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#146: Positioning Your Services on Price

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Sunday, October 4, 2009
Although there is considerable pricing pressure on consulting services, our firm still has a modest amount of business for our standard services at our regular rates. Should we be developing a low cost version of our services?

In a word, yes. If we as consultants truly believe that we exist to provide services that meet a client's needs, then alternative versions of your services fit this criterion. Providing only a single version, and this applies to more as well as less, comprehensive versions, can limit your market attractiveness. A single offering can only be compared to services of other consultants, which puts the comparison out of your control.

According to both market research and common sense, your bread and butter service offering may well be enhanced by offering a higher and lower priced version. Think of different versions of a software product. Many show charts of features with checkmarks next to those features that come with the "basic," standard," and "premium" packages. Each has a price with it that allows a prospect to evaluate, within your set of offerings, which version best meets their current needs. This way of arraying offers allows you to frame the decision around your own strengths.

Tip: For each of your typical services, configure a limited service or duration version, as well as an enhanced version. Run these by past clients and maybe colleagues to see how well these alternatives resonate, and revise as appropriate. This creates two opportunities. First, you might be surprised that there is some demand for your basic and enhanced packages. If so, you may have limited your services because clients have selected other consultants whose services were more to their price/value liking. Second, considering the design of basic/enhanced versions, especially when such versions just don't work for your services, may give you insights into entirely new types of services to offer, including teaming with other consultants.

© 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  client development  fees  marketing  product development  proposals  sales 

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Cox Ferrall CMC FIMC says...
Posted Monday, October 5, 2009
Nice post, Mark. Solid marketing advice.
From a sales perspective, two more thoughts come to mind:
1) Do you have a sales methodology in place (e.g., the SPIN
Selling model)? The better you and your colleagues become at formulating and posing thoughtful questions,the more your prospects will be able to tell you what they actually want!
2) Hand in glove with sales methodology is sales messaging. NorCal Chapter member Michael Cannon has some wonderful materials on his website Check 'em out.
Good luck!
Cox Ferrall, CMC FIMC
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