Episode 38: How to Use Pricing Options In Your Design Proposals

You know how we JUST talked about design proposals in Episode 36? Well, we’ve both had our eyes opened to a new way to present a proposal to a client that eliminates uncertainty, gives the client ‘apples to apples’ to compare, AND empowers them to choose the best design package for their needs and budget. Listen in for some stellar tips for using pricing options in your design proposals – and close a hella lot more sales!

Episode 38 Show Notes

Key Takeaways:

  • [2:21] Pricing options is a fairly common business model for a lot of industries wherein you offer set packages that they offer
  • [3:45] We use the “good, better, best” model already in our business, like with budgeting and sourcing – this model be applied with services as well
  • [5:11] The idea is that you present your services in a column format, reading left to right and listing down all the costs and inclusions for each option
    • The left column is your high-ticket item, such as your full service, all-in package
    • The middle column  is the ideal offer or what you really want them to pick
    • The right column is the more affordable, DIY option
  • [5:40] You need to have some wording for each service so people understand that it’s a “good, better, best” model to show that one is better but more expensive, than the other
  • [6:17] If you don’t give your clients something to compare your prices to, they will price shop by talking to other designers and they will come back with numbers all over the place that don’t make much sense.
  • [6:46] By using pricing options, you can satisfy clients need to compare by having them compare it against your own prices
  • [8:48] Having three options for your clients to choose from is going to empower and help them make the best choice that they’re comfortable with
  • [9:46] With this model, it really has to outline the benefits and not just the features and process. What are clients going to get out of each of the three options? Why would they choose and pay more over your other service?
  • [10:56] Kate’s approach is to take her existing design process and break that down into “good, better, best”
  • [11:20] There is an emphasis on presenting the high-ticket item first as opposed to low to high. For the sake of the flow, we will go backwards, but when you present it, make sure it goes from high to low
  • [12:00] The “good” level is the DIY option. This is everything included in concept design: a schematic floor plan, color palettes, moodboard, estimated budget, etc. Mainly big picture ideas with a ton of value but nothing too specific 
  • [13:58] If they choose to move beyond concept design, make sure there is a natural continuation on building upon that. You should incentivize clients to make the choice in advance because it will take time and you can’t guarantee your availability
  • [14:50] Design development would be the second-tier “better” service. This is everything in concept design plus detailing the schematic floor plans. We will source all of the furnishings, order samples, and put together a solid budget. You will get a full design presentation, specifications, and drawings
  • [15:36] This is what clients need and look for. If this is as far as they choose to go, they’re responsible for purchasing and project management. If they need your help and assistance, they will be charged an hourly fee
  • [16:25] The “best” option would be full service. This includes: implementation, project management, liaising with contractors, ordering and tracking, delivering, installation, and styling
  • [18:37] It’s basically like taking full-service design and letting clients pick how much of that service they want
  • [19:00] Full service can be hard to sell, especially upfront when you have yet to cultivate a relationship with potential clients. With the pricing options model, your full service won’t look so expensive because it’s framed in such a way that they can compare with other services 
  • [20:50] Letting clients choose when they have the right knowledge and expectations will make them feel empowered 
  • [22:05] It’s your choice whether to advertise this on your website or not, but always remember to make sure the clients you work with will be a good fit by having the phone consultation and in-person consultation first
  • [24:03] No two business are exactly alike so you should always be trying different things to see what works for you
  • [25:07] There should only be one call to action on your website – “schedule a call with me.” Otherwise, clients will get confused on what to do first 
  • [26:44] You can outline your three tiers and what is included with them that is applicable to every project. However, you can change the rates in the customized proposals you send to your clients

Resources Shared

Hey Designer! Grab Your FREE Mini Business Toolkit to run your business like a rockstar.


Get Your FREE Mini Business Toolkit

Inside you'll find an Install Day Box Checklist; a handy reference guide with Typical Design Project Hours; our favorite design and business tools we use, and more. Grab it right here.