What do Fee-Setting and Ice Cream Parlors have in Common?

Business success relies on being creative and flexible.  Even comparing coaching and consulting fees to an ice cream parlor can increase your income if you know what to look for.  Business and marketing tips come in all flavors so pull up a stool and let me show you what fee-setting and ice cream parlors have in common.

Ever walk into an ice cream parlor and want a single scoop of your favorite flavor?  Imagine you walk in and all they have to offer are triple scoops?  They even have your favorite flavor, but the only way that you can have it is to buy a triple scoop.

Maybe it’s hot outside and you want to walk around without having ice cream pouring down your arm and onto the sidewalk.  Or maybe you’re in a hurry and you only have time for a single scoop.  You might be saving room for something else to eat a little later.

We could go on for quite awhile as to all of the reasons you may prefer a single scoop of ice cream over a triple or even a double scoop.

This seems so elementary that we probably couldn’t even IMAGINE an ice cream parlor that would be short sighted enough to offer only triple scoops to their patrons.

But let me ask you another question.  Are you doing the same thing to YOUR market?  Are you offering nothing but triple scoops when, clearly, many prospects would just like a single scoop?

People want a chance to get to know, like and trust you.  Some just won’t be prepared to jump in and snatch up a triple scoop.  Perhaps their schedule doesn’t permit it.  Or they want to enter your program gradually.  There’s a host of reasons that you should create multiple offers for your market.

So what do you do with these people?  They might turn out to be your ideal clients, but if you don’t have anything else to offer them then you’ll never know.

Whether you are a coach, consultant, holistic service professional or any other fee-based solo-preneur, you can always create multiple offers for your prospects and clients.

Here are a few ideas ranging from free to full-fee:

* Newsletter and ezines
* Tele-classes
* Tele-seminars
* Information products
* Published books
* Group coaching programs
* Packaging your services into 2-3 tiers

For coaches, one of the quickest tweaks that you can make is creating what I call a split fee.

The typical coaching model may look like:
4 calls at $400 per month

But how about this:
4 calls at $550 per month
2 calls at $300 per month

You just increased your hourly income with both offers and created a new option for your clients that’s less of an investment of time and money.

Frankly, you may find that most clients opt for the higher of the two, but having options means that they feel in control of the experience.  

Remember, not everyone who walks into your ice cream parlor is looking for a triple scoop ;-)

Be sure to leave a comment below if you liked this article!


P.S.  One of the best “get to know me” offers you can create is a simple but powerful information product.  One where you share an in-depth strategy on how your ideal client can achieve ONE goal.  The great thing about having information products is that you can share your wisdom with tens, hundreds or even thousands of people at once rather than relying exclusively on the “one-on-one” business model.  

If you’d like to learn more about creating your own information products I will be hosting a FREE, content-rich webinar in a few days.  You can learn more about it here:

Info Product Profits Webinar


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Leave a Reply 16 comments

Kristen Beireis - April 4, 2011 Reply

Such a simple yet effective idea on how to increase the amount of offers you have while also increasing your income. Tom, I’m so grateful you put these ideas out into the world. I can point coaches over and say…see…it’s easy (not just simple…actually easy!).

Kristen Beireis, Trust Marketing Expert

    Tom - April 4, 2011 Reply

    Hey Kristen

    I haven’t “seen” you in awhile. Great to hear from you!
    Thanks for the feedback. I was certainly shooting for simple and easy, but you never know the way my head goes…lol.

    Have a fantastic week!

Heidi Garis - April 4, 2011 Reply

More great tips! I like the ice cream parlor analogy and it’s so true! Thanks so much– You’ve been extremely instrumental in me feeling empowered to raise my rates where they should be!

Heidi Garis
Tap Into Abundance Now Success Coaching

    Tom - April 4, 2011 Reply

    Thanks, Heidi. Glad you enjoyed the Ice Cream Parlor article. That was a fun one to write.

    Keep reading 😉

Alan Allard - April 4, 2011 Reply

Very smart advice Tom and I love the metaphor of the ice cream shop, it’s perfect.

Sally - April 5, 2011 Reply

WOW — such a simple analogy! Thanks a bunch, Tom, for sharing this cleverly thought out concept!

Anna - April 5, 2011 Reply

Love the analogy!

Wilma J. Brown - April 10, 2011 Reply

Simple yet so true. Thank you for sharing that tip and I will be paying closing attention to future tips.

    Tom - November 24, 2011 Reply

    Hey Wilma.

    Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve been doing great. Always nice to “see” you here.

Jim - November 17, 2011 Reply

Briliant! Great perspective for those of us who may be thinking linerally vs. holistically. Thanks Tom!

    Tom - November 24, 2011 Reply

    Thanks, Jim!

Ed - November 17, 2011 Reply

Do ‘upsells’ and ‘downsells’ after your initial info product offering allow clients in this niche enough of a choice? Doesn’t the 100% money back guarantee…such as you offer with your ‘Charge what you deserve’ program, accomplish this. Thanks for the great info.

    Tom - November 24, 2011 Reply

    Hi Ed,
    I love having the money back guarantee on ALL of my offers, but I don’t think that’s quite enough. With the myriad of potential clients there is not ONE way to satisfy your market. That being said, I firmly believe in delivering products and programs in the fashion that YOU like, otherwise we will be burned out delivering our goods. You can enjoy what you do and help more people when you find that great balance by finding out what you want to deliver and what your clients want to invest in.

Andrea Freeman - November 24, 2011 Reply

Well. Yes. Though… if you’ve deliberately positioned yourself as the triple-header ice creamery – why would you want to encourage casual single-header patrons? There might be more to this story, perhaps?

    Tom - November 24, 2011 Reply

    You make a great point, Andrea. But many clients will want a “single scoop” before going all in. This might simply be an information product, short paid consultation that will enroll them in the higher end program, etc. If we are ONLY focusing on those who invest at the highest level out of the gate, we are leaving behind an enormous group of folks who may be your best and highest paying clients…and in the process leaving a LOT of money on the table. I’d love your feedback and thanks again for the great comment.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Amy Laidlaw - March 2, 2017 Reply

I loved this annalogy!

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