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Old November 20th, 2014, 04:11 AM   #1
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upselling vs downgrading

Not sure if those are the right terms but it has been discussed here before about upselling and as I understand it that would mean offering a basic package at a lower price but offering add-ons or options at a extra price. I have been doing this for the past 2 years and this has worked quite well, the couples always take the basic package, they sign the contract and I tell them they can choose the add-ons later on if they want. I have been able to sell extra hours, the trailer in at least 50% of the weddings and the long version (like the ceremony completely) in every wedding.

I usually notice most couples are going for my cheapest package thinking they have a good deal but when the wedding is almost there see that they need to hire me 2 or 3 hours extra (I have a 9 and 14 hour package) or that they do want their ceremony completely as they didn't expect it to be so emotional so they have to dig a bit deeper in their pockets which was not the plan at the start.

2015 is almost fully booked so I decided to try something else for 2016 as I want to maximise my income for the weekends I have to shoot as my plan was to do less weddings in that year, now often couples choose my cheapest 9 hour package and if I could, I would not accept these and wait for someone that would take the 14 hour package instead but I don't have the luxury to be picky like that.

So now I raised my prices and have one price only which includes full day coverage starting from make up until 30 minutes after the first dance, for some weddings that would mean I have to start at 8 in the morning, for others maybe around 11:00, end time is always around midnight.

Then I was thinking of not adding options but what they can save with something like: "I don't want a trailer: -100euro, I don't want the long version: -100 euro.

So instead of adding paid options give them the chance to save money which sounds more positive.

From experience I know I only would loose the trailer as not all want to have that but by having one package at one price only I should be able to maintain a higher steady income for every wedding I shoot.

Anyone doing it like this as well?
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Old November 20th, 2014, 05:40 PM   #2
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Re: upselling vs downgrading

Hi Noa

The experts say that the customer needs to have a choice as they like to compare ....ideally what you are "supposed" to offer is a really low budget package like a ceremony only, a mid package and a top package... Three is ideal ..any more causes confusion. The secret is to get them to buy mostly your top package so what usually works is offer not much for your bottom package, then make your middle one just a tiny bit cheaper than your top one but it must cover less than the top package. eg: Basic Coverage $1000, then Middle Coverage $1800 and Full Coverage $1999 .... they will always take the top one as it's better value for money!!

I personally wouldn't offer downgrades ..it gets messy ..Just let them pay one price..that's it!! If they don't want to do part of it then simply don't shoot it but keep the price simple. I know Roger only has two prices ..Video or Video/Photo so if you are working that way don't offer reductions ..knowing you your price is already good value!
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Old November 20th, 2014, 06:03 PM   #3
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Re: upselling vs downgrading

The studies show two or three choices both work. If you already have 3 packages, the easiest way to raise your prices is to drop your cheapest option entirely, or replace it with a new, most expensive.

I do something like you, Noa, for my MC/DJ business, and like it. As a popular single operator, I only have so many available dates. Instead of packages, I simply say its $X to hire me, and here is what I offer. I know enough people will contact me that I don't need to book every potential client, even if they only want me for their wedding dance, and not the rest.

For videography, we've got more costs than I do as a DJ. The more time we spend filming the day of, the more edit time we need. If the client wants their video online to share, that means music licensing. Then, I've got the presentation: DVD or USB case that looks good. Of course, if they want to save I don't mind cutting out things that save me directly. A Digital download only would save me $50 a client, with no printing costs. No online video saves me $20-$100. No highlights would save me a lot of time in the edit.
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Old November 20th, 2014, 07:17 PM   #4
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Re: upselling vs downgrading

Hi Rob

You can still have 3 options ... I think you said you are offering a "ceremony only" package so that's your "lowest option" However it's actually (hour to hour) the most expensive because you still have setup costs/travelling. If you as a DJ offer say a 6pm to Midnight gig for $1200 ..that equates to $200 an hour ...If I want to hire you to do my ceremony just for an hour you are not going to charge me only $200 as you still have to get to the venue, set up all your gear so it would be a lot more. There is no issue in offering a ceremony only video as a bottom package for say $600 (let's say 2 hours) but you can also offer the whole day (8 hours) but it wouldn't be $3000 but a little less as you are already there! so maybe around $2000 ... That way your full package is actually better value for money.

Chris
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Old November 20th, 2014, 07:38 PM   #5
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Re: upselling vs downgrading

Ah, I'd forgotten about the 'ceremony only,' though I only offer that on short notice, or if I'm their DJ. True enough on the rest, though.
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Old November 20th, 2014, 08:14 PM   #6
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Re: upselling vs downgrading

With Noa's original question I think really that the bride just sees a price on your site and thinks to herself "Can I afford him or not" .... Let's say you charge $2000 for everything but offer reductions based on stuff the bride may not need or want? She sees the $2000 price tag but was hoping for closer to $1500 so she could quite easily pass you by based on the higher figure without realising that she could quite easily be within her budget after reductions.

I would tend to offer the "essentials" for a package and of course, list them clearly so the bride can say "Yes, this is within my budget" ... It's true she might want a couple of extras but most brides can easily squeeze a few extra bucks here and there. The only extras I offer are " Stay until Midnight" (which I don't want to do anyway as I like finishing at 9:30pm!!) I must admit I seldom, if ever get brides asking for extras anyway so I don't have an issue.

Chris
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Old November 21st, 2014, 05:16 AM   #7
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Re: upselling vs downgrading

Hi Chris,

That's so true about the Bride seeing the advertised price only. If you have a basic package price that is within her range, she will look further. Once she likes what you are offering, she will be far more likely to consider paying for extras, than she would consider selecting a much higher starting price then reducing it.

Reducing a price from a starting point smacks of market trading and haggling, adding on optional extras is seen more as 'I can afford to pay for the best so I'll have the extras', even though the finishing price might be identical. It is perception that is important, even more than the actual cost.

It reminds me of an add for a Sky Tv package last night which says 'Buy the sky film package for 5.99 per month'. Wow! That's a good deal it seems until you read in tiny letters underneath 'Offer price is for the first 6 months, then 20.99 per month, installation and line rental charges may apply'. The point is that with any marketing, it is the first price that you see that attracts you, then when the desire is created you can be drawn in to paying more for something that you want.

Roger
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Old November 21st, 2014, 06:00 AM   #8
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Re: upselling vs downgrading

That Sky Tv comparison is not the same, I have cable tv and there are 2 major providers you can choose from and there I do get the cheapest, why? Because what they offer is exactly the same, the programs I can watch at provider A are the same as for provider B, the only difference you might get is service but from experience I know that is crap for both so there I only care about price.

With weddings thats another thing because you do have videographers that don't rise above "uncle Sam" kind of quality but think they can charge premium for it so there you do have a clear difference in the end product the client gets and eventually pays for.

I actually don't want to work for people anymore that compare prices between videographers only and then pick the cheapest one, when you start to charge above the average people will start to look at what you offer and that's what demo's are for and there you can make a difference.

I have to say that since I changed my offer to one full package only (just recently) at one price with only the trailer and blu-ray as option (as both can be timeconsuming) I have had 2 new inquiries for a wedding. So I might leave it at that for a longer while, with offering just one package (which used to be the most expensive one) and not offering any discounts by leaving out the long version for instance I won't have to do a wedding every weekend in 2016 while still ensuring I get the maximum in profit out of each wedding.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 08:49 AM   #9
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Re: upselling vs downgrading

Hey Noa

If it's working for you then keep moving in that direction! Most brides I deal with have a budget but very few if any take my "budget deal" so I'm happy. As long as your new prices are floating around the market price then you don't have an issue. A photog mate of mine did the same thing and ran 6 weeks with no enquiries ..he reverted to the original prices and the bookings came flooding in.

I think there is a price range among brides that are deemed "acceptable" and if you are doing a wedding for say $2000 and you lift prices to $2750 it's fine as long as the "acceptable range is say $1500 - $3000

Go up to $3100 and brides don't want to know you in that market bracket ... of course there is always the high end brackets too and again as long as you are inside the parameters you will get orders. For all you know your old price might have been at the bottom end of the range so lifting your prices works very well.

Glad to know the enquiries are coming in!!

Chris
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Old November 30th, 2014, 03:48 AM   #10
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Re: upselling vs downgrading

I just bought Ray Romans 3 day workshop as there is currently a temporary price reduction and for the money it's very cheap to get some inside information from one of the heavyweights in the industry.

There is a few hours of presentation to watch but I watched one of the last one yesterday where he discusses the advantages of upselling, I was shocked to see how much he is able to charge for his weddings, not saying he doesn't deserve it but those where mindboggling numbers.

He also explained how he actually starts with a basic package for almost 10K which only includes the film and a dvd or usb and never even mention it to a bride that there are extra's, until they get the quote to sign where he adds a very long list of way overpriced extra's, I"m not saying they are overpriced, he actually says that in his workshop :) so he can use that as an advantage to give discounts or even trow in a freebee, mind you some simple extras where over 2K so he has a lot of playroom to give the client the feeling they are actually saving money.

When he tells that at his workshop, only people from that same industry are there to take advantage from his advice but now that his workshops can easily be purchased online by anyone for a cheap price that information suddenly becomes much more public, I mean even brides could purchase it online if they want. I think Ray is a great guy sharing all his secrets but I wonder if he ever thought about the consequences of giving potential clients a inside look how he actually is ripping them off while giving them a feeling they are saving. :D

But I have to say it was a interesting look how he deals with that, basically he says that whatever you charge now, including all your extras should become your base price for a basic package without extras and that you then should add all extra's onto that at a very premium price, only not online but once the couple is ready to sign so they call you back surprised and you can explain they do get a cinematic film but they do have the choice to get extra stuff and then you can discuss discounts.

Personally I find this a bit tricky, Ray works with couples that have astronomical budgets, 1,2K to give the the raw footage on a harddrive, which is essentially just a drop and drag action on a 40 dollar harddrive and which is one of his options is possibly the budget for his clients on a normal shopping day but that doesn't work where I live. Here they would feel being ripped off if I would tell them about a washing list of overpriced extra's when they are ready to sign, at least I would be, I think it's a cultural thing where Ray's practise would have a adverse effect.
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Old November 30th, 2014, 04:08 AM   #11
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Re: upselling vs downgrading

The thing to remember with Ray is that he does have the connections with photographers and planners that find these brides. So most people charging half of what he's charging will not work without the right connections to the right clients. The inside secret to ray is not just his work but his connections.

We too follow the "have a base price and let them upgrade later" approach. They often have no money really when it comes to the video, they have just purchased the tog and bought his super duper package. The dress and other bits so now your down the list and have the bottom of the barrel budget. But... They often came to us a few weeks closer asking if we were available now and of course we weren't. So by having the entry package it meant we could lock them in and let them upgrade when they had the money.

How many times has someone tried to sell you a camera or something else and at the time it wasn't right. But a few months later you are in a position to buy. The same applies for brides and their video.
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Old November 30th, 2014, 04:20 AM   #12
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Re: upselling vs downgrading

The only thing I don't want is for them to get the entry package and don't upgrade anymore, since I work only 1 day in a week I would like to maximise what I make in one day. Ray said to keep your max price but take out all options and charge the separately but then I am crossing a line where I could get a lot less bookings because I"m getting too expensive.
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Old November 30th, 2014, 04:49 AM   #13
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Re: upselling vs downgrading

Its all down to your market and what they can afford. If your in ireland where the economy is pretty bad at the moment and you only target the local market then you will be in bad shape. But with Ray doing a lot of destination weddings he targets people all over the world. And you can guarantee he doesn't just say on his website that he does destination weddings, he will be actively finding clients all over the world who can afford him.

We get nothing in our home town but mainly work in London which is just 50 minutes away for us. Because the money just isn't in our home town.

Its also down to how you market your new downgrade. For the love of god don't tell them they can downgrade, no bride wants to do that. Tell them they can 'customize' their package or 'Tailor' it to their needs :)
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Old November 30th, 2014, 05:50 AM   #14
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Re: upselling vs downgrading

I've said this before and I will say it again, Ray Roman is successful because he is Ray Roman. His secret is not great video and lavish setups, it is about him marketing himself. Noa, you bought his workshop dvd because he is successful, but he is also successful because you and others continue to buy his products and attend his workshops and seminars, expanding his fame.

People spending unlimited budgets on a wedding, will want the best people, not because they are necessarily technically the best, but because they are recognized as celebrities within the industry. Noa, if you want to command Ray's prices then you need to sell Noa Put as a name and personality in the wedding video industry. If I had the money and wanted to book an entertainer at a function, I may well book Beyonce. There are thousands of unknown singers as good as her, but they are not Beyonce and people will beat the doors down to see her and talk about it afterwards. So if people want to book Ray Roman to video their wedding, they will pay all the ripoff extra prices because they want Ray Roman, the cost of the thing is secondary.

Unfortunately celebrity is everything in the modern world, and ability will always command less money. If you want to command more income from your work, do what ever is necessary to get your name in the wedding magazines, on the tv, on the radio, whatever is possible to push your own name. Every time Ray Roman has his name mentioned here, it pushes the profile and the celebrity that little bit further, perpetuating the image of someone at the top of their game.

Roger
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Old November 30th, 2014, 06:35 AM   #15
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Re: upselling vs downgrading

I certainly have no ambition in becoming a second Roman, I"m only debating whether I should start with a basic package and add paid options or have a full option package only with no way to take out any options or a full package and give the client the possibility to take the options out. Currently I have a full option package on my website with only the trailer as a paid option with no possibility to take anything out.
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