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Money / Pricing strategy

Scissors. Paper. Wreck.

From time to time in our little business, projects go pear-shaped and whoever is in control feels some discomfort. Right now, I’m hurting bad. Here’s what I’ve learnt.

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You’ll be familiar with the ‘choose any two’ option we’re told about when faced with the selection of fast, good or cheap in the buying process (you can’t have all three). These days, purchasing is more complex, and to my mind is reminiscent of the schoolyard game of scissors, paper, rock – you’re not sure what the other party is truly offering until it’s all over.

We’re currently working on a makeover of our eNewsletters. Easy enough, right? Well, no, it seems. It’s complicated, it’s dull and right now it’s far too painful to talk about.

The thing is, I’ve never been after ‘cheap’ and yet it’s what I keep getting offered, and worse – it’s always with a promise of ‘good’ (or more usually ‘exceptional’, ‘awesome’ and so on). All backed up with testimonials and ratings.

In this video I recorded with sales and marketing author Neil Rackham last year, he offered some wise words (Neil was responsible for the largest ever study of sales effectiveness that ran over 12 years, involved 30 researchers and covered 20 countries – yes, he knows stuff).

"Finding safe is getting harder and harder. Online smoke and mirrors makes it so much easier to conceal, hide, exaggerate, fake and – if the going gets tough – simply disappear altogether. "

He commented that more than 80 per cent of people would rather buy ‘safe’ than ‘risky’ and they accept that safe costs more. But that was in the 1970s and the world has changed.

Want more articles like this? Check out the pricing strategy section.

Finding safe is getting harder and harder. Online smoke and mirrors makes it so much easier to conceal, hide, exaggerate, fake and – if the going gets tough – simply disappear altogether. It got me thinking about the importance of business integrity, and of communicating truthfully what you offer – and its value – to clients.

We have published this great little podcast on pricing with Julia Bickerstaff and our Premium Members will find a terrific, Guide to Pricing Business Services in their member benefits area. And there’s more. Just read this fascinating thread in the forums about one soloist’s plan to revolutionise his fees.

Yes, I’m all for pricing profitably; however, IMHO it’s greater honesty in what we’re capable of delivering that needs a major overhaul.

Got any tips? Please share in the comments.

Robert Gerrish

is the founder of Flying Solo and helps soloists stay upbeat and energised. He’s recently published The 1-Minute Commute, is a presenter and facilitator and works one-on-one with those needing a refresh. Find out more about his skills and services and his Olympus Trip 35 camera side hustle or connect on LinkedIn.

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