“What do you do if someone asks for a discount on your rate? Does it always devalue your product to give the discount or is it better to have the client?”
~Sandi New Jersey
If I had a dollar for every time a client asked for a discount I’d never have to teach Pilates again. I’d be rich! But honestly, I know what it’s like. When I was starting out on my own, teaching in my ultra-small home studio, almost 1 out of 5 potential clients would ask for a discount. At the time I took it as an experiment in pricing (or I was too chicken to stand up for myself;) and would change my prices willy nilly. It got so bad that I couldn’t even remember who’s rate was what! Now that I’m more established, I still get the occasional appeal for a rebate but very rarely. What’s different? Me! I grew a backbone that’s what! A favorite quote of mine is, “You teach people how to treat you” (tweet that!) How are you teaching people to treat you? Bottom line: If you believe you aren’t worth your rate, neither will they.
Now, how do you get from where you are today to where you want to be? Practice. Most likely you’ve heard that Joe Pilates said, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” when he talks about learning the Pilates method. Whether it’s your practice of doing Pilates or being a killer biz-nass person it takes time, a little coaching, and LOTS OF PRACTICE to become good at it! Build your “business muscle” step by step with this advice:
Grow Some Balls or ovaries, if you please. ;) Here’s the thing with business (and you’ll hear me say it often), it’s not personal. You have to be tough since everyone and their mother will ask for a discount because honestly, that’s good business. If something is negotiable, then you NEGOTIATE! It’s your job as your own boss-lady to make your rates NON-NEGOTIABLE and stick to your guns. Know your worth and believe in it. You are worth it. End of story. Period.
Know Your Market In Sandi’s case, and like most of the instructors I mentor, their biggest issue is recognizing their market. Did you know you have the ability to pick your clients? You should know exactly who you want to work with and focus on attracting just that. Spend some time investigating your ideal client. What do they do? Where do they live? Why do they want to do Pilates, and how much would it be worth to them to <insert one> get rid of back pain, have a sleek physique, or improve their posture? Look at your current clients, chances are there’s someone you just light up at the thought of working with and wouldn’t dare ask for a discount? Wouldn’t you want more clients like them? Focus on what you want and remember all that you bring to the session and what you are offering. Think of giving them a deal and imagine how you’ll feel working with this client for less than you deserve. Like sha-poopie that’s what.
Add Value Instead of Discounting A great marketing tool, which will keep money in your pocket and satisfy even the best of the coupon-clipping mamas, is to add more value to your offer instead of discounting it. Can you throw in a free mat class to a package of privates? Customize a little homework video for a new client? Send weekly recipes or tips on how to eat healthy? Get creative (sky’s the limit) and think of ways you can add to your current service to make it more valuable, and worth every penny.
Have you had this happen to you? Did you do the discount dance? If so how’d it go? Leave your comments below. Have a question you’re dying for me to answer email me here lindsay [at] formpilates [dot] com
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