When one of my clients comes to me with a new idea – a new service or product to their business – I get super excited. Duh. I LOVE new ideas.
But then I put my Coach hat back on and have them check to make sure their new idea fits into their current business’s offerings in a reasonable, understandable way.
We can’t move forward until we’ve done this simple litmus test.
Why do I have to be such a party pooper? (I mean, I just used the word “litmus.” What the heck?)
Because the second a business’s offerings get misaligned from each other, the ideal client gets confused.
And confusion is NOT part of the ideal buying process. Am I right?
I know you’ve been there. You think you need X from a company that provides XYZ… but then you speak with the company and you find out they also provide M… which doesn’t make much sense – you thought they did XYZ. Now you’re slightly (or majorly) confused, which leads to you hesitated on your buying decision.
You wonder, “Do they reeeally know what they’re doing? How could they do XYZ, but then also be experts at M? It doesn’t make sense.”
My job as “party pooper” is to make sure your offerings MAKE SENSE together.
Here’s how we do this.
My simple solution to defining your business’s offerings:
OR Write “FREE, BASIC, MODERATE, PREMIUM” in a column on the left side of a blank sheet of paper. (Worksheets are still fun…)
#2 Jot down your current offerings and their price points in their respective categories.
FREE: Self-explanatory. Anything you offer for free.
BASIC: Your introductory, paid offering. Used to warm your ideal client up to the idea of investing money with you.
MODERATE: Typically your most commonly purchased offering. It’s the middle ground between your Basic, introductory offering and your everything-but-the-kitchen-sink Premium offering.
PREMIUM: Your highest-priced offerings. These aren’t typically sold often, but still exist for the right client that needs everything but the kitchen sink from you.
#3 Answer the question, “Where does my new offering idea fit in?”
We have to make sure this new idea aligns with the other offerings you have currently. If you can find an open space for it, you might just be onto something that your ideal client needs and will invest in. If you can’t find an open space for it, you might just be muddying the waters and introducing confusion into your client’s buying process. (Ut oh!)
Now the obvious question becomes, “But do these categories apply to every business?”
The short answer: No.
The long answer: These categories are simply a loose concept that I see working well for small, creative businesses. You don’t have to have an offering that fits into every single one of these categories, but there’s certainly an argument as to why you should consider it.
Take this example from one of my Coaching Clients:
She came to me with the idea of launching an online course. At the time, her Offerings looked like this:
The course would have fit in here, creating a lower barrier to entry for her ideal clients that weren’t quite ready to go all-in with her Premium offering:
Because the online course had a reasonable place to land on her offerings list, she was able to decide that launching the course was a good idea. Now, she has a more balanced offerings list – one that welcomes in her ideal client, rather than confuses.
And (SPOILER ALERT) how about my current offerings versus the upcoming offerings I’ll be adding in?
Now, it’s your turn. Grab the 1-page worksheet and sketch your offerings out.
What did you find? Are there any that just don’t fit? Or perhaps there’s a blank category that you’d like to fill.
Once you see your offerings in this way, you’ll be better equipped to welcome your ideal clients in, make the sale, and avoid confusion.