Out of my post a few weeks ago about price justification came a conversation about how to talk about your products and their prices. Unlike businesses that only provide a personal service, the conversation when it comes to products requires a slight shift in where the emphasis is placed when talking about an item and why someone should want one.
The bottom line is always the experience.
Ultimately, it’s the same conversation. The basic takeaway for anyone who buys your product from you should be that it’s worth it. The reason why is how owning it will affect them. What is the experience of owning your product? How will it differ from purchasing that same item elsewhere, especially if what you provide can be accessed by your client from a big box retailer? Sound familiar? When offering a personal service you tell them about the experience of working with you, and when selling a client a product, you tell them about the experience of owning it.
Don’t talk about what the item costs you.
Further complicating things, is that with a wealth of information at our fingertips, our customers know what items cost. They know a 4×6 print costs around 30 cents, or that you can make a cupcake for less than $5. So you can’t really go ahead and tell them about your costs. They know you’re marking things up (as you should be, because you’re in business to make a profit. Don’t be apologetic about that. Big corporations aren’t, and neither should you be.).
But high quality materials still matter.
It does matter if you’re using the finest leather from Italy or if your canvases are stretched on pre dried wood frames. Tell your customers why that matters. They may know, but they may not. Assume they don’t, and talk about the benefits of using higher quality materials. If you personally source these items, that’s even better. The story of how your product is made is one that your clients can repeat to their friends, and will build on word of mouth. Consider this news piece about how Hermes scarves are made. Can you tell a story like this about your product?
Don’t talk about your long hours – unless they are critically important to the quality of the product.
If the time and attention taken in making your product is an important factor, you can talk about the hours you put into creating the item, including “PCB assembly services.” The process of creating your product can be of great interest to someone seeking an artisan or small business to make one for them. Most things these days can be spit out on an assembly line, but knowing that the purse you’ve just bought or the cheese wheel you ordered were carefully hand crafted adds a great deal of value in the customer’s mind. Otherwise, they’d just go buy a purse from a luggage store, or some cheese from Costco.
Remember that it’s worth it.
If you don’t believe it, then you need to adjust your pricing. If you cannot confidently state your product’s price, then you can’t charge it. Your customers will sense your hesitation and will use it to their advantage. Practice talking about the experience, and the rest should come naturally. The more enthusiastic you are about your product, the more your clients will be.
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I’m a communicator. That’s a PC way of saying I like to talk, but I also spend a lot of my time listening, and over the years, I’ve developed a sense for subtext – how one or two words can change your entire message, what people are really trying to say and how to weave the varied layers of your story into one cohesive brand message that your clients fall in love with.
When I'm not acting as editor in chief for Vivid & Brave, you can find me geeking out over words here.
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I recently had a great conversation with some businesswomen about this exact issue. For many women entrepreneurs, making money seems to be equivalent to a dirty deed. Point taken!
Courtenay Siegfried so true! We often feel we have to practically apologize for our pricing. Truth is, we don’t.
Yes! Hell yes!
Courtenay Siegfried, join us in the revolution! (Or just feel free to share these two posts far & wide. *grin*)
You got it! And we actually should really talk. I have a project in the works that your work would fit into perfectly. Lunch when you get back, pretty please?