The Problem With Your Price

By | Finance, Marketing, Sales | No Comments

chances are you are not pricing yourself correctly.Price is much more than a number that covers your costs and makes a profit. Your price communicates your value.

Take a minute and think back on how you have set or are thinking of setting your price.

Most business owners have two ways to look at what they should be charging for their product or service. Both ways are wrong!

The first method they use is to look at what their competitors are charging and then try to set their price just above, just below, or right at their competitors price. You have no idea if your competitor is actually making a profit! Even if you think he might, how do you know he’s not sinking himself into debt expecting the business to pick up any day?

This pricing method sets you up for a race to the bottom. When your competitor lowers his price, you will too in order to “stay competitive.” You are also not sure if you can even make a profit at that price.

Setting a “competitive price” positions you poorly as well. There is no differentiation between you and your competition. When a customer has no other measure to make a decision, they will base their decision on price. When a customer’s decision is based only on price, it’s a roll of the dice as to who will win.

The second method often used is to total up what it will cost, your time investment, and how much you think you should take home. However, this method does not take into consideration how your customer values your product or service.

Many of the businesses that I have seen determine their costs like this don’t take into consideration hidden costs. Some costs overlooked are their marketing costs, basic overhead like facility costs and utilities, or taxes.

Chances are good that you are undervaluing your own time as well. Most of us don’t value our own time and far undercharge for the time investments we make in the business. You are worth more than you think.



is a business coach and consultant that works with business owners and managers to create momentum in their business with strategies and tactics that they can implement today. These strategies are based on the five building blocks of business: Marketing, Leadership, Operations, Finance and Systems.

Yelling Is Not Selling

By | Marketing, Sales | One Comment

“The sole purpose of an advertisement is to sell a product”


Claude Hopkins (1866-1932)
Author of “Scientific Advertising”. Considered the Father of Modern Advertising.



We are all looking for that “silver bullet” that’s going to bring hoards of people into our business or overload our phone line wanting what we offer. While there is no single trick, there are some aspects to advertising that many businesses miss:


  1. Define the purpose and goal of the ad. Is there a specific volume of sales or responses you hope to get from the ad? Just putting your logo, name and phone number in the ad is not going to get a response. Usually only about 3% of your target market is actively looking for your offer – what are the chances they will act only on your “name, rank and serial number”?
  2. Forget branding. I do suggest you have a strong logo and recognizable name. However, branding is a difficult to quantify benefit. Generally your brand strength depends on the recognition and reputation of your business or product. Your brand will be built over time through great service and better product – not usually through advertising. Most small businesses don’t have time or money to spend on branding because you need sales now. Leave branding to Coca-Cola and McDonalds.
  3. Give a compelling reason to act. Do you have information they need to make a decision? Will you help them escape some great catastrophe?
  4. Have only ONE step for your market to do. In sales, often the sole purpose in the first phone call is to get an appointment. They know they will not sell in the first couple of minutes over the phone. Your ad should be similar –one purpose and one action.
  5. Develop a strong headline and copy. Get their attention without yelling at them. Define the problem and solution. Help them see the gap between where they are and where they want to be. Make them aware of an impending disaster they need to be prepared for. Please stop yelling at us.
  6. Test it. Test it. Test it. Give an ad a short run. If it doesn’t get you the response you expect, edit and try it again. Spend a little money to see if it works. When you find what does perform well –blow it out of the water.
  7. Have a plan. The ad should be part of your overall strategy. Now is the time to put one together if you have not already.

Don’t let all your advertising become only about steep discounts, starbursts and “Act Now” calls to action. You don’t have to yell at your market to communicate your value.


Remember the lifetime value of a customer. Don’t get so focused on today’s sale, that you make it difficult for them to buy from you again. Keep your promise and create consistency between the look and feel of the ad and the actual customer experience.



Are You a Commodity?

By | Marketing, Sales, Strategic Planning, Uncategorized | No Comments

“A market is never saturated with a good product, but it is very quickly saturated with a bad one. ”


Henry Ford

Ford Motor Company Founder (1863-1947)


The iPhone 5 released last week.


Over the weekend, I overheard someone bemoaning the iPhone she currently has. “It’s so bulky,” she complained.


The New York Times gave the following review:

“Faster chips, bigger screens and speedier wireless Internet connections are among the refinements smartphone users can count on year after year in new models, most of them in familiar rectangular packages. They are improvements, to be sure, but they lack the breathtaking impact the first iPhone had, with its pioneering fusion of software and touch-screen

How many people do you know with a smart phone? How many have more than one or have “upgraded” the same day they were able? Good product – saturation has not happened yet..

Many businesses complain because their product or service is a “commodity.” This is not true if you have found your differentiation and are providing a superior experience. However, the superior performance has to be visible and readily recognized to the client.

Often we feel we are doing more and providing better value than our competition. Here is a short test to determine if it has an impact:

1. Does your customer ask for the added value before you provide it?

2. Do you have to point out the value for your customer to recognize it?

3. Is your value based on credentials that hang on your wall?


If you answered yes to any of these, your customer may not be aware of the value you provide. Time to educate them.


Add Value:

5 Reasons Your Marketing Doesn’t Work
Reason 2: Tactics Instead of Strategy
(Poulsbo Chamber Office – September 26, 11:30p-1p)


Leadership Boot Camp
Next-Level Leadership
(Cafe Noir – October 5, 8a-12p)


Nothing Happens Until Someone Sells Something

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“Nothing happens until somebody sells something!”




I once walked into a physician’s office on a cold call. The first thing out of the receptionist’s mouth was: “What are you selling?”

I chuckled. My response was simply, “We are all selling something.”

I’m not” she said.

“Sure you are. You are probably paid by the hour. You have a certain set of skills that include customer service, answering the phone, the knowledge of how to appropriately schedule a patient, set up their chart, answer questions, etc. You sell your skills and time for an hourly wage and maybe some benefits. You had to convince the doctor that you were the best qualified and the best choice for the position.”

“I’m his wife” she said coldly.

“That was probably the most difficult sale of your life.” She chuckled and nodded. I got the appointment.

We are not only selling a product or service. Everyday we sell ourselves, our capabilities, our ideas, our dreams. The hardest sale is never for money. The hardest sale is when someone buys with their trust, commitment, faith, confidence, or love.


Three Cs of Marketing

By | Marketing, Sales | No Comments

You’ve heard of the 4 Ps of  marketing. Allow me to introduce the 3 Cs of promotion:

        1. Content
        2. Clarity
        3. Consistency


Does the ad or message have anything of value? Does it reach somebody or is it just a pretty, ego-boosting piece for your business? Will it interest anyone but you? Are you emphasizing benefits important to customers or features you think are cool? Writing content is not as easy as you think.

Make sure you are writing to your customer – not yourself or your competitor. Even when we develop it our selves, our message can become mixed depending on our mood or the problem of the day. Don’t go it alone. Get someone else to at least proof read it for you. Of course have a point to the marketing. What do you want your customer to do?

All too often, we abdicate our marketing to the newspaper ad salesman, the yellow pages, or the graphic artist. The trouble is that with five people developing messages, every message will be different. Your business card, pamphlets, website, presentations, and even your communication with your employees should carry the same message.

Of course your 3 Cs need to based in your marketing plan. Too many tactics without an overriding strategy can send you in too many directions without ever getting any traction.

Happy Hunting!