A few years ago Michelle wrote an awesome post on doing competitive research, the healthy way: Read her post with 8 tips
As I’m also a Wedding Planner outside of Sage Wedding Pros, I have learned a few other appropriate ways that have helped me to understand competitor pricing. You might be finding you’re new in a market, having a hard time understanding where you should fall in the pricing spectrum for your product or service – you don’t want to undercut people, but you’re having a hard time finding this information. Or, you may be a wedding pro who has been in the industry a while and your colleagues will never share what they charge, ever. Even if you’ve known them for 10 years and you consider them a friend. So, what’s a wedding pro to do?
1. Ask your clients - After they book and you get to know them a bit, ask them if your pricing was less, average, or more than others they considered. For me, if the answer is “you were a little higher than most”, then my pricing was perfect because that’s my pricing strategy – not to be the least expensive, not to be the most expensive, but to be a little more expensive than average…because I know that the service level we provide and the customer experience we offer warrants that price tag. For you, maybe you want your client’s answer to be “you were slightly less expensive than most” - because it’s your first year in business and you’re still working on your portfolio to gain more credibility. Important Note: I typically don’t even ask who they met with unless they offer that information - that’s not nearly as important to me as knowing how they *emotionally felt* about my pricing compared to anyone else.
2. Pave the way – after my first year of business in Seattle and understanding the competitive landscape, I felt that most Planners weren’t charging enough. I asked about 5 other Planners out to coffee who I had started getting to know, and asked them if we could all talk shop, pricing, etc. Since most of the brides seemed to be shopping all of us (and we were all very similar style-wise and experience-wise) it made sense that we should all be pricing ourselves similarly. This group was so helpful to each of us because we were collectively setting a pricing model based on what we knew the market would bear. Everyone ended up increasing their pricing because they were more confident in their worth - and knew they would be priced competitively with each other. The moral of the story? You may want to pave the way and take the lead in your market to get a group together in your industry to specifically talk pricing – what will clients pay, what are their pricing reservations, what packages/services/products are working and aren’t working. It’s a powerful thing to join forces with your competition and to collaborate on these topics, as I truly believe it benefits everyone.
What are some other ways you have learned about your competitors’ pricing in a healthy way?