How you can put your prices up without losing customers

There comes the day when you realise that your expertise and experience is worth far more than your prices. Or perhaps you’ve absorbed so many increased costs in a bid to remain competitive, that your profit margin has diminished to the point where you have to increase your prices to stay in business.

The decision to increase your prices is usually met with anxiety.

How will your existing customers react?

They have become accustomed to paying a certain amount, have budgeted for your services or products and suddenly they’re faced with paying more.

Here are 4 tried and tested ways you can manage a price increase and retain most of your customers.

1. Instead of immediately imposing a price increase on your customers, let them know you’ll be increasing your prices a little further down the line so it gives them time to adjust to your news. People rarely respond well to negative news being sprung on them.

2.  If possible, don’t charge the full price increase to your existing customers. Let them know that new customers will be paying the full whack, even going so far as to tell them what this will be to reassure them that because of their loyalty they’ll still be getting a preferential rate.

3.  Let your customers know of the additional things you do now and that you will continue to do, that you don’t charge for. Don’t assume that customers are aware of all of your nice touches.

4. Sniff out your competitors’ charges. If you’re still price competitive after an increase you can be confident that if some clients do talk to competitors, they will most likely come back to you.

Of course, no matter how sensitively you handle the news of your price increase, you may still lose some customers especially those for whom price is everything. Accept this. You can’t please everyone!

Perhaps the best advice I can share with you is to charge a fair price in the first place. If you started your business charging a rock bottom price, although it may have suited you at the time in bringing customers to your door, it doesn’t take long for you to  become resentful that you’re delivering so much for so little – and as a knee jerk consequence you hike your prices, alienating many of your customers, surprised at the suddenness of the increase.

So stand in the shoes of your customers and handle the price increase process with care and sensitivity.

Happy Christmas! I wish you much success in 2016.

 

I hope you’ve found these tips useful. You can find hundreds more in my  book The 15 Essential Marketing Masterclasses for Your Small Business available on Amazon for £10. Rated excellent by The Sun. CityAM, Elite Business Magazine and winner of the BookBag non-fiction book award there are 100+ 5 star reviews on Amazon. This is the sequel to my Number 1 bestseller The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book.

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