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How To Raise Your Prices

August 26, 2014 3 min read

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You want to raise your prices, but you're worried about how your clients will react. Find out how to increase what you charge, without stepping on any toes.

 

Raising your prices can seem like a daunting prospect, especially if you’ve been charging the same prices for a long time.
When you’ve got a loyal customer base, it’s not surprising that you’d have some qualms about asking them to hand over more cash for every treatment. But you’re a professional, and chances are that you’ve put ongoing work into keeping your qualifications current, and are always on the lookout for ways to improve your practice.
You spent a long time in training, learning a whole lot of very technical skills, and you’re the one forking out the money to make sure you have a good quality massage table, nice oils, and all the accessories that make the experience pleasant for your clients.
It’s completely reasonable that as you become more and more experienced, that you would increase your prices.  The more time you spend in practice, the more valuable you and your skills become.
Some common fears massage therapists face when they want to increase their prices include:
- Offending existing customers

- Losing customers who don’t want to pay more or can’t afford it
- Having trouble getting new customers to pay the higher price
- Having uncomfortable conversations about why you’re increasing prices
- Being perceived as greedy or unjustified

And those are all reasonable concerns. But when you break it down, they’re nearly all about you and your perception of how people will react to you.
We all worry about what people think of us. It’s normal. But it can also be a very limiting factor on the growth of your practice if you allow that fear to dictate how you conduct your business.
There are some simple, practical ways you can overcome the fears you have about this, as well as treating your clients with the respect and consideration they also deserve.
Once you’ve made the decision to increase your rates, it’s time to start informing people. The most important thing here is to give people lots of notice - in the region of 3 months or so.
 
The conversation can be simple - when they pay you for their session, mention casually that "[date 3 months from now], I’m going to increase my prices a bit - just by [extra amount] per session. It will just help me make sure I can keep improving my skills and providing you the best for your treatments!”
Most people won’t even bat an eyelid.
If you’re uncomfortable with that direct a conversation, you can pop a notice up on the door of  your treatment room with the details, so that everyone sees it as they come in. Or you can give all your clients a little gift, with a note included outlining the details of the increase.
In order to ‘sweeten the deal’, you can offer your existing clients a package deal, or a free treatment. But don’t feel obliged to do that if none of your clients seem fussed about the change.
Now, you may have a client or two that legitimately can’t handle an increase in price.
 
If you know about this ahead of time, it’s up to you to decide if you want to keep treating them at the lower rate. Again, it’s important that any conversation about this take place with plenty of notice.
Once you’ve decided to increase your prices, any new clients that you take on should be charged at this new rate, rather than being charged at the lower price for a short period and then having the increase. Just charge them the higher amount, even if the official ‘increase date’ is a month or two away. If they’re a referral from an existing client and know about the lower price, explain the situation and offer them a free treatment as a goodwill gesture.
Should any of your existing clients decide that they don’t want to continue with treatment at the higher price, graciously accept their decision.
 
Unless they’re one of the clients you decided ahead of time to keep at the lower price, do not back down and agree to keep charging them the original price for the sake of keeping them.
 
It’s better to have a smaller client base that pays more, than a large base who pays a smaller amount. Less work for more money!
But now, we want to hear from you:
Have you put your prices up before? How did you do it? Did you have any problems, and how did you deal with them? Jump over to the Facebook page and leave a comment, to help and inspire other therapists!

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