Therapists often ask, “How do I close the deal with a client workplace?”
Several important tactics here.
First, always entitle your proposal “Budget Proposal” to reflect your concern about keeping their costs well controlled. Sensitive terminology has value.
Second, unless this is a very small workplace where your program can be completed in 1-2-3 class sessions, always initially propose a “Pilot Project” that offers to perform a small demonstration project for one smaller work area where they are having significant MSD issues, so they can assess the value of your program in a small-scale purchase (no, don’t do this for free). This may simply be a one demonstration class for them to watch (ask them to stack the class with employees and supervisors who are most likely to be sceptical of your program, so you can impress them. This works well.)
Never give them a company-wide proposal that costs many thousands of $$, as this will result in an avalanche of objections, requests for bids from competitors, and endless comittee presentations. You may give them such a proposal AFTER you have greatly impressed them with a demonstration pilot project, as they are already “sold” on your program.
Another starting point is for them to hire you just to perform and on-site MSD-Ergo Risks Assessment, to identify the scope and severity of their MSD risks. Let that teach them what are their issues and how you can address them. We will cover this task elsewhere on the blog. It also allows you and them to prioritize where and how to proceed with training.
The general strategy is to proceed in a series of small steps, keeping progression through the facility a managable gradual process with regards to cost and logistics. Clients appreciate this … and it allows you to get work going sooner and proceed completely.
As we said elsewhere… do not focus on the large employers in your area. The bigger the company, the slower the progress toward actually billed work being done. Bureaucracy! We focus on employers with 25-300 employees, because it is easier to work directly with the person who has the actual budget authority to hire you. Decisions are made much more quickly, often on the very day you present a proposal. We prefer working with 10 smaller companies, over slogging along trying to get one big company to actually make a decision and actually schedule work.
Big companes are also notorious at making last-minute cancellations or postponing planned services the day before your scheduled on-site work. That sticks you with weeks of no work. That hurts your business. Larger companies can be a business risk. Go after smaller companies for quick intake and steady work. This has been key to our success.
Do not waste time negotiating your price! Set your price and market your VALUE around that. If you are find yourself defending and dickering price, you have failed to demonstrate the value of your services. Good marketing is when you make a proposal and client says “yes, let’s schedule your program” and you haven’t even mentioned your fees. That happens all the time for us (granted, we have marketed many hundreds of companies, but it does happen that way). We almost never encounter any objection over the price of our services (all based on $300/hr onsite) (recently upgraded to $350/hr).
When client asks our cost early in our marketing meeting before we have completed our presentation, we initially tell them we first need to define what we do, so they can assess its value. Once we have done that, we answer that we have prepared a “Budget Proposal” for them. They will then be able to see the cost, after they have seen the value . Our budget is presented rather matter-of-factly, with our fees established at $300/hr. (We do offer $250/hr for bulk pruchase deals, such as we have done with groups of companies organized into self-insurance pools, as an appreciation for the mutual loyalty we have established with them.) We take the attitude (gently) that we don’t really negotiate our fees, out of fairness to all our clients. Besides, if we prevent just one rotator cuff or back surgery for the workplace, they realize a huge “profit” in their investment in our program.
Stop your focus on price. Make it a non-issue.
Here is PDF of one of our Marketing Guides