Navigating Difficult Conversations: Raising Prices
Navigating difficult conversations when it comes to raising prices is one of the most common for virtual assistants. In this week’s post, we are sharing the best steps to take when it comes to navigating these conversations so they don’t have to be viewed as difficult.
Last week we discussed the frame of mind and how to prepare yourself. With that in mind, here are the actionable steps you can take.
- Stay positive.
We all know how dangerous assumptions can be. Don’t assume that the conversations will be difficult. The best way to do this is by staying positive and using positive language.
Ex: I’m restructuring my business to provide more attention to my best clients like you! In order to do so, I’ll be reducing the number of clients I serve and my new pricing will reflect the added attention to your business needs.
If you are going to assume anything, assume that your clients are excited about the opportunity to continue to work with you!
2. List the client’s benefits.
There always has to be a benefit. The benefits of working with you don’t need to have changed, rather iterated. The benefits of exercise haven’t changed over the years and still, every single weight loss professional boasts the same essential benefits – weight loss, more energy, improved health, etc. Listing the benefits is not for you, it’s for the client. Writing a letter all about you and your business repels clients.
3. Paint a picture of the future.
This is particularly important if you are moving to package pricing. Your new pricing packages should be included in your letter, as well as what package you are recommending for them based on their current usage of your services. It shows the client that have been tracking their needs now and in the future. Not to mention it takes the guesswork out of what their next steps should be.
4. Make yourself available.
Sending a notice of raising prices and then not being able to discuss the new changes raises red flags with clients. Make sure you have time to speak and address any concerns the clients may have.
5. Prepare a written notice to your clients AND ask for feedback from your trusted VA colleagues (at least three).
The feedback you are looking for is what questions you have not answered yet. When you write your thoughts out it is very common to write them out based on what you know to be true already. You can assume your current clients know them to be true as well. Clients need to be reminded of what is true, otherwise, you are not starting in the same place and therefore cannot expect clients to end up at the same destination as you.
- Have you included when your price increase goes into effect?
- Are you giving plenty of advance notice?
- Do you have the AVA Industry Standard Pricing Guide to share as a trusted resource with your clients?
- What are your new packages and rates?
- Why are these beneficial to your clients?
- Do you have a plan in place if the client says they no longer want to work with you?
Following these steps will help you navigate what could potentially be a difficult conversation into seamless communication with your clients.
For resources, guides, tips, and trusted VA feedback to navigate difficult conversations – join the AVA.
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