When a client needs multiple deliverables, it usually makes sense to bundle those services.
But there’s a right and wrong way to bundle.
What you DON’T want to do is itemize and assign a price to every item in your bundle. That puts the emphasis on price, which distracts from more important factors, such as the client’s objectives, the outcome, and the experience of working with you.
Also, when you put a price to each item in your bundle, the client will inevitably question the price of some of the deliverables. They’ll remove items or alter the project scope to maximize their value. As a result, you’ll end up with an unprofitable project—and an unpleasant experience.
Instead, you should spend time with the client to better understand their objectives, expectations and wants. After that, you can put together a package for what they need and assign a fixed fee for the scope of work.
You itemize what’s included. But you don’t indicate how much each item is worth.
You can also offer two or three bundled packages to give them some options. But still, you price each package as a lump sum and don’t break them down into individually priced deliverables.
A Bundling Example From the Travel Industry
Seeing how bundling is applied in industries outside our own can help us better understand its advantages. So, let’s look at the travel industry.
Last year, I wanted to take my eldest son on a long-planned trip to Alaska. The lodge I wanted to book included accommodations, meals, and excursions. They gave me a long list of activities and excursions to choose from and asked what I wanted to include from that list.
After a few calls and emails, we had a plan in place, including the number of nights we needed.
Next, the lodge provided me a quote with two options:
Option A had everything I asked for, including breakfast and lunch.
Option B included everything in Option A, PLUS transportation every day AND all meals. It was their all-inclusive option.
Having the choices presented to me in this way really simplified things. It boiled down my choice to basic versus all-inclusive. It reduced the probability that I would say “no” to everything and walk away. It kept my focus on creating the best experience rather than cherry-picking based on price.
If the lodge had itemized everything with prices, I KNOW I would have picked the whole thing apart, removing excursions and other options that looked too expensive.
Does that mean I didn’t question the pricing? No, but it did eliminate most of my objections. This better positioned the lodge to deal with the one concern I did have: I was over budget by about $1,000.
Once I told them, they went to work to see what they could do. And guess what? They concede on price and shaved $1,000 off the package!
Bundling Keeps the Focus Where It Belongs
Pricing some of your bigger and more complex projects this way doesn’t mean you won’t get pushback from your clients. However, it will help you keep the focus where it matters: outcomes, results, and the overall experience of working with you. It will also make it easier for you to conceded on a line item without slashing your profit.
For example, let’s say your client wants to cut a line item that you’ve valueda at $2,000 internally. Rather than reducing the price by $2,000, you could reduce it by $1,500. They won’t know that you’re not giving away the full amount for that line item because you never revealed your line-item pricing to them.
If you’re not currently bundling your more complex, multi-deliverable projects, it’s time to start. It’s a great way to grow your income—and have more fun while doing it.
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