For many of us in the wedding industry, what we do is so important to us. We’re creatives. Musicians, chefs, celebrants, florists, stylists, designers. A lot of us don’t put enough thought into selling these skills. Millennials aren’t interested in the whole cheesy sales pitch song and dance anyway – who has time for that? BUT– Selling is crucial to your business. At some point, someone is going to come along with buying signals. Whether they be simply asking the price via email, whether they’re in your cake shop looking at your product, or they’re on the phone to you asking you what you provide, these are all times where knowing a little behind sales is helpful.
When it comes to contrast pricing psychology, once you know the method and understand it, you will notice it exists all over the place. At the movies when you buy popcorn. Online when deciding between subscriptions for a meditation app.
Basically, the method suggests that you need to have three packages for your customer to choose from. A silver, gold and platinum, or a small, regular or large, for example. All of these items should be good value based on their inclusions. Unless you’re offering a decoy, of course. Occasionally you will see this done with products like popcorn. An example of this would be to price the small popcorn as $4, the medium at $5.50 and the large at $6. Who wouldn’t go for the large? It’s better value, right? Now you see why this can work too. But let’s consider this method without a decoy for the purpose of simplicity.
Ideally, your “silver” package is a lower cost, with fewer inclusions and will satisfy customers that aren’t going to spend a lot of money with you. The budget-conscious client that may not be your ideal client, but you may as well make a sale with them anyway, right? These clients will make up about 10-20% of your business and you should spend less time on these packages.
Next, you have the package you want to sell the most of. A “gold” package that this method suggests will sell the best (approximately 80% of the time). This should be the package that includes things that most couples are after. For a celebrant, this might be a package for 2 x meetings before the wedding, a completely bespoke ceremony, sound system, and readings and vows printed for them, for example.
Then, the platinum package should be all the bells and whistles. You should not expect to sell much of this package. Perhaps 10-20% of all couples will want “the best of the best” and will go for this. You want this package to be a higher profit margin, typically. For a celebrant, this could include everything in the previous package, plus additional meetings, assistance writing vows, a set of vow books, a name change kit, and even MC services. Whatever you are comfortable offering, remembering that you will occasionally sell this package so be prepared to do so and do it well, as these clients will be paying more and will, therefore, expect more.
For venues, maybe this package means offering a dedicated coordinator, an upgrade to spirits or a cake included in the cost. The most important part about this package is that it doesn’t seem too overpriced. It should be still about providing value to your customer, just remember that this package is for a different type of customer. The last thing you want is to present some package that is ridiculously overpriced and scare away the customer. You want to offer this package up first, then scale down to the next so that comparatively, the middle package seems like the most sense to them. Hence the name contrast pricing!
As you can see, the contrast pricing structure is an extremely popular method of pricing products and services, and its popularity is because it works so well. You just need to work on rounding out your three options. You could potentially have more options, but test it out, it’s likely to not work quite as well as three.