Doesn’t it feel like everyone is in this massive race to the bottom of the market right now?
Businesses that barely made it through COVID in one piece emerged battle-worn and exhausted, depleted of energy and money, only to be told by mainstream media and the coaching industry that the only way forward is…
Prices… need to come down because that’s all the market can afford.
Volume… needs to come up because that’s the only way you’ll make decent money.
Free… You need to give away everything because that’s the only way to build trust.
And, if you want to create a high-volume, low-margin business that focuses on the broadest possible market share, then…
BE. MY. GUEST.
BUT… there is another way. I’ve been banging on for years about flipping the strategy on its head.
Start at the TOP of the market. Go for a smaller group of higher-paying clients. Use a descension model, not an ascending model where there is more margin, less competition and frankly, it’s simply more FUN.
And it could not be truer now. Across my clients (and certainly in our business), the commonality is simple…
No matter what niche. No matter what targeting. No matter who it is.
The dominant brand can name their price for an impactful service that is effective, efficient and creates a beautiful experience.
And there is ZERO competition there. Everyone’s racing to the bottom, and a few smart cookies are defying this convention and heading to the top, where they’re dominating.
A smaller group of clients – maybe 6 or 10 – paying $100k+++ – is what is the easiest thing to sell when it’s positioned well and in the hands of an elite expert who can step into becoming an Icon.
That, my friends, is where the true action is right now.
So, how do you Justify a $100k+++ Price Tag?
Let me start by telling you a story…
LA’s Wedding Planner of the Year 4 x over, Kristeen worked with another coach before I met her. And she described it as a completely different experience. That’s because this coach didn’t have a true understanding of her business or what she offered. As a result, the coach’s advice took her further away from the business she wanted to create.
With us, she began to correct her course. As Kristeen explained:
“I felt Kathryn really got to know who I was and got to know my strengths and my weaknesses. She also understood what I really wanted to do in the future, as well as my fears.”
That deep level of understanding allowed us to help Kristeen so that her business could do much more.
But before that could happen, we needed to help her see that she made an impact that’s worthy of a premium offer. And that involved overcoming the beliefs that even her friends and family instilled in her about her offer:
“I had friends in the industry. I had family who were saying I’d already tried to raise my rates in the past. Why would you do that when you know that you can consistently book $5,000 to $7,000 weddings?”
What these people failed to understand is just how much of an impact Kristeen has with her service.
Today, she feels completely justified in making premium offers. And now, she only works on five or six weddings per year. This means that she has more time to travel and enjoy her life with her family.
Are you wanting to be in that position?
OK… Well let’s make a start…
Tip #1 – Intentionally Choose the People You Sell To
I often talk about the concept of intentional marketing. This means that you stop taking a scattershot approach in which you target as large an audience as possible. Instead, you decide on the exact type of person you want to work with – with such precision, you literally pinpoint a handful of ideal clients.
You research them as much as possible and position your offer as the solution to the specific challenges that they have. Crucially here, this isn’t about pushing them into pain and telling them why they’re a mess (that’s mainstream)… it’s about seeing a bigger vision for them that they cannot see for themselves (I call this the “expanded vision” and being able to clearly articulate this to them through your brand, communication and connection.
This is a crucial part of working with people at the premium level. They’re not looking for “support” – they’re looking for efficiency, efficacy and a bigger impact than they can see for themselves. Provide that to the perfect few people and not only will you have no cap on your pricing, you’ll pick and choose the people you work with so your days will be ridiculously joyful too.
Tip #2 – It’s About Confidence. Supreme Confidence.
You may have heard me say, “Drop humble at the door.” In order to attract these premium clients and for you to be the dominant premium brand in your niche, it is critical that you step into your identity as the very best in the world at (fill in the blank).
My question to you is simple: what is the biggest thing you can truthfully claim to be the best in the world at?
It doesn’t need to be as wide or general as Personal Development or Photography or Interior Design or Financial Planning… Go narrow and deep. The richness is there.
And once you’ve nailed that…
Claim it. Own it. Embody it.
Have supreme confidence in that.
And because you know it, because you bring that to the people you want to do business with, there is zero cap to your pricing.
You are the best of the best.
That peerless positioning enables extraordinary offers to be made.
Tip #3 – Expand Their Vision
Clients at the premium end of the market are looking for a vision and experience that they cannot see for themselves. I’ve worked with so many luxury brands that explain their clients don’t even articulate what they want. They are seeking unique experiences, bespoke offerings that expand their vision of possibility.
Work out what that means for YOU, and your selected client targets and work on being able to articulate that vision richly and deliver that experience peerlessly.
Your pricing won’t matter if you get this piece right.
Tip #4 – Your Offer Doesn’t Need Bells & Whistles
One of the biggest misconceptions about premium offers is that they need to be massive, filled with the kitchen sink, and every utensil you own to justify the investment in you.
In my experience, it is the exact opposite.
Premium clients are seeking something unique, bespoke and that CUTS DOWN the amount of fluff.
Generally speaking, a premium offer is a bespoke one. It’s something that you intentionally put together to serve the needs of a specific client. And the odds are that none of your clients need access to every scrap of your expertise and they certainly don’t want sets of kitchen knives thrown in as bonuses to beef up your offer so YOU feel justified saying the price you’re charging.
Instead, they need access to the expertise that helps them to achieve the expanded vision you have so richly painted for them.
Tip #5 – Focus on the Experience (As Well as the Outcome)
Of course, the outcome that you achieve with your client is of critical importance. However, it’s not the only point of focus when you’re selling at a premium level.
A premium client wants something experiential, special and rich. They want somebody who’s going to link arms with them and create an extraordinary experience. Your premium offer is all about taking your client on a journey. It’s about creating a magical world for them. It’s about YOU being personally involved as the icon of whom they want to be in the company.
Luxury brands are so good at this – the experience in a Rolex store… the experience of purchasing a Bugatti… the experience of selecting a De Beers necklace…
Evoke that, and you’re on the money.
Tip #6 – Get Out of Your Own Wallet
Let’s assume that you want to sell a $500,000 offer.
You’ve never invested in an offer at that level yourself. As a result, you believe that $500,000 is an extraordinary amount of money for someone to invest in you.
This is when you start to experience a mindset problem. You start asking yourself why someone would invest that much in you when you don’t even have that much to invest.
The problem here is that you’re inside your own wallet instead of that of your ideal client.
In other words, you’re looking at that $500,000 as though it’s something that you need to spend. But remember, you’re not selling to yourself. Your ideal client is somebody for whom $500,000 is not a big deal. They have a different perception of that sum of money.
The key here is to get into the mind and wallet of that ideal client.
Find the person who you desire to provide that extraordinary experience. Find the person who you see an expanded vision of possibility for. Show them how you can transform them and help them achieve their deepest desire.
That’s the value that they’re looking for. And they’ll gladly pay a premium to get it.
Premium Pricing… And YOUR Niche…
If you’re exceptional at what you do, and you’re aching to get out of the race to the bottom with all of those mainstream brands in your niche; then there is a different strategy. Like Kristeen in the world of wedding planning, there is likely a premium positon available in your market. You just need to be brave enough to claim it.
It will be worth it, I promise.