I just can’t do it.
I tried. Honest.
I thought about every client I’ve worked with over the past few years. Considered every kind of business you might find yourselves in. But I can’t think of a single product or service that couldn’t work with packages one way or another.
I thought I had one for a moment.
Last year I coached a woodworker, an artist who – among other things – designs and installs customized interiors for yachts. His work is beautiful, and the multi-million dollar boats he helps create are spectacular.
But even that was, in effect, a series of packages, projects that consisted of a whole list of goods and services bundled together as a whole. And honestly, I can think of ways that a slight change in language and format could turn even that work into a more robust offer.
You might be one of those who’s arguing with me in your head about how this idea just won’t work in your business. And who knows? Perhaps you’re right.
Or perhaps the idea just hasn’t hit you yet.
Much of this is about thinking differently about what you already do. It’s about pricing your work in creative ways that add value for your clients, and income for your bank account.
Let’s look at examples in the categories many of you work in.
HEALTH RELATED SERVICES
The obvious place to start would be to offer a slight discount for a certain number of visits, coaching calls or classes paid up front. But what else could you do?
You could create one package around the assessments you might offer and a personalized action plan for each client.
Another package could pair a certain amount of 1:1 work plus additional access to groups, online training, or experiential work.
BUSINESS or ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
What do you already do that could be part of a package?
Do you make site visits to their business or event space? Do you sit in on meetings or observe them in action to get a better sense of what they do?
Do you conduct team interviews, facilitate board retreats, or offer assessments? What about specialized tools, a training curriculum or off-site experiences?
Are you willing to go to them instead of them coming to you? Can you meet virtually? Do you offer recordings or transcripts of the work?
Any or all of that could be put together in different ways to create a tiered system of packages that offer increasing value for increasing levels of investment.
This group is a little tougher, and MIGHT be examples of where packages would not work.
But I’m not so sure.
For example, there are a lot of complaints about attorneys.
They never call you back. They nickel and dime you to death for every email they read or call they make. They never tell you what’s happening in your case.
But what if your attorney offered a package that included a certain number of phone calls or in-person consults and a monthly report on the status of your case?
Realtors get paid on commission, and they earn every penny. But what if they ALSO offered a package that included access to a list of approved home inspectors, appraisers, lenders, and movers (and maybe even a discount or two)?
What if you had the option of paying one fee and getting someone to spruce up your landscaping, help you organize for packing, stage your house for showing, and clean it after you move out?
It’s a little trickier with financial planners and CPA’s, but even here there are possibilities. For example, perhaps you’d get a certain number of consults per year, a specific annual financial review, and access to a helpful online money management tool.
ARTISTIC and/or CREATIVE ENDEAVORS
An obvious ‘package’ would be to bundle a few pieces together for one price, right? Earrings plus a necklace. A unique coffee table plus a sofa table. A bundle of photos in different sizes.
But what if that jewelry was custom designed after a process that included an interview with you or pictures of your favorite places? What if the photographer included a hair and make up artist, and let you change clothes several times? What if the furniture design included a design consultation for the area of your house it was meant for?
And I could keep going.
It just takes a little out-of-the-box thinking to take what you already do, offer it in a creative way that adds value, and sets you apart from the competition (not that I worry about that much).
Oh. AND you can charge more.
Isn’t that worth a little creative thinking? Hmmm…?