Finding the right tariff
Being a good trainer does not necessarily mean being a whiz at economics. Setting the price of your training can prove to be a real headache. It will depend on the type of training (individual, inter-company or intra-company), the subject (is it a traditional course or are you the reference on the subject?) and the duration (a single day of training is not billed the same way as regular training or a 10-day course).
Once you have established your tariffs, they are not necessarily set in stone. The environment in which we work is changing all the time.
Should you slash the price of your training?
It may be tempting when you are first starting out, for example, to ‘undercut’ market prices in order to ensure you have plenty of business. This is a risky strategy as it devalues the quality of your service and will not secure you adequate remuneration. Low-cost services mean less time to prepare and manage them. This can also result in lower client satisfaction and a smaller client portfolio. If, as a trainer, you react to a business slowdown by lowering your prices further still, you will enter into a downward spiral.
A better idea is to find new training formats (a combination of in-person classes and e-learning, for example) to lower costs and ensure everyone has access to training.
You don’t need to be an expert in digital technology or come up with particularly complex methods in order to achieve this. It is possible, for example, to accompany your classroom presentation with videos and interactive quizzes that trainees can access and complete at home.
This way, you can optimize the time spent face-to-face with the trainees for sharing experiences, interaction and group work, while using the time spent ‘remotely’ to push information (videos, excerpts from reports, etc.), have trainees carry out online research and validate their knowledge (quiz).
If another classroom session is planned, this can be used for debriefing and answering trainees’ questions. It the idea is to provide complementary modules to complete the course, you should set up a forum, chat or live online session to answer trainees’ questions.
This is also beneficial for the trainer, from a workload point of view; while you still have to properly prepare distance-learning sessions, they are carried out without the presence of the trainer and can be reused.
What about special offers?
Not underpricing your training does not mean being intransigent with regard to prices, particularly when it is in the interests of both the trainer and the trainee.
A good example is spreading out your business over the year. Training is seasonal: we see peaks in demand at the end of the year (when the company realizes it has budget left over or that training was included in an employee’s personal development plan) and in early summer (a manager proposes training during the mid-year appraisal interview and HR schedules it in just before the holidays). Offering a lower tariff to those who agree to take their training in an off-peak period because they have fewer constraints in terms of their timetable is a good way of freeing up space for others and ensuring a full training schedule.
Another good reason for proposing special offers may be to fill up an inter-company course: you may have a course with capacity for 8 people but only 5 people have signed up. Proposing a last-minute special offer may enable you to register more people and fill the class. These last-minute registrations will generally be a bonus from a financial point of view (with the exception of individual preparation and follow-up time, potential extra materials and rental of a larger room). All the trainees will therefore benefit from a good group dynamic, the last-minute participants can take part in training that appeals to them but for which they did not necessarily have enough budget and you increase your profits. You can post these last-minute offers on social media, send them to your prospects or publish them on training platforms. Bear in mind that the aim is to fill up an incomplete session, not to increase your course capacity. Your courses are designed for a maximum number of trainees; exceed this number and you risk jeopardizing the quality of your offer.
What about client loyalty?
Many offers include a special price for several courses forming a coherent programme. In this case, the idea is to offer the client more comprehensive training. Some play safe and lower their tariffs if both courses are booked at the same time. Others, perhaps more sure of themselves, let trainees take the first initiation or introductory course and then, if they want more, offer them a special price for the second course. This strategy is beneficial both for the trainer (it is easier to secure the loyalty of an existing client than to find a new client) and for the client, who can deepen their knowledge with a trainer they have already tried and tested.
To recap, the right price is the one that pays you properly for your work and enables the trainee to access the training they need. Modular training methods make it possible to adapt your tariff. Special offers according to the course take-up rate or trainee loyalty are another good way of adapting to the market.
What about you, how do you manage your training tariffs?
Consultante formatrice en marketing et communication interculturelle, forte d’une expérience de plus de 10 ans en relation avec de nombreux pays, que ce soit en Asie, Amérique du Sud, Etats Unis ou Europe.