Provide So Much Value Your Customers Feel Like They’re Stealing
We’re in difficult times right now. But times have always been difficult for creators. While it’s true that many people are out of work and it’s tempting to cut prices to make sales, don’t.
Instead, provide more value.
Lot’s of value.
So much value you want to make your customer feel as if she stole from you. Like she’s got to back-away slowly, before you realize what you did.
Money is interesting. Value is not a hard-fast number we can pick from the sky. But you know your market. You know your customers (maybe you’re one of them).
When you provide a deep-discount, you not only short-change the future of your business, you also train your customers. Business owners that do nothing but drop prices, teach their customers they’ve got nothing else to offer but a lower price. Someone will always have a lower price than you, especially in this international economy.
…but adding value is a different game.
What can you add/do with your product or service to add more?
Money is Funny
We’re looking at ‘wants’ for this article, not needs. When we need something, we’ll pay more than we value the thing, just because we need it. Shelter and toilet paper are on the list.
However, most of us are in the wants category.
We need to provide more value. If your customer is willing to part with his money, the thing you’re selling better carry more value than the cash in his pocket.
Else you won’t make the sale.
When we provide exceptional levels of value we help make the buying decision a no-brainer. There’s less buyer’s remorse. Your sales copy doesn’t have to be perfect… and the best part:
You can charge full-price for your product.
Why Stolen-Level Value?
I use this analogy, because it’s not enough to toss in a free whatever to add a couple percentage points of additional value. Your competition uses this lazy route.
We need to give more. Especially now, when money is tight. Your customers will continue spending, but they will make prudent spending decisions. If you want your business on the list, you’ve got to make the decision easy.
Do you ever look at your receipt and wonder, “is this a mistake?”
Maybe the total is so low, you think the store mis-priced your purchase. This is the level we’re talking about. I’ll explain it better with a recent example from my life.
A few weeks ago I purchased a new, pre-released book from a well-known marketer. This guy also had an army of affiliates to help sell the book for him. I could’ve bought the book straight from the author, but instead I went through his top affiliate.
Because I bought a ten dollar book, but the affiliate offered an additional $5,000 worth of added products and services to anyone who ordered the book through him! These weren’t bogus, inflated bonuses either. The guy gave free access to a bunch of his paid content, only to us, the customers of this low-priced book.
That’s the stolen-level value we’re talking about here.
Won’t I lose Money if I Provide too Much Value?
Sure, you could if you’re not strategic about it. But there are plenty of places to add value that cost you nothing up-front.
Maybe you offer a software package, consulting, or a course.
These products are already created. You’ve got no hard-inventory. While you might not earn those full sales in the near term, you earn a new customer. You now have the opportunity to provide additional products and services over her lifetime.
If you didn’t make the sale in the first place, you wouldn’t have the customer.
Yes, you need to be careful about your offerings. Don’t offer products you can’t support, or a situation that might overwhelm your business or undercut your current customers. But there are plenty of ways to bundle your work to boost the value of any offer.
How to Boost Value
Any offer will become more-valuable with the right bonuses and add-ons. If you’re strategic about your value-adds, you can pack hundred, if not thousands of dollars in additional value, without taking anything from your business.
It’s all in the positioning.
Let’s say you sell a consulting package for $2,500.
The consulting package takes your physical time. You don’t want to discount your time, because you won’t get more of it. If you want to boost the value of your package, to say, $10,000 or more, think of ways to help make the buying decision a no-brainer.
- Offer a long money-back guarantee (60 days or more)
- Offer free access to your proprietary software (worth $299/month)
- Offer better access to you. Instead of through your assistant, they get your cell number
- Offer a copy of your latest book
- Offer access to your templates and blueprints
- Offer a one-year enrollment in your course
None of these will cost you money up-front.
Most-likely you won’t lose the opportunities to a paying customer either. They are added value that came from repositioning your current offerings.
When you give a long return policy/guarantee (yes, even on consulting, because no one does that). you take the anxiety away from the sale.
The customer thinks, “Hey, I’ll get it. What the hell. I can always get my money back if this product doesn’t solve my problem.”
Traditionally, longer guarantees result in fewer refunds and more sales. Short-window guarantees (7-14 days) make the buyer feel as if she’s got to make a decision now, resulting in more scrutiny of your work, immediately after buying.
Yes, you have to provide exceptional service, but that’s the new minimum. Exceptional service is the standard of entry. If you want to grow your business and make more sales, you’ll have to stack the value.
Offer The Product They Want For Free
Another strategy you can take is to offer the core product your customer wants, as a bonus. If she buys X, she’ll get access to your core product for free.
This is another positioning strategy.
Free is very hard to ignore.
Instead of offering your core product or service at full-price and piling bonuses on top of that, try the opposite. Charge full-price for the bonuses and offer your core product free.
In your customer’s mind, she’ll feel like she’s stealing from you.
She may not care about the product she paid for. She wants to take advantage of this thing you now give away for free, where all you did was swap the offer.
Double (or Triple) the Quantity for the Same Price
If you sell something that’s expensive to gain a new customer, it might cost you almost nothing to double the quantity. Offer twice as much for the same price. While this is technically a 50%-off sale, you can position the offer as added-value, not discounting the original price.
Your ability to use this method depends on the lifetime value of your customer.
Many business owners are more than happy to lose money on the fist sale, in exchange for a long-term client. These owners want the third (and fourth) sale, not just the first.
If you’re able to lose money on the first sale, through a double-offer, or some other kind of added incentive, the ability to gain more lifetime customers is worth the short-term loss.
The Offer is Most-Important
All the positioning and price-strategies in the world won’t sell a bad offer. You’ve got to start with a product your audience wants to buy.
A great offer will help overcome a mediocre sales process.
Add enough value to a great offer and you make the decision easy. When you remove as many barriers to entry as possible, the cash in your customer’s hand becomes a lot less valuable than your product on the shelf.
You take her buying decision down to a few simple moments.
The added value is clear. Your offer is the best in your industry, even if you charge a premium-level price. Sure, every niche has a price ceiling, but with added value, you can sell more of your work, earning more lifetime customers, with limited downside to your business.
Even if you’re not the best copywriter, or the best salesperson, all that can be overcome with a great offer–one your customer can’t refuse.
We Want Every Customer to Feel They’re Stealing From Us
We don’t have time to beg them and follow-up with each lead a dozen times. We want her to make the decision today. She can always back-out later, but today she’ll get so much value that a refund will be furthest from her mind.
Every industry has room for more value.
You can bundle your current services in new ways. Offer a bit more for the same price. Research all your competition. Instead of trying to out-price them, out value them. Become a Blue Ocean. Be the only competitor with your offering, while everyone else competes on price.
We buy gasoline based on price. Gas is all the same. We buy toilet paper on price (save for that scary one-ply stuff). We buy canned-corn on price.
Unless you sell canned-corn, it’s time to pack on so much value it hurts, then pack a little more.
August Birch is an author, email expert, and entrepreneur from Michigan, USA. As a self-appointed guardian of writers and creators, August teaches indies how to make more work that sells and sell more work once it’s made. When he’s not writing or teaching, August carries a pocket knife and shaves his head with a safety razor.