Welcome back! Lately we’ve been talking about how, if you want to charge big money for the lovely thing you make (and you should,) you have to look like big money.
Today, let’s talk about when your value markers and prices conflict – and how to fix it. There are two ways it can go.
1. Your prices say “premium” but your value markers say “cheapity cheap cheap.”
This makes buyers confused and angry.
As they browse around your website or flick through your wholesale catalogue, your markers help them form certain expectations about what your prices will be. If they like what they see, they might already be picking out a treat for themselves or mentally putting together an order for their store.
Then the buyer actually looks at your prices and realises that they’re much, much higher than they were expecting.
They’re either shocked and bewildered, or shocked and offended.
In the first case, you’ve made them doubt themselves. How on earth did they get it so wrong?
In the second case, you’ve massively cheesed them off. They feel like you’ve mislead them and wasted their time.
Plus, you expect them to pay HOW MUCH? You must be out of your mind.
Either way, no-one’s giving you any money today.
This can happen if your business philosophy is “fake it till you make it.” You want people to pay high prices for your stuff, but you’re not yet willing or able to kit yourself out like a real pro.
So you’re charging a lot because you want to be taken seriously, but you don’t have the branding, website, catalogue, product photography or service that goes with that price point.
You want the rewards but aren’t accepting the responsibilities. Buyers feel like you’re trying to play them.
2. Your prices say “cheap” but your value markers say “premium.”
In this scenario, you’ve got stellar value markers but bargain-basement prices.
Your website is stunning. Your packaging is Instagrammably gorgeous. Your product photos are plastered all over Pinterest. Your copy is lively and persuasive. Buyers amble through these magnificent surroundings with their mouths agape. You’re clearly the real deal.
But then they look at your prices and go “Huh?”
They’re confused. Why does your stuff only cost that much? Did they miss something? What you’re offering seems so splendid. How can that price be right?
This situation is marginally less dire than the first, because you will make some sales. A few buyers will jump in – even if it feels like they’re taking advantage of you.
But for many more buyers, that befuddlement stops them in their tracks. Why doesn’t your price match up with what you’re offering?
They just can’t figure it out.
And confused people don’t buy.
This sometimes happens with artists who are also graphic designers, photographers, or have easy access to that kind of professional help. Their value markers gallop ahead while their prices lag behind.
It can also be an issue of self-esteem. The artist may not realise just how good they are.
In the end, though, the result is the same. When your markers outstrip your prices, buyers feel baffled and leave.
Or they feel sorry for you – and leave.
If want to them to stick around (and you know, buy something,) your prices and your value markers must be aligned. When everything the customer sees is pulling in the same direction, he or she receives the high-value message from lots of different sources.
It’s like a chorus of little voices in their head, all saying “This makes sense!”
When that’s the case, it’s easy for the buyer to agree.
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