“…Your business needs to be like toilet paper and toothpaste…”
That’s the advice Jason Alba, founder of JibberJobber.com and this week’s guest on The Courageous Entrepreneur Show got from someone he was discussing his pricing model with.
The advisor went on to explain that toilet paper and toothpaste are the sort of thing that people look at and immediately understand what they are and what they do. The potential buyer can then quickly decide to purchase without a lot of agonizing over the decision.
He recommended that Jason’s pricing model be that clear and simple.
That got me thinking about all the times I’ve met someone at an event and couldn’t understand what they did or offered.
And it got me thinking critically about my own rebrand and my new offerings.
It’s not easy to be “like toilet paper and toothpaste.”
Here are some tough questions to ask we all need to ask ourselves that can help us see if we passed the TP test.
- Does your offering solve a problem that people are highly motivated to solve? If it’s seen as something that’s “nice but not necessary” it’s probably something the buyer finds easy to say no to, cut back on, or completely eliminate from their life. That means you need to focus your offering(s) and position them so they’re targeted to an audience who is highly motivated to take action or they’re structured to fix a problem that’s critical to solve.
- Is the perceived value and perceived uniqueness of what you offer so significant that the buyer is willing to pay your price without negotiating? One of the reasons I got out of pure consulting is because I hated the whole proposal-writing / negotiating thing. I don’t inflate or pad my prices.
That means I didn’t have anything to negotiate with.
If there was something in the proposal that someone was willing to live without or an outcome they were willing to do without then I could remove that which would lower the price but there’s no negotiating. But lots of people feel like they have to negotiate because they’re conditioned to with an entrepreneur whose business is built on a consulting model.
I also had to admit that I wasn’t perceived as totally unique.
This is painful to admit but important.
Once you recognize that you’re out of alignment with yourself and your beliefs, you can recognize things like you’re trying to follow a model that’s not right for you.
- Is your messaging so clear and to the point that when someone comes to your website they can make a relatively fast decision to take action — by buying from / working with you or reaching out to you to have a conversation that more often than not leads to a sale? Answering this question takes knowing your numbers and your stats – things like number of unique visitors to your site, length of time on a page, bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who click away from your site after viewing just the page they landed on), along with your number of opt-ins, marketing or sales conversations, or actual purchases.
- Is your messaging so clear and to the point that when you meet someone for the first time and they hear your answer to “So…what do you do?” they tell you they know someone who needs your services? And when they connect you to that person they were right – it IS a person who needs your services.
Really tune into the nonverbal cues others are displaying when you talk and fully listen to what is being said in response to you.
Also examine the quantity and quality of your referrals. If you’re constantly wondering why you get poor quality referrals — people you don’t and can’t truly help — then that’s a sign your message isn’t simple or clear.
- Are you where your targeted audience segments can easily find you? Toilet paper and toothpaste are now sold virtually everywhere but we know two places where we can always find them – the grocery store and drug store. If you’re not everywhere your audience is, are you in at least the top two places they go for information? That means are you being found when they search for information and are you in one other place where they commonly go? If you don’t know what words they search with or what they commonly look for then I recommend doing some research by talking to potential great clients. You can also join groups where your best clients are likely to be and then listen to their conversations and read their posts.
Keeping your messaging, offers, and pricing simple while sharing useful content through blog posts and social networking sites is a key element of selling your services when you hate selling. It helps you communicate what makes you truly unique, educate your audience while elevating yourself as a trusted authority and demonstrating your expertise which can help you pre-sell someone on working with you, buying from you, or referring to you.
Which of these questions do you struggle with the most?