Welcome to Step Five. This step is all about getting regular income through the use of special offers.
When starting out, therapists often think that they need to charge low fees as they are new and inexperienced. I think this is a mistake, after all you are fully qualified. By undercharging you may not be making enough to live on. Putting your prices up significantly may put your existing clients off. In today’s world people often perceive value by price. Charging too low can infer low quality.
Decide on your pricing is an art in itself. Many therapists look at what the therapist down the road is charging, and charge a little bit more or less. This is exactly how not to do it!!
I am not going to go into detail about how to decide your price as this is covered in the Therapist's Business Guide
However, once you have decided your price there are all sorts of things you can do with it to encourage people to buy from you and buy more frequently.
If you are just starting out you can have an introductory offer. This does mean discounting your price, but for a limited period. You can also have an introductory offer to new clients to entice them in through your door. What we are selling is intangible, you can't, on the whole, smell it and test drive it or taste it! This makes it harder for people to decide whether to buy. What ever you can do to make it easier for people to sample you and your therapy will result in more customers through your door.
When selling a service we need to increase its tangibility. Intangibility leads to customers:
Having difficulty in evaluating competing services
Perceiving high levels of RISK
Placing great emphasis on recommendation
Using price as a basis for assessing quality
Increase its tangibility by:
Including tangibles in the price
Allowing people to visit the clinic
Have physical evidence such as a brochure with photos
Customise the service to the client
Make the service as simple as possible
Focus on service quality
Offering freebies to sample
Once you have got people in through the door, you want to keep them coming back. People love to think they are getting a bargain or a good deal so consider:
Offering a course of treatments with a discount for them paying up front (this really helps your cash flow)
Have the loyalty cards like the coffee shops where they get the 6th or 10th treatment free
Have a freebie provided with the treatment- you might negotiate a special deal with the gym down the road to have a free day membership for example
Have special offers during quiet times of the year
Have peak and off peak prices
People are also more likely to book if what you offer is scarce. When starting out, don't let on that you have a completely empty appointment book. Instead, intimate that you can just squeeze them in!
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