Before we go into the full process and show you how to get pricing from competitors, here’s the current situation you’re probably in:
- You’re starting out as a company and want to set your pricing right.
- You have a few clients but you want to scale up and grow faster.
- Your current pricing is just not working anymore.
One of the prerequisites to scaling is having a standardized fee system or in other words a productized service.
So, how do you build out the basic pricing within this fee system? One way is to set it on your own, based on how much you think your service/product is worth.
The other one, is to see how the competition is doing it and copy it for yourself.
- There are plenty of ways to find your competitors.
- Great competitors don’t give out prices easily.
- First Things First: What Doesn’t Work
- Second Things Second: What Works
- Case Study: How I Found The Sales Process & Prices of Top Clutch rated PPC agencies and helped our client build his own.
- Why Go Through All This Trouble?
There are plenty of ways to find your competitors.
will help you find 1000+ of them in all sorts of industries.
Are you an agency offering services that fall into sales and marketing?
Are you a SaaS offering a specific product?
Bottom line is, It’s easy to find competitors. The problem?
Great competitors don’t give out prices easily.
Firstly because they don’t work with everyone – which means you’ll have to go through a few qualificational steps in order to get a price.
Secondly, they’re used to getting pitched by competitors and know how to weed them out.
- How do they weed out?
- They do a background check on you.
- Send you inflated prices immediately so that you’d say no.
It’s true that a-lot competitors post their prices online. It’s because they want to producticize their offer and sell it to as many people as possible.
If this is you, then feel free to copy their price.
But if you want to get the best prices, and find out how great competitors use their qualificational steps to weed out price fishermen, stick around.
Now I’ll show you how to get pricing from competitors.
First Things First: What Doesn’t Work
Usually when you try to extract pricing from a competitor, you develop a brief for a product/service for which you would need a quote. That’s a great start.
What’s not good is that usually, you stop there.
Few things you do that don’t work:
1 | The email you send out
5 paragraphs of flaky, general instructions, vague deadlines and no specific asks, makes Johny put your email into spam.
2 | You rely on mass emailing
Imagine you get an email:
I’m from a design agency that has a few locations located globally and we are looking to launch a google ads campaign for one of our services.
Kindly asking for your pricing and detailed process as to how our campaign would be executed.
It’s from someone you have no idea who it is, giving you a brief for a project, and asking for pricing.
Would you give him your pricing?
Think about the following before you answer that:
- If that were a real company would you want them to be your client?
- Would you give them your pricing just like that, knowing they sent the same email to 100+ other companies?
- If you are the one sending that email – would you want them to actually respond to this garbage and give you pricing? Why would you want to work with someone that gives out pricing without knowing who you are?
Mass email will get you exactly that – responses from the masses – not from the top tier competitors.
You’ll get pricing and feedback from companies that are scraping the floor and taking what they can get.
Are you a floor scraper and taking what you can get?
3 | You rely on email. You don’t do calls
Big mistake. Talking with your competitor and doing video calls, is the way of showing them you’re real and increases the chances of getting what you want.
4 | Lack of details
The fewer details the less convincing your idea is. When you care enough and spent a lot of time researching, you will include as many details as possible to back your idea up.
Now that we’ve seen what doesn’t work, what the hell does work?
Second Things Second: What Works
You make the product or service you’re price fishing for, look as real as possible in the eyes of the competitor.
How do you do that?
First, ask yourself what is REAL in the eyes of your competitor? It’s more or less the same answer that you would have, to that question too.
The minimal requirements for making it REAL:
- Product/service has a website
- Presentation/pitch deck ready
- Social media presence
- Proper research done – showing you know your audience
- Strategy outline – shows you know how to promote your product and tells your competitor that you’re not dicking around
- Financials – optional but if possible, they show that you know how to spend money
Question: Why go this far?
Good competitors will ALWAYS do a background check to see if what you pitch them makes sense and is real. The above minimal req checklist covers that checklist.
Why not just send out an email and be done with it?
Sure, do that.
Case Study: How I Found The Sales Process & Prices of Top Clutch rated PPC agencies and helped our client build his own.
I used the following pitch to help a client get prices from some of the most highly rated PPC agencies found on Clutch.
What he wanted:
He asked us to find agencies that specialize in PPC for e-commerce products, and get their:
- Google Ads offer
- General Pricing
- Case Studies
- Process for handling leads and clients
- General info like
- Tag Line
- Lead Magnet
- Contact Form
- Sales Process
- Chat Widget
- Response time
- Email response time
Who did we target:
- PPC Agencies that worked within e-commerce
- Size: 50+ employees
- Located in USA and Canada
What did we do:
- Spreadsheet to track the research
- Google folder to keep studies and other documents procured from the competitors
- Email sequence that we would use to pitch these competitors
- Email campaign tracker – used to track the emails and responses from the competitors
Then, we created the product
A line of watches. Why watches? At that time, watches were one of the hot e-commerce products.
Then we did the research
We needed to build out a customer profile and find out what type of a problem that customer had that a watch could solve.
We researched competitors and what kind of watches they were creating, compared their pros and cons, found out bad testimonials/reviews from users who bought their watches, used those bad features, and transformed them as features that our product doesn’t have.
Ultimately, we built out a full scenario, showing how and what our ideal customer did throughout the day and what his/her habits are.
We went really deep into making this product look as real as possible.
What we found out is that a lot of these watches were first launched on Kickstarter so that they would validate the product and get early adopters. Then they went after the global market.
That’s what we included in our approach.
We built mockups of the product and mood board visuals. Headlines, back story, future iterations, 3-6 month launch strategies.
Then we created the pitch presentation and the site.
Finally, we reached out and did:
- An email campaign
- Intro calls with the agencies that responded where we guided them throughout the presentation
- We got in-depth info on all of the 5 points our client asked us to get, from 20+ agencies.
- It was easy for my client to rebuild his own sales process/funnel and pricing packages from scratch and improve some parts that the competitors had which were not working (for example, slow chatbot response time or slow email response time).
We initially created it with Webflow – it’s just a no-brainer decision to use Webflow when creating websites (I’m currently migrating mine to Webflow). Then the client loved the design and idea and bought it from us. The following is an early preview of the store:
Why Go Through All This Trouble?
1 | You test your:
- Design skills.
- Sales skills.
- Strategic thinking skills.
2 | You find out how your biggest and baddest competitors qualify their potential leads.
Why is this important?
The reason why these competitors are great at what they do is that they KNOW exactly who their target audience is.
They know their pain points and know how to solve their pain points. And, they have a process in place that helps these audiences grow.
These competitors don’t work with everyone and that’s why they have a very strict qualification process that weeds out companies that just don’t match their criteria.
This means you can use that exact same process for you.
Now you’re thinking, but they’re probably leaving a lot of revenue on the table by just focusing on one very specific target audience.
Yes, but they are saving themselves the trouble of working with clients that don’t know what they want or have no money to pay for what they want.
3 | You understand how the big players craft their prices and packages.
The problem that starter companies/agencies have (including myself) when creating a package for a specific client, is the fact that there will ALWAYS be something we will miss out on and have to pay it from our own pockets.
It’s how the game works.
It’s how your competitors worked too and have found out all those “somethings” and included them in the pricing packages. Things like:
- Setup fee
- Additional reviews or edits
4 | You never know but they might become a partner of yours.
Sometimes these big agencies get a lot of requests from companies that can’t afford them. But these same companies can afford you and by partnering with your competitor, you’re doing each other a big favor – you get work, they get a commission.
Is it an expensive effort?
I’ve seen clients do this in about a week. It takes us about 8 hours and includes:
- Building the pitch
- Doing the research
- Building the product
What if it doesn’t work?
If this doesn’t work for you, the best part is that you now have a second business idea that you can try out.
This guide is intended to show you how to get pricing from competitors and to show you the right way and the best way to do it.
If you’re still not sure this would work, I suggest you check why it will work.
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