Newsletter #78 – Hard Questions, Pricing, Possums

Hard Questions, Pricing and Possums

Quick notes to help you get more done in less time. . . next week.

In this issue:

– Techniques for FIT
– Being Human
– Random Stuff

Techniques for FIT

  • Learn to ask the hard questions in a nice way. The less you guess, the faster you can move.
  • Your buyers really don’t care about how you do things. They do care about results they’re getting. If they don’t, they may not be your buyer.
  • Seeing big dollars being invested in a client’s industry niche reminds me, don’t confuse investment dollars with idea validation.
  • Next week, show up on time, do your best and move on.


Being Human – Pricing

How much will this be?

This week I’ve been involved in a few pricing discussions. From helping with a consulting project to trying to figure out what a trip to Lambeau will run. In each of these discussions, three ideas come to mind that may help you in your next pricing conversations.

1. Where in the decision process is the discussion happening? Pricing comes up in two distinct places in a decision process, when determinining resources, and when it’s time to purchase. In the determining resources phase, we want to know if we’re in the ballpark compared to our early perceptions of value. When it’s time to purchase, we think of pricing in specific terms and are interested in getting the best deal. My point? Don’t negotiate in the early stages of pricing discussion. Good ballparking language sounds like, “Based on what we’ve been talking about, other businesses like yours, looking for similar outcomes, have invested between $XX,XXX and $XXX,XXX. Does that sound about like you were expecting?” Ballpark it. It’s not a negotiation.

2. Does the price match the desired outcome? For years, I sold a list to marketers called “Opportunity Seekers.” It was a sweepstakes list of consumers that had responded to big prize advertisements. I use that example when talking about pricing now because you have some clients that are looking for the big prize. A place to invest a small amount and get a huge payout. If your client’s budget is a tiny fraction of their expected outcomes, bring it up. It’s rare to invest in anything and get a giant ROI. Check that you’re both on the same page with this. “I’m confused. We’ve been tallking about a giant benefit to your company, but it sounds like you’re only willing to invest a small amount to get there. What am I missing?”

3. What does your price represent to the buyer? Economists tell us that we carry around a bias toward pricing. There is a bottom price below which we think the product won’t deliver and a top price above which we won’t consider. It varies for all of us. In talking to a banking prospect, the low end of our ballpark was $20,000, which she agreed was a good price, piquing my interest. Why did she say that? “Because I’ve learned that if the product is under $20K, it probably means it won’t meet the security protocols we have to use here.” Her ballparking decision shortcut in action.

I have language for working through all three of these ideas with clients if you’re interested. Just drop me a line.

Random Stuff

You found what?

I had to get into the crawl space under my office this weekend. It reminded me of the last time anyone was in there.

A few years ago, we had some workers re-insulating our old home including that space. These same workers had worked on our basement a year earlier, and got to know our old beagle, Louisa Mae. Although she was sick and barely mobile, she managed to drag herself down the stairs and get into their food at least once a day. Soon after the basement was complete and the workers were gone, she passed away.

Fast forward a year to their work in the crawl space. Once day they were wrapping up and I asked how things were in that cramped, dirty, spider infested space.

“It’s ok,” said the main guy in slightly broken English. “I find your dog.”

I looked at him quizzically and shook my head. Our new dog, Wilson, was upstairs in his kennel while they worked. Seeing my confusion, he waved me over to his big garbage bag and said, “See, I find your dog.”

He pointed to a possum skeleton.

I tried to explain what happened to Louie and that skeleton was a possum, but he just smiled and shook his head.

If you asked him today, I think he’s still convinced that I lost her in the crawl space.


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