I'm Ben Gruber

2013 / 23 May

Pricing a Service


The client requests continue to roll in for my new scavenger hunt bar crawl service. This is great, however receiving the request is only step one in this services selling funnel. You then have to respond to the request, figure out what the client wants out the service, price the specifics, collect a deposit, perform the service, collect the rest of the money, and follow up with a survey to make sure they loved the service. Although each one of these steps requires its own scrutiny, testing and tweaking to best fit into the puzzle of optimizing client conversions from request to actual sale, I am going to concentrate on pricing. Many times this step will have the greatest single impact on the selling funnel.

The original post about the crawl that turned into the bar crawl business was actually intended to show case our event throwing credentials. The hope being that we would get custom party planning requests for unique events. Even though that is still part of the Kind of Genius business, the bar crawl service has morphed into a business of its own.

As the requests for crawls started coming in, I still viewed the crawl business through the custom event lens. This prompted this basic exchange that many custom service providers can sympathize with:

Client: “Hi, I am interested in your crawl service. What do you offer and how much does it cost?”
Me: “Hi, we can basically do anything you want depending on your budget.”

Let me translate – the client wants to know what they get and for how much and I want to know how much money they have, so I can come up with a plan that matches that amount of money. As the service provider I did not want to commit to price or specifics of the service because I feared I would lose the client. On the other hand the client did not really even know what they wanted and thus did not know what they would pay for it.  You have a classic stalemate that produces anxiety and friction on both sides of the aisle.

After the first 5 or so requests, I decided I couldn’t handle the cat and mouse game every time, so I began testing a new plan. I created specific packages that included particular options for an exact price. I then included a list of add-on features. Some that included prices and others that were “market priced” (see birthday crawl example). What happened was counter intuitive to what I might have thought. Not only did clients have a better reaction to the specifics, they also did not hesitate to ask for the custom features that they wanted – many of which I did not even think of.

The net result was a more streamlined process where both the client and I (the service provider) were on the same page from the beginning on what is being offered and for what price. It also grounded the talk of custom options, which made it easier for me to offer them and for clients to come up with ideas of their own.

For my service this type of transparency and specificity worked wonders, but you will have to test to see if it makes sense for yours. Either way, I think that a greater level of transparency and detail where possible helps to create confidence with the client and in general leads to better results.

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