Anchoring Bias [How To Easily Charge More For Your Services]

anchoring bias

Do you struggle with pricing your services? You might be making the mistake many businesses fall into. This is asking clients to pay a low price, which sets the expectation that your services aren’t worth much. 

What is anchoring bias? It’s a psychological phenomenon that makes people’s opinions depend on an initial reference point (like the price). This happens in many industries and environments. From sales to hiring employees. 

It affects how people understand and evaluate information.

The danger is that if the initial price is too low, you have “anchored” the idea into the prospect’s mind that the service is of lesser value.

A good way to combat this is to start anchoring with higher amounts when communicating the value of your services.

How can you maximize your prices without alienating potential customers?

This article will give you a quick anchoring bias tutorial. We’ll share tips on using it to your advantage so you can charge more for your services.

What is Anchoring Bias?

“Anchoring” is a cognitive bias that happens when people place too much weight on the very first piece of information they are exposed to.

People tend to overestimate or underestimate how important the anchor is, which can lead to wrong assessments and decisions. 

Anchoring bias can be seen in many different contexts, from financial decisions to medical diagnoses. 

For example, when a person is presented with a list of prices for a product, they may use the highest price as an anchor and assume that all other prices are lower than it. This can lead to them making decisions based on inaccurate information.

Understanding Anchoring Bias in Pricing

Businesses set prices ending in 9 or 99 to exploit price anchoring bias. A product with a price of $599 seems less expensive than one with a price of $600 because our brains round the numbers to the nearest dollar. 

Similar examples of anchoring bias include discounts and special offers. Frequently, retailers add discounts but keep the original prices. That makes the shopper focus on the “50% off” sticker rather than the price tag.

In the investment industry, this makes market participants hold investments that have lost value because they base their estimate of fair value on the original price. 

This effect is often paired with a heuristic called “adjusting.” This is done when the anchor changes as conditions change and prices are re-evaluated. If the anchor is far from the true or fair value, this can cause people to buy assets for more than they are worth or sell products for less than they are worth.

How to Ethically Use Anchoring Bias Inside Your Business

Price anchoring can be especially problematic for businesses. It leads people to make poor decisions and costly mistakes. There are methods to leverage anchoring bias in your business to your advantage while also being ethical.

The following are some quick pointers from our anchoring bias tutorial:

  • Set Goals: Create a goal for your organization or team that is slightly above what you believe to be attainable. You’re using anchoring bias to motivate yourself and your team to achieve the goal.
  • In Negotiations: Anchoring bias may also be used in negotiations with customers or suppliers. You can get the best deal if you start with a price that is a little higher than what you are willing to pay or offer.
  • Pricing Strategies: Customers will be more inclined to acquire your product or service if you set higher initial pricing and then offer discounts or promotions.
  • In Advertising: Customers are more likely to acquire your product or service if you establish a higher starting price and then give discounts or special offers. This can enhance your sales.
  • Create Urgency: Anchoring bias can also be utilized to build urgency in your organization. Customers will be more likely to buy your products or services quickly if you start with a higher price and then offer sales or discounts.

Avoiding Extremes: Price Anchoring Bias

When it comes to making decisions, it’s important to stay away from extremes. When choosing something, like a cup of coffee, most people choose the mid-priced option. 

Price anchoring can be a good way to get customers to buy the desired tier in this situation. By putting higher and lower tiers around the best choice, customers can be led to the target tier.

Implementing Price Anchoring

One of the best ways to use price anchoring is to set up a tiered pricing strategy with different prices for different versions of the same product/service. 

It’s important not to fall into competitors’ prices because that could hurt your profits and lead to customer dissatisfaction.

Price anchoring has benefits like making it easier for customers to decide to buy and making them think the product or service is worth more. 

To use price anchoring, have a product with multiple prices that are easy to compare. When a company lists its product tiers from most expensive to least expensive, the middle tier looks like the best deal. 

This is usually their ideal price point for that product.

Anchor Pricing in B2B

Anchor pricing is an important concept in B2B (business-to-business) transactions. It involves setting the initial price of a product or service and then adjusting it. This could be based on market conditions, customer needs, and other factors. 

Anchoring prices can give businesses an edge over their competitors by allowing them to change their prices quickly and accurately in response to changes in the market.

An example of effectively using price anchoring bias would be in client negotiations. Give the client the option of working with you or your competitor. Highlight what they gain from working with you versus the other party, and only then discuss the prices you both have to offer.

Example: Lead Generation in Real Estate Company

Let’s say that you run a lead generation company for real estate agents. Once you confirm during the sales process that the real estate agent wants more leads for their business, consider how they’re pricing their services.

Explain to the real estate agent what the cost would be if they weren’t to hire you. Give an example of ads: to run ads online, they’d have to hire a media buyer full-time. This could cost up to $4,000/month. 

Then they need something to drive the traffic from these ads. They’re going to have to hire a website designer/developer to create an optimized landing page where they can capture the leads’ information. This could cost up to $3,000. 

When dealing with online data, having a lead is not the same thing as having a qualified lead or a qualified appointment. 

The real estate agent may also need to hire an inner service agent team to call and qualify every single lead.

The team can only pass off pre-qualified appointments to the agent, which might cost another $4,000/month. 

You explain to the real estate agent that if they did this on their own, it’d cost them about $11,000 in their first month with no guarantee of success. 

This is when you leverage your price of $1,500 a month to get guaranteed results. This is how it gets much easier to charge higher prices for your product or service.

 You can also check out our blog on lead generating for ideas to share with your team.

Anchor Bias FAQs

Why is Anchoring Bias Important?

Anchor bias is an important concept as it has a significant impact on decision-making.

Price anchoring happens when people put too much weight on the first piece of information they get and use it to make decisions. This can make people make bad decisions because they might not consider all the relevant information or other options.

What is an Example of Anchoring Bias in The Workplace?

An example of anchoring bias in the workplace is when a manager or supervisor relies too heavily on past experiences and information when making decisions. 

Say a manager has always hired people with certain qualifications for a particular role; they may likely continue to hire people with those same qualifications. This happens even if other candidates may be more suitable for the role.

What is an Example of Anchoring and Adjustment Bias?

An example of anchoring and adjustment bias is when a person uses an initial reference point, or “anchor,” to make decisions.

This “anchor” can be a price, a value, or any other number that gives the person a place to start when making a decision. The person then changes this anchor based on their own likes and dislikes. 

For example, if someone wants to buy a motorcycle, they might start by looking at the most expensive ones and then change their expectations based on what they can afford. 

Final Thoughts About Price Anchoring

Anchoring bias can be a very useful tool for business owners who want to charge more for their services and make more money. 

With the proper anchoring, you can convince your customers that you are worth every penny. Anchoring bias allows you to justify higher prices by leveraging other comparisons in the market. 

Focus on giving them value, refuse to undervalue yourself, and anchor higher prices with confidence.

We help businesses and individuals expand quickly and increase their bottom line through strategic client acquisition. 
Scaling With Systems is here to assist you in your lead generation efforts to land more high-level clients consistently. Book a free consultation call with one of our experts if you’re serious about finding a winning solution for your company.

About Author
Shae Lamond

Shae Lamond

Shae Lamond is the chief editor of Scaling With Systems, one of the world's leading companies dedicated to client acquisition for coaching, consulting, and service-based online businesses. The team at Scaling With Systems has served 1,200+ business owners to scale their companies, increase their profits, and free up their personal time. Shae is here to share knowledge and insight about client acquisition tools, techniques, and other high-performance business development tips for businesses ready to skyrocket to success.

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