Of all the different areas of marketing, pricing and selling are the most emotionally charged. As I ponder the topic of pricing, I can’t help but wonder what Lao Tzu, the father of Taoism, would have to say; something very profound, I’m sure. Closing my eyes, various Taoist sayings come to mind and a vision of the great Chinese sage appears before me (at least, what he looks like in illustrations!). He utters these words: “Kindness in giving creates love.”
Opening my eyes, I feel somewhat disappointed with this message. At first, it doesn’t seem very relevant to the topic of pricing, particularly for spiritually-oriented entrepreneurs like you and me. For us, giving isn’t an issue because, coming from a service orientation, we’re natural givers. It’s the “receiving” part that can trip us up, sometimes, and this issue can really affect our businesses and lives in a big way.
Yet, as I allow Lao Tzu’s words to gestate in my consciousness, I begin to comprehend the nuances of the message – the potential interpretations. Is it possible that this adage refers to the love we create by giving to ourselves, as well as others? From this perspective, pricing becomes an act of love; a way of honouring our worth and valuing our offerings, while providing great value to those we serve.
Pricing From a Yin Perspective
Traditionally, pricing is a yang marketing activity – it expresses a more masculine, active and direct energy. However, as with all activities, there are both yin and yang elements inherent within it.
The yin aspects of pricing relate to the feminine quality of being receptive. Influencing your ability to be receptive are your most deeply held beliefs and feelings about yourself, your worth and the value of what you offer.
If you feel any conflict or discomfort about pricing your services and products, consider answering these questions in your journal as honestly as possible:
What “story” do I tell myself about me?
What do I really believe and feel about myself and my “worthiness”?
How do I acknowledge my intrinsic worth and value to myself?
How do I value my time, energy and gifts?
What message does the current pricing of my services/products communicate to potential clients?
What message does the current pricing of my services/products communicate to me?
Next, have a good look at what you’ve written, because it will reveal what’s going on for you subconsciously. How you set your prices is a reflection of the extent to which you value yourself, your time, your energy and your gifts. And undervaluing your offerings will cut off the flow of abundance to your business.
If some limiting beliefs, thoughts and feelings have come up for you through this process, be kind to yourself. Set the intention that you’ll heal them and learn how to be more loving to yourself by valuing your offerings and honouring your worth.
Pricing From a Yang Perspective
Once you’ve started clearing and aligning yourself internally, you’re ready to work with the yang aspects of pricing – determining the “right” prices for you and your clients. This will reinforce the inner work you’re doing.
Besides limiting inner patterns, discomfort about pricing can also originate from not knowing the specific value of what you offer. To set prices that feel good to you and are beneficial to your clients, you need to be clear about the value of the results your service or product will help produce. This includes both tangible results, such as better physical health, as well as intangible results, such as feelings of empowerment and well-being.
Here are some tips to help you set your prices with ease and grace:
- Write a list of the tangible and intangible results you think each of your services or products helps create.
- Solicit feedback from your existing clients to find out what tangible and intangible results they’ve received from your products and services.
- Set your prices from a place of abundance, not scarcity.
- Try not to assume what prospective clients will or will not pay; they’ll pay your price if they want the value you offer.
- Use your heart and inner guidance to determine the prices that feel best to you.
Some wellness professionals discount their services or provide a “sliding scale”. If this feels good to you, by all means, do this. The most important thing is that you feel good about your pricing.
If you don’t feel good about discounting your services, contemplate other options that respect the value of your offerings, while still meeting your clients’ needs. For example:
- Lower the price of your offering(s) by taking out something of value (e.g., reducing the time and/or frequency of consultations or sessions or changing the size or format of a product offering).
- Offer price reductions if your client will commit to a package and pay upfront (e.g., six 60-minute sessions for $600, rather than $150 for a single session).
Expand your business model to include a “funnel” of services and products at different price points. This will allow your clients to choose the services/products at the prices that suit them, while you value and leverage your time and expertise.
When you value your offerings, your clients value them, too, and the exchange empowers both of you. Being kind in giving to yourself, as well as others, enables you to share your gifts with the world fully, creating more love and abundance for all to enjoy.
In The Prosperous Healer’s Path™ Business Success Coaching Program, I help participants clear limiting beliefs, thoughts and feelings affecting how they price their offerings, and set their prices, with ease and grace, using an abundance-for-all based model.
© Copyright 2012 Mary C. Davis, ANAM TURAS. All rights reserved.