Seth Goden, the marketing guruwho I respect very much, wrote in a recent blog; To get higher prices if you’re not the low bidder, sell the intangibles that you or your company can provides to customers. He then went on to list a bunch or examples.
Spoken like a true marketer. Do this and you’ll go broke.
Here’s why. You can provide a basket full of services / intangibles to a prospect and they are worthless unless the prospect values them. So which ones and how many do you put together. And while you’re stocking up your basketful of services / intangibles, it costing you money to produce or provide them. Even if you canvass your marketplace and determine these are the intangibles most prospects like, when you’re selling an individual you don’t know if this person fits the model.
That’s the difference between marketing and selling. Marketing is appealing to or exciting the masses. Selling is closing the individual. The individual in front of you may fall outside the masses.
When you want a higher price for your tangibles, you have to show the prospect (1) how your offering will do his or her task or project (2) better than any other alternative.
First you have to know exactly does this person want to accomplish and how does he want to do it. Exactly means his way, not what you think it should be. To do this you will have to interview the person and drill down to completely understand his concept, risk tolerance, political environment and motivation. Then you’ll have to know how to add, delete or modify it in a way that’s of interest to the individual.
Second to show your offering can do the prospects’ vision solution better than any other, you’ll need to know how to differentiate. Now anything can be differentiated. I show people how to do it with the most commodity type products all the time. Like interviewing it’s another skill. But it has to be differentiated in the areas that the customer is sensitive about, which takes us back to the interview - determining the specific mindset of the individual.
Prospects are willing to pay extra or higher prices, but you’ve got to know for what and how come. So ask them. “What are you willing to pay extra for?” Knowing this let’s you build your offering for the specific application and not waste all your resource building intangibles. I wish all my competitors would build a basket full of intangibles. They’d go broke and out of business.
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