I recommend that you make it a healthy habit to raise your fees 1-2 times a year.
Whether or not you raise your fees with existing clients is a judgment call.
You may want to consider it if you have a very long life cycle with your clients. If this is the case and you don’t begin raising your fees then you’re going to be frustrated with your income for a long time coming.
If there’s plenty of room in your practice for new clients then this may be a different call. You can significantly increase your income by raising your fees with new clients and not raising them with existing clients.
If you do raise your fees with existing clients, here are some tips.
1. Don’t raise their fees to the same price as new clients’.
Let them know that you are increasing your fees but the increase for them will be less than all new clients. Make sure that they know that you appreciate their business.
For example, let them know that you are increasing your fees $150 with all new clients, but only $75 with them. In a sense they will feel that they are getting a discount. Now, I know that they aren’t stupid and they know they will be paying more, but they will also understand that they are being treated fairly and respectfully.
2. Only mention the increase in fee, not the new fee amount.
In other words if you’re a coach going from $500 a month to $575 a month, let them know that the increase is $75. If a client is getting results and value from their relationship with you it is very tough to argue over $100. In fact, if that is a make or break for them then they really weren’t getting value out of the relationship and it’s time to move on.
3. Give them ample notice.
It’s unrealistic to spring a fee increase on clients effective tomorrow and expect them to be cool about it. As a matter of principle they will be put off. As long as you give them some advance notice, most clients will understand.
How much notice? That, again, is up to you. I would suggest 45-60 days.
4. Create a unique offer.
As long as you aren’t adding more of your time to the table, I think it’s a great idea to offer a little something special for your existing clients.
For example, if you’re planning to create a group program, you can offer this to them for free or for a reduced price. This can be for a limited time or it can be indefinite. This is the beauty of group programs. You can add a couple of people gratis without having any negative effect. And you aren’t spending any additional time by doing so.
What else can you offer so that they know that you appreciate their business and want to continue the relationship?
Let your imagination go here.
But remember not to trade more of your time for the increase in fees or you will be right back to trading hours for dollars.
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