I teach from time to time. I have always enjoyed teaching and I put a lot of effort into making sure the attendees learn well and enjoy their time in my classes. I have charged as much as $499 for a 2 hour webinar with only me presenting and have had very satisfied students. I have also given free webinars which were, as you should guess, designed to entice some other type of transactional engagement. Recently a friend and colleague persuaded me to begin teaching again. I accepted the offer to teach for her company and I am enjoying the process of updating my course content and getting in front of even small classes again. Price, because I’m not “cheap”, has already become a question. Let’s discuss this.
When Price Is An Issue
Years ago I thought the way to beat price objection was to lower my price. Then I met a lot of wiser people who convinced me that is the last thing I ever want to do. When someone objects to pricing it means one of three things: (1) I have failed to identify them as a qualified customer, (2) I have failed to demonstrate that my product or service has even more value than my price, (3) they have their own insurmountable reason to fall short of the funds.
Qualifying customers is a science of its own. The truth is not everyone is an actual prospect. For me, since we’re talking about teaching social marketing for small businesses and independent entrepreneurs, I have a wide audience but it is not without limits. I’m going to need to qualify with questions like: Do you currently market online and more specifically through social media? Are you satisfied with the amount of results you get from online and social media marketing? Is it worth $100 to you to learn how to boost social connections, save on online advertising buys, and learn how to advance your digital presence by realizing more sales? If they say no to that final question then it’s just possible they aren’t a prospect for that class. Your objection management questions will be similar.
It also could be that I simply haven’t explained enough about what they will learn in the class and what the potential return from just that one session could be. Perhaps I didn’t explain that they would be leaving with a list of over 100 tools, mostly for free, that can help them automate, standardize, and manage their multi-channel social marketing. Or it could be that I didn’t properly explain that using the techniques they will learn in that short time can boost engagement by as much as 400% or more. Whatever I have failed to do I can usually determine by asking what they need to know about the class that I have not answered.
Then there are some people who just don’t have the money or simply will never believe that a $100 investment in even some highly valuable information will give them the desired results. Leave people like this in your drip campaign and move along to the “low hanging fruit”. Not every person who engages you is a prospect. I would be happy with 10% close ratio any day of the week! Sometimes it’s higher and sometimes it’s lower depending on how I attracted the prospect and what they expect from being on my marketing list.
Be Kind; Don’t Be Offended
There are friends of mine who would never pay to take one of my classes. On the other hand they gladly share my classes with others, talk about how good I am at what I do, and even call me when they have a question. Ahem–you probably know this tune. There are about 10,000 Americans who have not taken my class for every 1 who has. It’s not certain but I would estimate that I have taught some 40,000 civilians in the last 30 years. It’s possible that in the early days I felt offended if someone with whom I was speaking could not be persuaded to enroll in one of my classes. Now I am glad when I get a definitive yes or no. Yes is the preferred answer, but no works too. Don’t just lay down at no–ask questions to make sure you’re not doing that person a dishonor by not showing them the value of your offering. In the case of my training classes I know, and people who have taken my classes know, that there is more than enough value from the training to make the price a good bargain. But I cannot, nor can you, beat people into submission and get them to buy if they simply cannot see the value.
How To Price
With product the price is based on a few things: (1) what the market will bear, (2) the cost of goods, (3) overhead like salaries, insurance, legal, marketing, etc., and (4) enough profit to sustain the business model. I can say blindly what yours should be but you should find out. For me, because most of what I do is my time and labor, I know how much I need to earn per year to reach my goals so I factor my prep-time, travel time, teaching time, advertising, classroom space rental, sales commissions, etc., based on a particular number of seats sold. Once I make that determination I offer early bird specials, multiple seat specials, and full price beginning a certain date or “at the door” if I allow walk-ins. Your model may be different. Once you determine the numbers you need to survive and thrive, stick with it.
Some Responses To Price Objections
You’ll need to understand when to use these but I have used each of these over the years. Some I learned from others and others I learned from the trenches.
- What makes you believe the price is too high?
- I understand it seems priced high. That’s because __________. That’s a great value, wouldn’t you agree?
- Yes it seems expensive if I have not properly explained it. Once I explain it the right way there’s no question. What have I not explained that is most important to you?
- Here is a testimonial from someone who had similar concerns. Let me get them on the phone so you can hear it in their words. Will that help your decision?
- Is it that you think the price is too high or is it something else?
- Which benefits sound most valuable to you? Would you be willing to pay the price for just those benefits?
- I know you would like to pay less for this, who wouldn’t? The truth is this isn’t for everyone and it may not be for you. But let me ask you one question, once you see that this delivers everything I have told you how is it going to change your (day, life, work, joy, whatever)?
- Is everything else acceptable to you other than the price? (Yes.) That’s really too bad. I would love to get this for you right now but I understand it’s just not for everyone. (No.) What concerns do you have about it?