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Home » A Story About Soft Drinks, the Movies and Packaging Your Service

A Story About Soft Drinks, the Movies and Packaging Your Service

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As the story goes, there was a time when movie theatres only sold small and large drinks.

  • 20% of people bought large
  • 80% bought small.

Then, some brilliant person added another size to the mix and sold small, medium and large. The interesting thing is: the regular size was actually the large that they had been selling all along and the large was even bigger. The result: they flipped their sales and profits upside down.

  • 20% of people bought large
  • 60% bought medium
  • only 20% bought small.

This information was pulled from Bill Bishops book “How to Sell a Lobster”. Here’s a review.

Bill’s point:

If you only have one choice, then it is yes or no. Nothing else to think about so you always focus on price. With two choices, you usually take the small because, (a) save money, (b) play it safe. With three choices, you start at the large because it is dazzling, beautiful and huge, but perhaps too expensive. Then you consider the small, but it is not sooo great next to the large – it appears cheap and unappealing. So, the middle is juuuust right (and a safe bet).

Bill also says that 3 choices is the perfect number. It presents a middle, safe choice. Four or more gets confusing and confusing can lose a sale.

Why Package Your Service?

Soft drinks are a product. Can the 3 choices system really apply when selling a service? Yes it can. You just need to be a little more creative about what the choices are by offering packages of service. Sometimes, it’s just about packaging your hours. But there are also ways to offer more and unique value as well.

Here are the advantages:

  • It takes the focus off price. As Bill says, people are making a decision about service and price, not just price.
  • It can increase income. When you sell a package rather than just one service, you are selling more and increasing your income.
  • You can make more per hour. People are focused on receiving the service they bought. If you do it in less time than expected, you are increasing your hourly rate.
  • It can make your income more predictable. If your package is set up so that you are paid monthly, you know how much money, at minimum, you’ll make in a month. If the package is paid up front, you’ll need pace your use of that income over the period of the package.

The 3 Boxes Way to Sell Your Service

I had the good fortune of attending a workshop series put on by Bill. (I traded my writing services for a chance to attend.) The most important thing I picked up from it was the 3 boxes of packaging a service.

So, what does that mean? How do you package a service. Here are three examples:

Please note: I’m making these packages up – prices and all. You will need to come up with your own packages with knowledge of your services and customers. Read all the examples as they may give you more ideas of what to put in your packages. You need to play with packages and pricing to see what is right for you and your services.

Gardening Service

  • Sell one lawn cutting and hedge trimming – 4 hours. (100% of your price.)
  • Basic lawn and hedge care package – bi-weekly garden care: lawn cutting and hedge trimming. 3 month minimum. (90% of your price x 4 hours x 6 services)
  • Lawn beautiful package – weekly garden care: lawn cutting and hedge trimming. Bonus: aerating and seeding in early autumn. 3 month minimum. (75% of your price x 4 hours x 12 services)
  • Home beautiful package – weekly garden care: lawn cutting, hedge trimming, weeding of flower beds. Bonus: aerating and seeding in early autumn. Full season, May to October. (70% of your price x 4 hours x 24 garden cares.)

Charge up front for all costs or, if the price is over $1,000, offer to charge 3 months at a time.

Hair Braiding Service

  • Sell one braiding service – 100% of your price.
  • Package of 3: 10% discount (90% of your price x 3 braidings)
  • Package of 6: 25% discount (75% of your price x 6 braidings)
  • Package of 12: 30% discount (70% of your price x 12 braidings)

You could indicate that two people could share a package. I would put that limit at 2 to make it easier to keep track of what is outstanding in a package.

Allowing two people to share a package makes it easier to sell a package and doubles the number of clients you are working with which increases revenue security.

Translation Services

  • Standard rate: $X / word.
  • Retainer Package 1 – Up to 5,000 / month. (90% of $X x 5,000 words)
  • Retainer Package 2 – Up to 10,000 words/month. (75% x $X x $10,000words) Unused words roll over for one month.
  • Retainer Package 3 – Up to 25,000 words/month. (68% x $X x 25,000 words) Unused words can roll over for 3 months)

How to Sell Packages

You may or may not be able to sell packages to a new client. It will depend on how interested they are. You can mention that there are discounted packages but don’t go into detail unless they are really interested.

To make a package sell well, the offering must be clearly stated. Contact any member of the Northstar Startups team for assistance.

Your first sale may be a one-off. Do a great job and, hopefully, your clients will buy packages.