Being clear, concise, and compelling about what you are offering is critical to your business success. It’s one of the areas that I see visionary entrepreneurs struggle with the most. Shifting your thinking on this one subject will change your entire outlook, your income, and the stability of your business. Plus it can bring you a lot more personal satisfaction when you take what you’re doing to another level.
Today I want to outline three key strategies to upleveling your offerings.
- Shift from thinking in terms of your modality to thinking in terms of the value that you truly provide—how someone evolves as a result of working with you. To do that you usually need to emphasize consistent work over a period of time rather than individual or even packaged sessions.
Most people are trained (if they are trained in business at all) to offer sessions in the field in which they were certified. These might be individual sessions, or they might also include a package of sessions, usually with a discount for a package.
I know I was, and so are so many of you that I speak and work with. As a Certified Clarity Breathworker, I was trained to offer a package of ten sessions, providing a 10% discount when someone pays in full for that package, or to offer individual sessions. Many holistic healers—acupuncturists, massage therapists, Reiki practitioners, hypnotherapists, and so on—were trained similarly to offer individual sessions even though very often the true value of their work comes with consistent treatment over time. Even bookkeepers, accountants, and doctors think this same way.
Yet transformation does not (generally) happen in a day, or a session (even though it can). Instead it happens over time.
By not emphasizing the significance of a longer term commitment, and not creating a structure that makes it easy for your clients to make this commitment, you are actually inhibiting their care and the rate of their evolution.
The biggest hindrance for the business owner is that as long you say “I’m a massage therapist” or “an NLP practitioner” you will always be fit into that box. The result is that you will only be thought of in terms of that modality (not in terms of either you or the transformation you provide), and what you can charge will be determined largely by the going rate for that modality. There is some flexibility here, but not very much.
When you shift your thinking from sessions to value and transformation, everything changes. You will create programs that draw upon all of the different areas of expertise that you have to bring about the evolution you are capable of facilitating. It’s the outcome and your ability to provide that you are then promoting, and the entire conversation changes.
The other huge benefit for you is that you create programs that continue over a period of months, and this provides you with recurring income. That is income which is committed for a period of time that you do not need to generate anew every month. Instead of starting your month at zero, you start at $1000, $5000 or $15,000 or more and you build from there. Nice, huh?
- Create simple, clear, and concise offerings that are described in terms of benefits and outcomes.
This becomes easier once you begin thinking about the transformation that your clients experience as a result of working with you. I was speaking with one new client yesterday about exactly this issue. She has been in the mode as I describe above, of individually selling her massage sessions and packages, and her yoga classes. When I asked her what her offerings are, her answer was difficult to understand because she has so many different rates and packages depending on frequency that I could not understand what she’s offering.
When I asked her what the primary benefit is that most of her clients get from working with her, she named several intangible experiences, like greater awareness and more choices. When I continued to probe, I discovered that relieving pain is the first thing that people come to her for. She’s an expert at helping people recover from injury and dysfunction so that they lead a pain-free life. Wow! Now that’s exciting.
In our conversation, I guided her to create a program that supports a life without pain. Her clients will get the benefit of a customized plan spanning a period of time that is designed specifically to help them first relieve the pain they’ve been experiencing and then develop a lifestyle that prevents the cause of pain from recurring in the future.
So rather than have a series of packages that are difficult to understand, she will now streamline her offerings to focus everyone toward this longer term, super high value program that is best for her clients, and much more stable and lucrative for her.
- Create a clear progression of offerings.
You want to have a progression of offerings, not just a set of packages. When you begin to focus on transformation, you begin to see that you start with someone in one place and take them on a journey with you through your offerings.
This gives your clients options for how to work with you, and it gives them a sense that they can grow and evolve with you. They aren’t just coming to you for one session (to make them feel better). They are getting to know you and taking steps along a path to having the life they truly want in relation to what is your area of expertise.
For example, maybe you offer a free introductory evening in which you give participants a taste of what it’s like to work with you. From there you invite them to a complementary session (a strategy session, discovery session, a vitality session) in which you personalize your approach to them, and invite them to take the next step by working with you.
When you have a few simple, clear, and concise paid offerings, you can advise them which of your offerings is right for them based on their desires and needs. And as your business matures and grows, you will have a number of offerings at increasing price points with increasing levels of value and commitment so that you have something that is right for anyone who is an ideal client for you.
Using these three strategies you will become a master of the visionary, transformational business that is best for you, and best for you clients.