Be The Customer: Rule #1 of Selling Anything
Updated: Apr 7
As a business, you want to make money. You may be doing something you love, or something you are good at, but unless you are doing it for free, financial success is your main goal. Your potential customer, however, has a different goal. They want to purchase products or services that they need (or want) at a good value. So how do you make both of these goals happen?
One of the biggest mistakes that I see businesses make is throwing a high price on their services or products without doing any market research (like finding out what competitors charge) and without considering what their customers actually want and are willing to pay for. My words of advice in these situations is for these business owners to consider their other role, one they play probably everyday—the customer. You go to the grocery store, the gas station, online shopping, or you pay your electric bill— and all day, everyday, you are a customer, first and foremost. As a customer, you most likely don't just blindly buy the most expensive service or product without shopping around, do you?
Now, I am not suggesting that you price your products/services so low that you can't make a profit, but being competitive is part of what leads to success. Know what you provide for your price, what the going rate is in the industry for similar products, and what your most successful competitors are doing. Approach everything you do, from your website, social media outreach, and marketing to the way you structure your services—as a customer. What would you want to know if you were a customer of your business? What would you consider a product of great value? It's important, also, when doing this exercise, that you consider that most consumers are not extremely wealthy. Structuring your prices only for rich clients (especially when you are just starting out) is a quick way to go out of business.
"Being the customer" means objectively scrutinizing your products and services so that you can present and price them to be attractive to the largest group of potential buyers possible. So the next time that you get stuck making a decision on how to present your business or product pricing, think about what you would want if you were in the customer's shoes—it shouldn't be too hard, because you're a customer every single day!