When we think about getting someone to buy something the first is probably that it’s a bad thing. Perhaps what comes to mind is a greasy car salesmen or some sort of trickster who will tell lies to convince you to spend money.
But what about the other times we buy things based on being influenced and we’re happy with the choice. I don’t consider that to be a bad thing.
It could be a £1,100 pair of Valentino Garavani boots that you feel great in, you get you compliments every time you wear them and they were purchased in a store where you received excellent service. It could also be £10 water bottle that doesn’t leak.
The issue arises when we buy something and it doesn’t work as it should, it doesn’t feel worth it, it feels like a waste of money, we regret the purchase or it stops working and you can’t get a refund.
Nobody wants to feel like they’ve been duped, we want to feel like we’re making good choices and spending our money well.
I recently came across an online course that I had no intention of taking but I was curious of what the price would be. It was the kind of course where someone was selling something they had taught themselves to do. I personally thought it was quite expensive and I couldn’t help but wonder the sort of person the course was aimed at.
I knew that people would be interested in the course, it was just a matter of how much someone was willing to spend. I also realised that the person selling the course had created something they could continue making money from in the months and years to come and it would require no more effort.
I got thinking about it more and more and began to think about how in order to charge a price that is considered expensive, you have to put yourself in the position of a leader. You need to be someone with something to teach, someone that people can learn from but also be trustworthy. That’s what makes people feel like what they’re paying is worth it.
In a podcast episode from a while back the host answered a question about what to do if your customer, the people you’re selling to, aren’t allowing you to make enough money. The answer was something along the lines of ‘change your customer’.
If you know how much you want to make a month as a minimum and you know how many clients you can comfortably take on at once, it’ll give you an indication of how much to charge. It’ll also offer a good idea of who your customer is and who your customer isn’t.
So, often people get caught up in keeping prices low to try and attract more people. Or the tell themselves that helping others requires them to sacrifice their own wants and needs. In this case it means providing affordable services but barely scraping by financially. The reality is that low prices means you need to make a lot more sales.
Instead it is worth thinking about who you can provide services to so that you won’t need 101 sales each month or 101 clients. That might mean increasing your prices and changing your customer. Helping people shouldn’t be at your own expense. You have to Many people want to help others but that shouldn’t be at your own expense. You have to find a way to do it in a way that works for you.
That could mean providing services to a select few customers/clients that enable you to make enough money to live comfortably. Then use your spare time to provide something for free that will he helpful for those that can’t afford to pay for what you offer.
The viewer or the consumer does not have to care about what went on behind the scenes. They are there for the art not the person and I think that in some cases that’s the way it should be.
In other cases, like on social media, the consumer is often there for the person just as much as if not more than they’re there for the art (or whatever creative thing that the person does).
This is why people with highly dedicated fans/followers will be supported no matter what they do.
I think that because of social media there are now blurred lines between what is business and what is personal.
But it is important to know that just because you’re visible online and people may know what you do it doesn’t mean that they care. Some people are there for the work, not for you and that is perfectly alright.
So, if you offer a product or service and the customer is not satisfied they might voice how they feel. If it is not considered good enough the customer doesn’t necessarily care that you did your best and that you will be better next time. They care that they bought someone thing they are not happy with.
And so your job is not to find customers that care about you personally but to instead to show up, create great work and deliver.
Some of the businesses that have suffered the most are the ones built on bringing people together and having person to person interactions.
On the other hand for the people that have created online businesses they can run from anywhere, it’s pretty much business as usual. They may even be seeing an increase in customers/clients as people look for something to turn to in these uncertain times.
And so now these people that used to run businesses based on people being together are having to re-think their plans.
Asking themselves questions like ‘How can I transform the in person experience to an online experience without a loss of value?’. That could be as a plan to totally move their business to the online world or to be a supplement to their usual income.
An example could be in person one on one coaching, moving to online one on one coaching or group coaching sessions.
A group cooking class moving a to live online cooking class that can also be purchased afterwards.
A baked goods store moving to click and collect or home delivery.
I think the current situation has made a lot of people realise that their are different (and in some cases better) ways of doing things.
I recently wrote a post called Does the customer determine value?
Here are some more thoughts related to value, price and the customer.
Think about an auction, the seller will often have a reserve price (the minimum amount they’re willing to sell the item for). Yet items often get sold for significantly higher because buyers are prepared to keep bidding if they want the item badly enough.
Even if an item could fetch around 20k, the seller can never start with that price, they have to allow the buyers to build up to it. Instead, the seller can only hope that people will pay that amount or at least above their minimum price.
I think it could be said that, although the seller sets the price it is in fact the customer that determines the value of the item.
I recently saw some things for sale and my first thought was that I wouldn’t buy them. In my opinion the items weren’t worth the price they were being sold for.
But people were buying the items.
Turns out that that even though I didn’t value the items at the price they were being sold for other people did, which got me thinking.
Who determines value?
If you’re selling something for £50 and nobody buys it, is it actually worth £50.
Or does value come from what the customer is willing to pay for it.
In my opinion it is the customer that determines the value because they’re the ones willing to pay for it. However, it is worth noting that just because you’re unable to sell to one group of people, doesn’t mean you’re prices are too high.
It might just mean that those people don’t see the value in what you’re selling.
But maybe another group will.