Many salespeople and entrepreneurs are familiar with the saying “Your first sale is always to yourself.”
They also know that this is usually your toughest sale – you have to convince yourself that you have something of value to offer before you can convince anyone else.
I think the same idea applies to organizations, and I have to thank Brian Zambotti, Director of Client Development at Digitell, for helping to crystallize this idea for me.
As we were going through a dry run for our upcoming Webinar on “How to Price Your Education Products” late last week, Brian made the point on one of the slides about value-based pricing that “you have to believe in your content” if you want to be successful.
It’s a simple, but very powerful notion, and I think it is one with which many organizations struggle – often unconsciously.
I see signs of the struggle in the kinds of questions I get asked about pricing:
- How can we compete when so many educational products are now offered for free?
- How do we charge a fee now when we’ve always offered it for free?
- How do we show the value of our education products?
I’d argue that the answer to these types of questions starts with believing in what you have to offer – the content, the experience, and most importantly, the value.
To check the level of belief in your organizations, ask questions like the following:
- How enthusiastically do people in our organization talk about the learning experiences we offer and the results they create?
- How much do we allow the competition to dictate what we create and how we price it?
- Do we actively and confidently seek and publish testimonials from learners?
- Do we worry every time we send out an e-mail about a learning product that we are “bugging” our members – rather than offering them an opportunity for tremendous value?
- Is the thought of raising prices on our educational offerings practically taboo in our organization?
Depending on your answers to any or all of those questions – and you can probably think of others – I’d argue there is a good chance you don’t really believe in your value.
It may be that your organization has not fully assessed and articulated the true value you offer – very often the case, I find
It may be that the value is actually lacking – usually not the core problem, I find, but often an area where significant improvements can be made.
There may be deeper organizational “self-esteem” issues – yes, I think organizations have a sense of “self-esteem,” and I think nearly every organization suffers from this issue to varying degrees.
Ultimately, you will have to address whatever the underlying issues are, but a good starting point is to ask “Do we believe in the value we offer?”