Selling Careplans should be simple and standard.
Website care plans are a really effective and simple way to get recurring revenue for your freelance or design business, but selling customers on them can seem hard. For some of us it can almost seem impossible to actually land one of these as a sale.
It might sound like an exaggeration but I went from a 0% success rate on closing care plans to a 100% success rate basically overnight.
- How did I do it?
- What do I include?
- How do I price it?
- How do I position it?/
How did I do it?
All I did was I simply stopped presenting this as optional, I didn’t hard sell this or force it (using words like mandatory) I just put it as a standard part of my process and pricing. I gave little focus to it, just mentioned it like any other part of what I do.
When do I bring this up?
I bring this up early, essentially the first time I go over my process (normally in the first call). Then it’s more formalised in the proposal, then in the contract, it covers what happens when the project terminates (what stuff they take over)
What this does is “normalise” it - and honestly, this is the ultimate tip for any new service/process/price point you want to add. If you present something as standard the prospect makes the assumption that everyone gone before them has done and paid for the same thing. If they have looked at your work, like the result and want that for themselves - they will do what others have.
For a long time I would wonder how others were selling things that I could not - then one day I looked at myself, at the things that I could sell that others might not.
Things like discovery, like a custom design phase, like style guides and I realised they are just my standard way of working - if someone doesn’t want a custom design or a discovery, I know I can’t work with them.
Since then I made my Careplans standard I have NOT has 1 single person object. Have I lost projects because of this? Maybe, but I don’t land all leads and that’s ok. It could be for any number of reasons.
Ultimately, I only want to work with those who value their website enough to maintain it.
What does it include?
The core thing being included here is maintenance, this means keeping the plug-ins and WordPress up to date. It means keeping regular backups of the site and I also bundle all premium plugin licenses in with this as one single price. Including the premium plugin licences can be a great incentive because of the price difference between the “developer” licences and the single-use licences.
As we all know some plugin licences allow you to use the plugin on unlimited sites, so your cost per new client does not increase, but the cost for a client to have their own licences would be much much higher (and we’ve not even considered lifetime deals yet)Now with everything we offer, this means that the opposite is true, so no Careplan and they pay for and manage their own plugin licences. They also have to do all their own maintenance.
Now I do not offer any additional hours for work, purely the maintenance. I still do ad-hock work for these clients and some are on additional retainers for the additional hours. You can always add hours to your plans but I recommend having a base plan that is purely the core services.
How did I price it?
I’d done some of my own website maintenance and had an idea of how little time this took. I then simply looked at what I felt I was able to sell this for.
I started lower and have built up the costs. My first Careplan was $39per month, but my prices have continued to increase and the base is now $150per month
Typically you can see Careplans ranging from $49 per month up to around $250 per month. Of course, there are examples of those charging less and much more, but these are the more standard ranges you see agencies offer.
How do I position it?
We’ve already talked about the importance of normalising the Careplans, but how we can describe a Careplan is part maintenance and part insurance.
It’s easy to liken Careplan maintenance to car maintenance. To keep a car running at its best and to increase its life, you need to keep it maintained. The more you value your car (or website) the more you will value it being maintained.
The other part of the equation can be likened to insurance. Without a Careplan the client is taking a risk, with a Careplan you take on some of this risk that the website will be up to date and running as intended (with some restrictions).
The best way to reduce your risk is to keep backups that can be rolled back. When you break it down like this, what you are selling is peace of mind. No client wants to be worrying about their website.
Once you start selling careplans, you’ll of course need to start doing the maintenance and this is where tool like ManageWP will save you a load of time and streamline your whole sales process.
So, are you ready to make Careplans a standard part of your website sales?