Some time ago, I was actively marketing a web-based service. It was pretty basic… design, basic marketing – run-of-the-mill stuff.
Although it was a crowded niche, I was confident in what we offered. I strongly believed we were offering a product that was significantly higher quality than what others were offering. Additionally, I thought it was laughable how much people were charging for our exact product.
So, where did my mind first wander….to saving the customer money, right? Wouldn’t that be where yours wandered?
What we could do for $1,000, other companies were charging $20,000.
That’s insane, right? I thought so. SO, off I began my journey to offering a competitive, and what I felt better service and product to all those customers at a HUGE discounted price from what the bog guys were charging. Ingenious….well, not so much!
So, we had the “bright” idea to charge less than other companies. We bumped our service to $2,500 and figured we’d have more business than we could keep track of in a matter of days.
After marketing everything perfectly, setting up social media sites, and ensuring our business website was easy to navigate, clear, and professional, we all just sat back and waited for the cash to start rolling in!
Well… it didn’t work out like that.
Instead, it was a grind the entire time. We made pitch after pitch, none of which seemed to have any effect on the people we were pitching to. We knew we had the right audience; we had spent months targeting our customers, ensuring we had the perfect marketing campaigns in place, all going out to the right people.
I didn’t understand (boy was I naive!). We were offering an incredible product, at an absolutely incredible price. Yet we were having huge problems even getting one person interested! It seemed like we were dangling a huge steak in front of a vegan market, no bites, not even a nibble!
What Did We Do Wrong?
What we did wrong is incredibly obvious now, but back then, I was shocked when I came to the realization.
Here’s where we went wrong: we sold ourselves as “too good to be true!”
The funny thing is, we really did offer a high-quality service. And we were really capable of offering it at a price significantly less than what other people in our niche were charging.
But online business owners are used to getting burned. Every day, successful business owners are bombarded with obnoxious requests for web design, conversion optimizing, marketing, SEO… everything you can think of!
So when we came along, due to the price we were charging, we automatically lumped ourselves in with that crowd, even though we were actually the real deal!
Businesses spend a small fortune every year on services to market, promote, stabilize, and even create their brand, so wasting money is not an option, especially for small business owners with limited budgets.
Think about it. What are the odds that we’d end up being who we said we were? After all, these business owners had been bombarded with thousands of sales requests by the time we got to them. And of these thousands of sales requests, a good number of them were outright scams, the rest were most likely rip-offs.
So by charging lower prices, we lumped ourselves in with the scammers and ripoffs.
So, a business would rather spend $20,000 for the service instead of $2,500, which still didn’t make much sense to me. But, when I started to think about the money that these business owners had probably dropped on rip-off businesses, that $2,500 added up quickly. And it wasn’t just about the initial investment, it was the time it took to find out it didn’t work. They lost small fortunes in revenue while these scam artists played with their minds. So, taking another chance like that, not worth it, even at such a low price! I get it, I would be Leary too!
If you placed two hamburgers in front of me, each looking identical, one for $8 and one for $1.00, I am likely to opt for the $8.00 one, just because I’m afraid you used old meat, or maybe you dropped the lower-priced burger on the floor before serving it up. Now, consider the fact that maybe I had food poisoning from a previous bad experience on a cheap burger; I’m certainly not going to choose the cheap one again, right? Why would it be worth spending four days on a toilet, unable to work, unable to enjoy my life, just to save $7? It wouldn’t be worth it to save $70. $700, or even $7000, would it?
It’s funny to look at because, at that time, we thought we were making a wise business decision. We thought that once people saw the product we offered and the price we were offering it at, they would jump through a ring of fire just to give us their money!
The reality is, although we gave a great pitch and presentation, in the back of our prospect’s minds, they constantly had the thought playing: “this sounds WAY too good to be true!”
So instead of going with us, they went with someone who overcharged them and ripped them off, giving them yet another internet marketing sob story.
It does make for difficult marketing, especially when you have $8 burgers that have been dropped on the ground or made from bad meat, and $1 burgers that are perfectly delicious. People are used to getting ripped off, and for whatever reason, they believe you get what you pay for, so the more you spend, the more you get right?
I’m not saying you should charge as much, or even more than the big companies, or that you should live in fear that you will never succeed, but I am saying you need to spend a little more time on pricing your business.
So, let’s say you sell hair re-growth cream. You have people who swear by it, your tests have proven real results, and unlike the other guys, you actually care about your customers, so you want to offer them a deal. You can make the cream, packed and ready to ship for $10 a tube, but your competitors sell the same stuff for $150 a tube. You don’t want to rip your customers off, so you try to be fair and offer it for $20, that’s a good price right?
Wrong! Now you have this product that claims to do everything the $150 tube claims, but you are selling it for $20. So, people will see it and think, there’s no way, not when everyone charges so much, it must just be hair gel from the dollar store shoved in a tube with new labeling.
So, will people be willing to goop up their scalps with your product every night for a month, just to see if it works for that price? Probably not. They are already stressed about their hair loss, and the last thing they want is for what little they have to fall out, and for that price, that’s exactly what they are afraid will happen.
So, what do you do? How about marketing your product at the same price at your competitors, but offer a trial, or possibly a sample size for a lower amount. Slash the price and offer it at a cheap rate through social media for a very limited time. People love thinking they are getting a great deal when no one else is. If you sell it to them for $50 for one day only, they are more likely to buy it than if they think anyone could get this fabulous expensive miracle cream for that price any time!
When you’re running a business, it’s incredibly important to do due diligence before setting a price point. What are other people charging? What are the scammers in your niche charging? What are the high-quality authorities charging?
The key is to find a balance. Naturally, if you’re just starting out, it’s unlikely you can charge as much—or more—than the top companies. However, you can use their pricing as a model to base your business on, which immediately puts you in the same umbrella as them!
And, the best part of all, is the more you charge, the more credible you are, and the more money you make! I remember once we finally did get a client, we felt like the work we were doing was worth WAY more than what we got paid.
So by charging high, you ensure you’ll be satisfied with the work you’re doing, you’ll be significantly more credible, and you’ll earn more money!
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