Price is what you pay, the value is what you get! – Warren Buffett
Are your prices too low? Are you not getting paid enough? Do your customers do not appreciate what you do for them?
Why is this? Whose fault is it? I can tell you the answer – and you probably won’t like it! If your prices are too low then it is your fault. Yes, yours and no-one else’s. So, you need to do something about it!
I know this is not a “cool” thing to say, but let’s not waste time making excuses for ourselves or our lack of effective action. You may be in a difficult and competitive market, but that does not mean you try to compete with everyone on price. It is easy to find people who cave-in to external pressure, but there are plenty of companies out there who are doing a roaring trade in exactly the same environment. Don’t look for reasons not to act or to act half-heartedly, but look for reasons to act boldly and decisively.
The problems when you compete on price are multi-fold and include:
- You position yourself as a commodity – you become something that is easily replaced for something else or something similar. This just makes you part of the herd and you end up following the herd blindly.
- You lack leadership – if you are following others on their pricing then you are abdicating responsibility for your pricing, and you deserve everything you get. You may have competitors who price very low, but that does not mean that they are winning good business, that they are profitable or that the business is sustainable. Follow them and you could be one of the lemmings that follow them over the cliff!
- You are on a race to the bottom – as a commodity, all that distinguished you from your competition is your price. Everything else, in the perception of the customer (and that is what matters) is the same or irrelevant. Competing on price works in a downward spiral, and it is a race to the bottom where the bodies of all those who have not survived await you.
So how do you get over the problem of competing on price? The answer is don’t compete on price!
Value is what your customer will pay you for that they value (not what you think your customer will value). What customers value are those things that you do for them, not what you do. That is those things within your offering which address their pains and helps them achieve the gains they seek.
What you want to do is create lots and lots of value. In short, there is a clear relationship between the price you can realize and the value you create for your customer. This is shown in the Value-Price Seesaw DiagramTM
Figure 1: The Price-Value SeesawTM
From this diagram you can see there is a clear and simple relationship between price and value. Low value will result in your only being able to achieve a low price. To quote, “Price is only an issue when there is an absence of value”.
If you want to charge a high price then you need to stack on the value as much as you can to push the seesaw in the right direction. Stack it up with as much value as you can, and then add more. Remember, value is perceived by the customer. So, make sure what you do for your customer is addressing their needs in a strong manner and that they perceive you are doing this, this way you position yourself strongly and you also differentiate yourself.
Creating high value separates you from the herd and makes you more visible and attractive to existing and prospective customers. It makes it easier for them to choose you, and harder for your competitors to take customers from you.
What is of value for you from this article? What is the one action you will take, today, as a result of this to address your pricing?
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