Part 3. Why Raising our rates is so dang Difficult? How can we make it so it isn’t?
What is the best way to go about a rate increase and what can make it easy as cake? Well, the saying is "easy as pie," but this French Apple cake is easy. (and I didn't have a pie photo!)
The time has come. You are going to ask for the increase.
Since we don't increase rates very often, and it probably won’t again for a while, before deciding how much to increase, consider which is easier: asking once or asking several times?
Most people would say once. That being said, ask for what you believe is best for your business and your clients.
Here are your best practices:
1. Think it through. Ask yourself these confidence building questions:
What are your reasons for the increase?
What is a fair and reasonable increase?
How should we approach our customers?
What should we say in our customer letter?
Which customers will be most reactive?
What reactions are we expecting?
What specific questions and concerns can we expect?
How will we respond?
What is the worst thing that could happen?
What is the best thing that could happen?
2. Compose an informative letter
Approach the increase with confidence and convey this in your letter
Politely express the increase and date it will go into effect
Thank your clients for their trust and loyalty
Explain the increase in a brief yet informative way
Continue to provide excellent products and services
3. Field Questions and Concerns
Expect that there will be a few questions and concerns and that is ok.
If a client takes time to connect, thank them for the question and their business
Hear them out without a defense.
Listen fully to everything they have to say, without interruption.
Listen carefully for their questions and concerns
4. Listen Before You Speak
Before you speak, confirm that they have said everything they want to say
Remember, sometimes people just need to be heard.
Sometimes, people want to voice a concern without really wanting anything but the need to say it out loud
Listen deeply for their question or concern
Before you answer confirm and rephrase that what you heard as their question or concern, was it, and that you have fully understood
Answer the question
Confirm if this answers their question
Wait for their response
This may take a few times back and forth, eventually there will be resolution
Congratulations on taking the plunge. I get it. Raising rates is a challenge. As you think through why it makes sense to increase rates and you face your feelings, then follow through, your business will thank you.
Best to you in your efforts! I am here should you like assistance!
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