Should I offer three price options on everything?

Sent by Jonathan Stark on September 29th, 2018

Have you ever wondered whether it makes sense to offer three price options on a productized service? (e.g., a roadmap, an audit, a teardown, etc).

When it comes to the “three option” guideline, I generally make a distinction between custom project proposals and productized services. 

Custom Proposals—In preparation for writing a custom proposal, you will have been in talks with a prospective client about very specific wants, needs, goals, hopes, dreams, fears, etc... these talks are time consuming and emotionally draining.

You’ve (hopefully) established a rapport and built trust. Even if you offer products and productized services, the client is probably beyond considering those - they’re probably perceived as too generic. This client believes (perhaps rightly) that they are in a special situation that requires a high degree of personal attention and customization. 

So even if you have 10 publicly available offerings, the client is only considering your one custom proposal. Therefore, I say put three options in it. Offering only one is like an ultimatum - here’s the deal, take it or leave it. If you give them options, they can discuss amongst themselves “Which is the best fit?” instead of “Should we take it or leave it?”

Productized Services—With productized services, publishing three price tiers might make sense if you only offer one or two productized services.

As you start to increase the number of productized services (and products) you offer, you run the risk of overwhelming potential clients with what look like viable options. If they get overwhelmed, they’re going to leave or want to have a consultation - which starts to defeat the purpose of productizing in the first place.

The moral of the story is: 

You should always offer some options, but not so many that it becomes overwhelming. 

Yours,

—J


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