Why the price of a product for “hours worked” is less important and why you should be focusing on the end result.
I was having a conversation with a friend this week about something I was thinking about purchasing…
Rock Singing Lessons!
Now, the reason for having these lessons is another story entirely, but the conversation went something like this:
Me: “I’m thinking of purchasing these rock singing lessons. The guy is an amazing teacher. His video course guarantees that by the end you can competently sing like a rock and roll front man in many different styles.”
Friend: “How much does it cost?”
Me: “The full, most expensive course is around $250.”
Friend: “Wow, that’s expensive! How many hours of teaching is that?”
Is $250 expensive for my end result? Putting aside the discipline I’ll need to start and finish the course and the time set aside (I’d need to do all that anyway), which have nothing to do with the product’s effectiveness – $250 to be properly trained to sing like a rockstar, a skill I’ve always wanted to have? It’s not expensive at all.
It’s actually why online information products are making more millionaires these days than any other industry, but that’s a post for another day.
Years in marketing has taught me to focus on the result. It’s also what you should be focusing on. It’s not about thinking you’re too expensive for the amount of hours you put in or how complicated your product is, it’s:
Is the cost worth the end result?
A good example would be a graphic designer. The old story where the big exec asks the graphic designer to design a mock up of a new product / logo / whatever. The designer comes back in half an hour with exactly what the exec is looking for, it looks amazing. The exec says:
“There’s no way I’m paying X for that! I know it only took you 30 minutes!”
The designer goes on to explain how it actually took years of study, practice and dedication to their craft to be able to do it in 30 minutes.
Why should the exec care anyway? He got exactly what he wanted. Would it have made him feel better if the designer left and took a week to come back with that mock up? He’s focusing on the wrong thing.
A friend wanted a redesign of his website earlier this year. We were sitting, about to watch a film and I said:
“I bet you a pizza I can completely redesign your website with dummy content before this film finishes”
He took the bet and I built the new website, with a modern design, parallax, fully responsive (desktop / laptop / tablet / phone optimized), testimonials, services, portfolio, all in a CMS (Content Management System) allowing him to add all his content and update it himself, built in analytics and SEO all in less than 90 minutes while I was half watching the film!*
So not only did it cost him the redesign, but a pizza too! (Domino’s Meateor if anyone’s ever feeling generous). Don’t underestimate someone dedicated to their crafts ability to work extremely fast and efficiently – I’ve built hundreds of websites.
*It’s important to note that admittedly less than 1% of websites are completed this quickly. I had the benefit of my friend sitting next to me and okaying every stage of the process and I also had full creative license to ‘freestyle’.
The Less Time THE BETTER!
So, back to the singing lessons and graphic designer’s timescale: Should the singing lessons be as many hours as the instructor can pad it out to make it seem like more value? Should the graphic designer leave and bring the mock up back after a week to make it seem like they spent more time on it?
Of course not!
More value shouldn’t be a longer time spent – there’s more value in being able to do it quicker! (providing it can genuinely be done without sacrificing quality).
“$250 gets you over 30 hours of rock singing lesson content!”
“$250 to teach you how to sing like a rock star by a professional coach in less than 10 hours!”
The person who wants to buy the second one is the one I’d rather sell to.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” – Leonardo Da Vinci
Customers / clients should be paying for THE RESULT.
The size of the product or a shorter than expected timescale should not matter. Some get caught up in “I’m not paying X for that size / amount of time” – focus on the result. You’re paying for the result. Is $250 worth learning to sing properly? Of course it is.
A life coach is charging you £1,000 to guarantee they cure your severe anxiety. You want to travel the world. Is it expensive? No.
A marketing company is charging you £10,000 a month. They guarantee to get you £100,000 more in business a month. Is that expensive? No.
So the next time you’re doing market research about your pricing, be careful who you take advice from. Before you hesitate to send that invoice because you feel you aren’t worth it due to the time taken – remember:
The loudest voices often come from the cheapest seats.