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At the Coaching with Excellence weekend, which was great by the way, someone suggested asking your audience what to price your classes. How do you suggest I do that? Do I send out a survey monkey and have multiple choices or let them fill in the blank? Social media? Thanks for your help.

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Hi Debbie, pricing strategy is incredibly important. Dan Miller has discussed this topic often on his podcast and I think the answer, as it is so often, is "it depends." Asking your customers what they would like to pay for your service is more difficult than, say, offering it at different price points in different channels. You could offer it for $499 through a direct mail effort to your best customers, $199 through a "flash sale" through your e-mail list, and then $99 through a local advertisement "for a limited time only." If you sell out all your "seats" at the $499 price point you know there was some room for additional margin above that point. If instead your effort fails to make a single sale at any price then you know you have a product problem--you haven't effectively described the problem that your product solves or clearly defined the benefit for your customer.

If you do want to ask your customers for their suggested retail price you could use a "name your own price" option on your payment page. The pitch: "I sometimes have the opportunity to offer seats in my class on a space available basis. I offer these in an auction format, so please provide your best offer for the seat. 7 days before the class begins I will make them available to the highest bidder and will work down the list until every seat is full." People enter their bid for the class, and you fill your seats. Good luck!

Lee, how creative. Thanks for your great thoughts!

Hi Debbie - so fun to meet you at CWE!  I really like Lee's auction idea.  Here are my thoughts:

  • People would have an incentive to bid fairly, knowing that the top "winners" get to attend.  
  • It also might give someone the opportunity who can't afford as much, but would like to attend.  They still have a chance to win.  
  • In addition, I think this would create a sense of urgency.  You would need to give them a limited time to bid on the auction, and they can't procrastinate.

If you try this, let us know how it works out!

Thanks, Heather. I'd never thought of these ideas before. Great to meet you too!

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