How to set prices when times are tough

“Six things to improve when times are tough” is a pithy little article from the Professional Pricing Society in the States.

Here’s my slant on 4 of the 6 things that can work for your accountancy practice here in the UK:

1. Be inspired by – ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’…

When money gets tight you can imagine your clients saying to themselves “Is that all I get for this price?”.

It’s not a big stretch for them to then consider one of the other accountants that are regularly asking them to consider switching!

The classic solution to this is adding things of high-perceived value but that cost you very little.

However what’s clear from my recent conversations with accountancy firms in these turbulent times suggests a simple solution…

…PHONE A FRIEND…

This has massive appeal and value to business owners…

Why?

Because, when times are tough, they need reliable reassurance. And as an accountant you can provide this better than anyone.

NB This involves you taking action.

Pick up the phone and call your most valuable clients in the next few days to check on how they are holding up and give them a shoulder to cry on if necessary, support if necessary, help if necessary.

2. McDonalds provides the inspiration…

Chances are you’ve heard a server at McDonalds say “Do you want fries with that?” What they are doing is offering complimentary services that you may want to buy. If you were selling cameras you’d be offering batteries, a protective camera case and fancy strap.

As an accountant you could be offering board meeting support with your management accounts service and possibly book keeping too. With payroll you’re offering a free Financial Services consult to all your clients’ staff, or perhaps access to an HR service you have sourced.

3. McDonalds provides the inspiration again…

Bet you recognize this phrase – “Would you like to go large?”

McDonalds have increased their average order value on a healthy percentage of their worldwide sales by asking this simple upsell question.

It’s one you can adapt and adopt for your accountancy services.

For example:

Because your clients need to get closer to their numbers in these tumultuous times they should perhaps consider moving from quarterly management accounts to a bi-monthly or monthly service?

Perhaps they’d value a debrief from you with trend analysis to help them make some important decisions in the coming months?

Why wouldn’t you offer upgrades in service that are relevant and timely. McDoanlds have done for years, so can you and build greater value into your client relationships. Value for them and value for you.

4. The 400m hurdles is torture… but it’s unnecessary…

Sprinting and also jumping the full length of an athletics track always looks so damned tough to me. So why do we ask our customers to do something similar when dealing with us? If you shorten the race and remove the hurdles your customers (and prospects) will love you for it. What I mean is…

Make it easy for them to buy from you by:

A. Create guarantees that remove all (or most) of the risk associated with using (buying from) you.

B. Create offers that allow your clients/prospects to ‘try b4 they buy’. Why wouldn’t you encourage a long standing client to trial your management accounts service monthly for three months instead of quarterly to see if they like the more immediate insights and results?

Action is always the key…

If you’d like even more insights into how to market your firm in a remarkable way you should look at Bamboo Marketing For Accountants. You can read the original but more general article if you click here.

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