You can misunderstand your role in pricing. You can be too sensitive to your own pricing. And it will ruin your margin and your company’s ability to deliver value.
How’d You Get Here?
Even when you do everything right and sell value instead of price, at the end of the dance, you are going to be asked to discount your pricing. Over time, you—and your company—have discounted your prices to win new clients. So often, in fact, that it has started to change the way you sell.
You now behave as if your prices are too high. The change in you has been slow, and it’s been subtle. It’s been imperceptible to you and your company. But now your opinion of your own pricing has changed.
Instead of ensuring that your customer makes the right financial investments to achieve the results they need, you start to sell price. It would be easy to be both the best choice and the lowest price. Anyone could sell and win were that true. It’s unfortunate that it’s impossible to be both the best and the lowest price at the same time; better results require bigger investments (you know this is true!). When you aren’t the cheapest, you have to sell the value you create.
Instead of protecting your margins, the margins that allow you to deliver your real value proposition, you start to behave as if the discounted rate you have provided some larger clients in the past is your real pricing. Since you have been willing to provide that pricing in the past, it must be the right price now. You stepped onto the slippery slope, and it’s difficult to claw your way back up.
Enter your new dream client. As you are putting together your final proposal and pricing, you catch yourself saying: “Our price here is too high. They’ll never accept it.” When challenged to present the real pricing based on the investment the client really needs to make, you say: “But we have given lower pricing to this one and that one.”
Instead of advocating for the value that you create, you begin advocating on the customer’s behalf that the price should be lower. But so far, your dream client has made no objection to pricing. Your dream client wants to make the necessary investment in the results that they need. Instead you are objecting to the pricing. You are now too sensitive to your own pricing.
Neither the devil nor the customer needs you to advocate on their behalf. When it comes to pricing, you can rest assured knowing that regardless of the price presented, you are going to be asked to reduce your price. This is true whether your dream client believes your price is fair or not, and it’s true even if you have the lowest price.
Your job is to sell the value that you create. Your job is to create enough value that no one on earth would dare dream of denying you the right to capture some share of that value. Don’t be so sensitive to you own pricing. Just sell the value.
Do you ever believe your price is too high?
Is it because you don’t intend to create the value? Or is it that other salespeople and sales organizations quote lower prices?
Have you ever bought something that seemed like a great deal when you bought it, only to be disappointed later?
When it is it possible to have the best offering and the lowest price?
What would your dream client give up by paying less for what you sell?
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