You are to blame for so-called cheap customers

I hear SO much complaining about price and how people are so cheap that I just can’t stand it anymore.

Look, if price was the only factor in purchasing, everyone would live in a trailer, drive a Yugo, and buy all their clothes at the second hand store or WalMart.

That’s right. Everyone, even the wealthiest in society, would be standing in line at WalMart. Woohoooo!

Imagine your lifeâ?¦

14,352 people in line.

Embarrassed husbands at the register suffering through a broadcast of “Price check on super earthquake size tampons in aisle 71” blaring over a $1.29 half-rotten old ceiling speaker. Of course, it’s in a scratchy, annoying tone of voice.

137 babies crying because they need a nap, a diaper or a meal. 28 of those are crying because the cheapest diapers on the planet are chafing their cute little bottoms.

4621 other kids in line, tugging on mom’s pants leg to get a toy or candy bar, noses dripping.

Some of those noses are getting wiped on a dirty little shirtsleeve.

Some of those kids are getting smacked and told to “shut up!”, while other people in line are thinking “about time they did something” and still others are now ticked off that the parent hit their child.

Doctor Spock and the HR managers in line both cringe, knowing that you praise in public and criticize in private.

Finally, far too many people looking (and smelling) like they hadn’t bathed in a week.

I guess you get the picture by now:)

If price were the only factor in purchasing, every single one of us would be living some version of this make-believe nightmare. But we aren’t, because “price is everything” just isn’t true. Sure, there’s a small percentage of people who buy everything based on price. Maybe 5%.

Everyone else has their price is no object (or not much of an object) moments about something.

  • They dont buy generic orange soda, cuz it tastes like crap compared to Minute Maid orange soda or Orange Crush.
  • They refuse to eat WalMart brand Pop Tarts because they get half the pseudo-fruit of real PopTarts and the fruit you do get is all dried out and not nearly as corn syrup sweetened as a real PopTart.
  • They won’t buy a laptop at Costco because they like the 1900+ pixel-wide, high resolution laptop screens that Dell offers.
  • They buy Marlboros because GPCs and USA Golds really taste awful and make them look “poor”. And of course they want to feel like that cowboy dude that they think every woman is in love with. Hubba hubba.
  • They drive Honda Accords because they like knowing they’re getting a vehicle made in the USA, rather than those junky Brazilian (or Mexican, Korean or whatever) Heartbeat of America Chevrolet mini-cars.
  • They drink Bass ale because it tastes better than Bud, which tastes better than PBR or Keystone Light.
  • They wear a REAL Seiko because only the lamers wear WalMart’s Casio-lookalike. Or a Piaget because everyone thinks their old Rolex is a $39 knockoff.
  • They swing a Callaway Big Bertha because guys like Tiger don’t swing a Wilson Staff.

Ok, enough. I think you get the point by now. Keep in mind that this applies to everything from toilet paper to corporate jets. Unless you have a mental block about what your software is worth.

Much of the time, it’s YOUR fault that price is such a big issue with your products and services, or at least, the perception.

  • You compare price on your website or in your marketing materials.
  • You don’t bother talking about ROI, value, or time saved in distinct, specific terms.
  • You don’t show that the cheaper competitor delivers less stuff, lower quality stuff, and/or delivers in twice the time you do.
  • Your testimonials, if you have any, don’t say factual, specific things that clearly show yours is the product of choice – regardless of that 97 cent difference in price.

Speaking of testimonials, I have NEVER known a business (particularly a software company) that didnt have a testimonial that sounded something remotely like this from at least ONE client:

“We thought Joe’s software was expensive, until we used it. Now it saves us 42 hours of programming time each month, enough to pay for an extra programmer. Our code is more dependable than ever. While it’s hard to quantify that other than by performance, it’s obvious to us because better code means less support – and that’s exactly what our clients have seen. For example, our support calls due to disconnected sessions with the customer’s server have dropped 27% – which means our tech support lines aren’t as busy. Our clients have told us that our support wait time has dropped noticeably, and they’re happy about it. That happened because our support team responds more quickly since we have 27% fewer “dropped session” calls to handle. Finally, our profit for next quarter will improve even more because we can put off hiring another support person for at least another few months – without impacting the quality of the support our clients receive.”

You’ve got clients that have said these things or WOULD say them if you prompted them to tell them why they think you hung the moon. Ask. And then USE them wisely to get the price that makes actually makes it worthwhile to work your keester off.

Your price issues are marketing problems, not client problems. You can fix it. You have to position your product in some way other than “we’re cheaper”. Someone else can always beat your price, then what do you have?