The other day I had a call with a marketing company, and I mentioned to them our timeline for making a decision on moving forward or not, and their response was brilliant…
But first, let’s look at packaging your accounting services and why pricing packages can be advantageous:
First, it sets up expectations, and therefore a consistent experience, which is what your clients crave.
Fighting invoices, waiting net 30,60,90 days, client attrition can all be linked to an experience that the client was not ready for or was (not pleasantly) surprised by.
Second, it allows for you to increase price based on value vs hourly, because it’s much easier for a client to say “yes” to a $500 package (we’ll say it takes about 3.5 hours to complete) than to say “our hourly is $125.00 an hour”. The former focuses on the deliverable, the latter focuses on time spent completing work, which then the client will typically try to keep “hours” (i.e. cost) as low as possible, sometimes to the point of avoiding phone calls.
Third, it allows for “tailored fitted” package, so you can customize specifics for a client based on niche or industry, which makes the client feel like they’re getting personal attention, and positions you as more of an expert.
So, back to our story...
I told the marketing company when I was ready to make a decision (next month)
And their response was....
"We can only guarantee our prices for 30 days"
They then went to mention that it's unlikely they were going to raise them next month, but said that since price and and cost can change so they only give a "30-day" price.
That felt very reasonable to me, and I imagine something anyone running a professional service firm can understand as well.
The reason I thought this was so brilliant is that how often do we get a call from a client we quoted 6 months, or even a year ago... potentially "ready" to get started, but expect the exact price they were quoted.
Now, of course, it's your call. But the majority of clients, I love the idea of "guaranteeing that price for only 30 days"
This simple comment will make me be more diligent in our follow up, as I don't want to miss the 30-day window, even though it's unlikely prices will increase.
Now you can set a "30-day", "60-day", or quarterly quote, but the idea of informing a prospect early on that the price quoted won't also be the price, it's both transparent and reassuring from the clients perspective and helps establish authoritative positioning early on.