How to communicate with clients to raise your fees
There are many reasons for accountants not raising their fees when they should – namely avoidance of an awkward topic, fear of losing clients or a preference for the path of least resistance – but one of the biggest reasons for not doing so is not knowing how to do it. Do you know how to announce a price increase to clients? This article shows you how to do it successfully, outlining exactly when you should email, write, call or meet them face-to-face.
The best method depends on the quantity
Money can be a difficult topic of conversation, so while it may be tempting to email or write to a client to tell them that you are increasing your prices, sometimes a phone call or meeting your client to talk is best.
The way you approach announcing a fee increase can be the difference between a client staying and wanting more work from you or them leaving you for your competitor, so make sure you know the best way to go about it.
Generally, the amount that you are increasing your fees by dictates what method you should be using.
Small Increase = Email / Write
How to announce a fee increase to clients when they are increasing in line with inflation? Perhaps you’re increasing your fees slightly such as an extra £5-£20 a month on fees above £100 per month?
For a small monthly increase, an email or letter will be more than enough to announce the change to the client. With the right fee increase email template or price increase letter, this can be done across all clients efficiently and effectively. Just remember to justify the price increase, demonstrate your value, and encourage the client to get in touch with you if they have any questions.
Big Increase = Phone Call
When increasing your client fees by 50% or more, you should call or meet with the client. With quite a substantial increase to their monthly package, a phone call allows you to explain exactly why this is happening and to respond to any worries or questions that they may have in real time.
A phone call is much more personal to the client and it gives you the chance to focus this change on the benefits that it will bring them and your value rather than the money. You can then follow this up with an email or letter so that the changes are laid out in a logical way for the client to keep.
Big Big Increase = Meeting
The last question is “how to announce a fee increase to clients when they are increasing by 100%+?” This is where a face-to-face meeting is crucial.
There will be some serious uproar and loss of clients if you email one day saying “Hey, just letting you know that we’ll be increasing your rates by 100%” so make sure that you approach a big price increase with more consideration.
Arrange to meet with your client about their package and re-contract with them. Explain to them why you are increasing your rates and discuss with them how this will allow you to provide them with more value as the work that you do ties into helping them reach their goals. Make sure to prepare for this conversation, especially having the benefits to them and the ways that you can address the specific worries that they may have front of mind.
Again, it’s good practice to follow up with an email or letter to outline everything that was discussed. You can download our fee increase email template or price increase letter here or read our blog on how to write the perfect letter to your clients to tell them about a fee increase.
Not knowing how is no excuse!
With these 3 simple rules, you now no longer need to ask yourself how to announce a price increase to clients, you just need to do it. Here are more essential tips on how to communicate a fee increase without losing clients!
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Heather Townsend is Founder and Author of ‘The Accountants Millionaires’ Club’. In 2015 the ICAEW decided she was the number one online influencer for the accountancy profession. She is the author of 5 books, including The Go-To...