Don’t Talk About Price – Talk About Value
Mahajan Gautam directed me to this fabulous video by Vusi Thembekwayo, the highest-paid professional speaker in South Africa (unverified).
In this talk, he gives a fantastic example of talking about value instead of price. It struck me as interesting and powerful, but this isn’t something I often talk about. So, I dug deep to see where it fits in my mental frameworks and if I should incorporate it.
Taking the Focus off of the Price
When presented with a price challenge, Vusi didn’t even address the price. Instead he started asking “why” questions. Why do you want your face done up? Then, talk about the reason/s. Are you going to a wedding? Will your ex be there? What is it worth to look your absolute best when your ex sees you?
Let’s apply this to value tables – an internal exercise you can use to better understand value. We offer a solution (features). Some people push back on price, so we talk about more features. Yet a value table consists of 4 columns: Problem, Solution, Result and Value. We can talk about any of these – not just features (solutions). What Vusi did was ask the potential customer what problem she was trying to solve. People buy products or services to solve a problem.
Why is this buyer shopping? To solve a problem.
Once you know that, you can talk about the results.
Imagine you decided you want to buy a new car.
There could be many reasons, but one is probably driving you more than any other.
- What if your current car breaks down too often and maintenance and inconvenience are killing you?
If the sales person learns that, he can talk more about how this new car is reliable so you won’t have unforeseen expenses, and you won’t waste time constantly taking your car to the shop.
- What if your current car is uncomfortable on the inside? Then salespeople could talk about comfort.
- What if your current car is a gas guzzler and you’ve found a new desire to help the environment?
You get the idea.
Pre-Imagining the the Problems Your Customers Face
What Vusi was able to make clear in my mind, is if you fill out Value Tables, and you pre-imagine the problems your potential buyers are trying to solve, then you can talk about those problems and the results the buyer expects after buying your product.
Of course, after creating your value tables, you still have to use his techniques.
Vusi’s main point is absolutely spot on: Don’t talk about price, talk about value.
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Mark is a pricing expert who helps companies understand value, how to create it, communicate it and capture it. He has a PhD from U.C. Berkeley and an MBA from Santa Clara University, plus 25+ years pricing experience. As an educator, speaker and coach, Mark applies innovative, value-based pricing strategies to guide growth and increase profits for large and small companies.