has such a huge impact on the world, so they are passionate and excited to be working for them.
Your vision and your why can also inspire people to work for your company.
The third layer of this statement comes down to your sales process. People do not buy what you do; they do not buy coaching, hypnotherapy, VA services, someone to handle their accounts. They buy the why, the outcome, the transformation; they buy the benefits that you will bring to their life or business.
When they hire a bookkeeper, for example, they are not interested in getting their receipts organised – they want to know how much money they have at the end of the month on which to live.
They are not interested in having their accounts prepared – they want the peace of mind that they will not get penalties such as having their company struck off the register.
When they book in a hypnotherapy session, they are not interested in just relaxing – they want to quit smoking, overcome fears and phobias, or lose weight.
They do not go to a massage therapist just to have their body pummelled – they want to get rid of their back or joint pain.
Their “why” is the reason that people are paying money for your service.
If you can fulfill their why in just one session, quitting smoking, for example, you are enabling them to transform their life, you are solving their why. It has nothing do with how much time they spend with you. Whether it takes one hour, 90 minutes or 15 minutes, they will pay a premium price for the benefits you provide them; the why that you resolve for them is of value to them.
How Can You Apply This To Your Marketing Strategy?
Think about the value that your sessions bring to people…
In the hypnotherapy example, people who want to quit smoking have probably already spent money on other approaches that have failed.
They think about all the benefits to their health if they could quit; they would live longer, be there to see their kids and grandkids grow up and enjoy a healthy retirement.
If they wanted to do sport, they would be able to breathe better and be more active; they could even run the marathon they have been dreaming of and raise money for their chosen charity.
Then, of course, there are the monetary benefits; if they pay for health or life insurance their premiums will go down, and they could easily save £50 to £150 per month on cigarettes – in just one year that’s savings of up to £1800.
By quitting smoking, they can reap ALL these benefits, and it’s only going to cost them £50 for a hypnotherapy session to cure them (or as little as £25 with the 50% discount). It just doesn’t add up.
When people see this amazing offer, they feel that it’s just too good to be true, that it can’t possibly work or it wouldn’t be so cheap. After all, if it sounds too good to be true it usually is, right? So, they don’t believe it will work, and they don’t book…
Positioning is really important in an offer like that. What John is offering is a life changing transformation.
So, how can we flip it? How can we improve his situation?
What John Should Do
My suggestion would be for John to say, “Give me one hour and you will quit smoking for life.”
This is a strong statement. It is great for marketing and it will capture people’s attention.
Then he can say, “This session costs just £200.” Instead of selling it for £50 or £25, it costs £200.
“But, if you do not quit smoking in this one-hour session, I am going to give you three more sessions FREE of charge. And I can guarantee” — this is a very important point— “that you will quit smoking by the end of four sessions”.
When someone reads it like this, it completely changes the way they see the offer.
It has a strong promise that they will be able to quit smoking in just one session, and if it doesn’t work, they will get three more sessions at no extra cost.
John can confidently guarantee their success because he knows from his experience that he can achieve these results. In the unlikely event that it doesn’t work, he could even offer to give them their money back – there is NO risk to the client, only benefits. Why would they not work with him when he is proposing such amazing value?
Of course, you need to be aware of your success rate to make an offer like this; if it is not that great then guaranteeing success would be a step too far. But John knows his success rate is good, so he can offer a guarantee with confidence; he knows that at least 50% of people will quit smoking after just one session.
What Impact Does This Have?
Let’s say John books in 10 new clients.
The first 5 clients quit smoking after just one session; immediately he has earned £1000 by selling 5 clients a £200 package. Previously he was booking 5 one hour sessions at £50, for a total of just £250.
By changing his offer, he has gone from earning £250 to £1000 for the same amount of work; he has quadrupled his income!
Now, the other 5 clients he booked did not quit smoking after the first session, so for them, he offers up to four extra sessions free of charge.
For those clients, he carries out the same amount of work he would have previously done for £50 per hour, so he is not making a higher hourly rate, but it is a guaranteed £1000, and he has not had to try and upsell the extra sessions.
He has completed 25 hours of work, not for £1250, but for £2000. Thanks to his new positioning he is now growing his business with success.
Even if one of the 5 clients had not managed to quit smoking and he had to refund them their £200, he would still have earned £1800 instead of the previous £1250, so would have still been £550 better off.
He’s also better off time wise as it took him far more time and effort to get 25 clients to book in for a £50 session that it did to get 10 clients to book in for a £200 session.
Imagine the business growth if he can book in 20 clients at £200 per session instead of 10.
It’s All About Positioning
Think carefully about how you position yourself.
Consider the benefits you offer your clients, for their business, their life, their health, their happiness, their mindset, and everything else that improves once they start experiencing the transformation.
Then think how you can change what you are offering in terms of packaging your services, positioning yourself as an expert, as someone who can help, as someone who guarantees success.
You can then change your pricing structure completely like John did and watch your business grow.
Your new pricing structure is of benefit to your clients too. They no longer see it as a cost and think “Oh, I am going to buy sessions, but I do not know how many sessions I need.”
They will instead focus on the value you are offering to them, and think “Yes, I have to do it because I will be able to achieve so much more success.”