Ask an entrepreneur about the biggest challenges in his business, and you will inevitably hear that his potential customers don’t see or understand the value of his product or service. The entrepreneur’s prospects are not buying, or they are asking for a lower price. One thing strikes me about this issue – entrepreneurs often “blame” the customer. The lament – why don’t these people understand how valuable my offering is? Why don’t they see that my offering is so much better than my competitor’s, (who just happens to be undercutting my prices)?
The first step to turning this situation around is to reframe the issue. The problem is not with your dense customers. The problem is that you need to SHOW your potential customers the value of your product or service. Once you take responsibility for this, you also take control. And who doesn’t want control?
To create the kind of real and perceived value that negates price pressure, make sure you truly have a unique offering that your best customers want and need. When you find a way to distinguish yourself from the pack, you create a desire for your product above the others available. If you look just like everyone else, your prospects will price shop, since that’s the only differentiator they see. The key to this step – don’t try to excel and be different in every area, just pick one, and stand out significantly in that one area.
Before you can show your customers the value of your offering, you must get to know your customer intimately well. In a previous blog post, I talked about the value of marketing to a narrow niche. Understanding what makes your customers tick is one of the big advantages to narrowing your niche. What do your customers really want? What motivates them to buy? What do they value the most? And how can your product or service deliver that and more? Once you know the answers to these questions, you can talk about those things that they value most in your marketing and sales materials to attract more of your ideal clients.
If you are in a one-on-one sales conversation, then you have the perfect opportunity to create that “I’ve gotta have it, regardless of the cost” feeling in your customers. How do you do that? Again, by asking questions – the right questions. Questions that get them to talk about the pain they are experiencing that your product can cure. Or the deep desire your offering can fulfill. And questions that lead them to envision what it will be like once that pain is gone, or they have attained what they most desire.
Here is one of my favorite questions to ask a prospect. “Let’s say you go through my program, and at the end of the program you think to yourself, ‘I’m thrilled with these results, this program was worth every penny.’ What would that result be?” I love this question for three reasons.
1. The question gets them to tell you exactly what result they are looking for. This gives you the opportunity to tell them how you are going to get them to that result. You might even have examples of other customers who have achieved that result, and you can tell them about it or even give those customers as references. If you are super confident about your results, you can even offer a money back guarantee.
2. Invariably, the result that your prospects are looking for is reasonable and achievable. Their expectations are not typically outrageous, and are often less than the result that you expect them to get. This gives you the opportunity to wow them even more when their results exceed their expectations.
3. This question gets them to envision their positive outcome. They start to feel what it will be like to experience that outcome. They will get excited at the thought, and that emotion will motivate them to buy from you.
Bottom line, if your prospects are complaining that your prices are too high, then you have failed to show them the value. Go back to the beginning and find out what value your customers expect to receive for that price, and then show them how you can help them achieve that. Good luck!
If you have any examples or stories of how you have differentiated yourself from the pack and eliminated the price comparison issue, please tell us about them! Or if you’re currently frustrated by this problem, post a comment and we’ll brainstorm with you.