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By Robert Middleton – Action Plan Marketing

Today’s article is the third in a multi-part series on making more money in your business.

In a practice known as the “baker’s dozen” a baker throws in an extra muffin or cinnamon roll when you buy 12.

We all love to receive some kind of bonus when we buy a product. But we tend to underestimate how powerful this tool can be to increasing sales.

When my wife and I bought new windows for our living room last year, the contractor added a free window when we also purchased windows for the bedroom (which we hadn’t even considered ordering).

A bonus can often both clinch the deal and increase the amount of the sale.

And yes, professional service businesses can offer bonuses and special offers, just as a product-based business can.

Here are a few examples:

Add a bonus for a larger sale

Let’s say you have a 6-month coaching program with a fixed fee. If that is your only option, it’s a yes or no proposition.

But what if you also offered a nine-month program for the same monthly fee but added a bonus? The bonus might be a virtual training program or access to an online forum.

This bonus might cost you very little but add substantial value to the client while also increasing your revenue.

In addition, by offering a second service package you then have a choice of ‘yeses,’ not a choice between yes and no. So, the chances of a prospect saying yes increases substantially.

Also, note that if you don’t offer a higher-end service you will never sell that service.

Add a bonus for choosing you sooner

We’re all faced with the situation where the prospective client says, “I need to think about it.”

That is certainly valid, but it’s also equally valid to reward a prospect for signing up for your service sooner rather than later.

I don’t like any kind of high-pressure sales tactics, but have no objection to offering a little more incentive for taking action quickly.

“If you choose to work with me within one week of receiving the proposal I’ll offer a complimentary one-day training session.”

Whatever bonus or incentive you offer, it should be perceived as a significant value to the prospect. Just this little nudge will often get a prospect to make a decision faster than usual.

And the faster clients decide to work with you, the more income you tend to make.  

Add a bonus for a referral

When I ask people where most of their business comes from, a majority say, “word-of-mouth.” But I have yet to meet anyone who has a plan to increase word-of-mouth other than offering exceptional service.

Why not reward word-of-mouth referrals by offering a bonus?

You could say something like this: “Because I build my business on word-of-mouth I offer a client bonus if you send someone my way who becomes a new client.”

This bonus would vary, depending on the service you offer. It could be a free coaching session, a discount on services for a month or an additional service.

Some clients will do nothing, but others will introduce you to many new clients.

A little more value

Never underestimate the power of a special offer, a discount or bonus in return for buying more, buying sooner or giving you a referral.

And interestingly, when you offer more value in this way, you also tend to increase client loyalty and word-of-mouth. Everyone likes a good deal and will often share what a good deal they received with others.

Cheers, Robert

Next week: How to raise your fees

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Robert Middleton, the owner of Action Plan Marketing, has for 30 years, been helping Self-Employed Professionals attract more of their ideal clients.  He offers the online membership site, The More Clients Club, and individual coaching and consulting through his Marketing Action Coaching. If this is your first visit to the More Clients blog, make sure to get a copy of the Marketing Plan Workbook and join the Marketing Club Forum for free.