Gina Blitstein Article

Remaining a Preferred Vendor While Charging More

Remaining a Preferred Vendor While Charging More

In the course of running a business, it is necessary, from time to time, to raise your prices. There are numerous reasons for adjusting your business’ pricing; some of which were explored in a previous article, “Raising Prices and Influencing People.” While a justified price increase is nothing about which to apologize, your customers are bound to notice and you may wish to address the issue with them.

Avoid worrying that increasing your prices will discourage new customers and//or scare away existing ones. There are ways to present your higher pricing model to clients that can potentially increase their likelihood of remaining loyal to you. The way customers accept (or don’t accept) a price increase has a lot to do with the way you present it to them.

Putting a positive spin on your higher pricing

  • Remind customers how long your pricing had remained unchanged. Raising your prices is not something you do often or without good reason. It’s perfectly acceptable to mention that it’s been “X” years since you’ve adjusted your rates in order to provide customers with the perspective that your price increase is a completely appropriate measure.
  • Stay on the offensive. Remember, even in the face of negative reactions, you have every right to charge what you think is fair for your products and/or services. Don’t allow yourself to get sucked into a situation where you’re defending your rationale or motives. Project the stance that it’s the appropriate thing for your business and that, in essence, it’s a necessary measure in order for your business to remain competitive and viable in the marketplace.
    Stress how charging more will allow you to continue offering high quality products and/or services. Emphasize the importance of keeping up with technology, materials, equipment education, manufacturing techniques, customer service, skills, staff size… whatever the factors are that influence your company’s ability to perform its best work and produce its best results.
  • Offer more. Even though you are completely justified in raising your rates as you see fit, there are no doubt ways in which you can increase your offerings and perceived value which cost you little or nothing. In conjunction with a price increase, make certain to offer extra services or incentives that make customers feel like they’re in especially good hands when choosing to working with you. These increased offerings cement the relationship between you and customers.
    Provide access to reports, informational emails, whitepapers, promotional materials and/or premiums… tangible things that demonstrate your expertise in the field while cultivating customer loyalty. Bump up the visibility of your customer service team, begin customer-appreciation initiatives and increase your charitable deeds - all these actions are things clients expect of a business for which they are willing to pay more.
  • Don’t be shy. As long as you’re not known as a “discount king” in your industry, don’t hesitate to advertise your non-bargain-basement rates proudly. People will get to know you for who you are when you’re forthcoming about how much your services and/or products cost. To “hide” your pricing will leave the impression that there’s something unscrupulous about your rates.
    Customers who appreciate the quality and level of service you provide will be willing to pay more to do business with you. To make your rates common knowledge is a means of advertising to potential customers because all those things you can do by charging more are very attractive selling features.

As a business owner, to a large degree, you get to choose your clientele. The amount you charge is a major determining factor in who will seek out doing business with you. Rather than being a negative selling point, raising your rates provides an opportunity to distinguish yourself in the marketplace. When your rates reflect - and continue to reflect - the level of service and the quality of your products, your customers will seek you out as long as they feel that what they receive is worth what they pay.

How do you put a positive spin on a price increase?

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