Beauty is in the eye of the…PRICE…wait!..what!?

Beauty is in the eye of the…PRICE…wait!..what!?

I believe I was around 9 years old when I first heard “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and even though my teacher was trying to make the point that even though I didn’t like my art project, she and others found it to be very good.  I still don’t believe she really thought it was that great, but what else would a teacher do other than employ whatever means possible to bolster the confidence of one of her students.

I must admit, I didn’t really grasp what it meant at that time – I never heard the phrase uttered again until high school while looking at a painting during a museum field trip where the guide uttered the phrase, and even then, its deeper meanings and application to many areas outside of the field of art escaped me.

It wasn’t until much later when I was doing some deep, postgraduate research into the Eastern and Western philosophies, that I finally understood that my reality, the way that I evaluated whether something was good, bad, great or terrible was entirely dependent on how I thought about it.  It had nothing really to do with the object, individual or circumstances themselves but rather it was that I imbued my attitude about them into them.  

My thoughts shaped my perspective and experience, or put another way, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Following this line of discussion, I believe that money and its cohort, price, could be guided  down a similar path of reasoning. 

From one perspective, price could easily be viewed as a grouping of numbers, dollar signs, commas and periods – numbers arranged in an order that lets someone know the amount they need to hand over in order to obtain some product and/or service.

$99.99, $1,101.01 and $129,000.32 are nothing more than numbers arranged in a particular order, but they certainly become muddied once you start to pile on one’s considerations, attitudes and thoughts concerning their particular arrangement or grouping.

For example, do you think one’s attitude would change if their bank account suddenly had ten times the amount today than it did yesterday?  How about a hundred times the amount today than yesterday, or a thousand times?  

When you look at the bank balance from the perspective of it simply being numbers arranged in a certain order separated by commas and periods, it’s not as if anything has necessarily changed other than the arrangement of the numbers is different than before.  Yet if one suddenly had 10 times the amount of money than they had the day before, they’re attitude would certainly lift without a doubt.

But why?

I think that when you take a number and add a dollar sign to it, logic has a tendency to hop in the back seat, and then all sorts of considerations begin to climb in for the ride. And it’s not as if everyone holds the same attitude; there’s not a universal, agreed-upon-by-everyone sort of an attitude – it’s actually quite unique to each person.

What’s even more interesting, is that it is a 100% learned attitude.  No one was born with it; it’s not in our DNA.    

Now I’m not here to go into the many ways one shapes these attitudes, as this is not the purpose of this article.  I’m trying to lay the groundwork that everyone has a unique, personal perspective on money, which will inevitably translate into a unique set of attitudes regarding price.

There is not some universal pricing manual that tells you what to charge for your products and/or services.  For sure there is guidance that you can get from your industry, competitors, consultants, cost analysis, etc.  But in the end, where did any of these get their pricing guidance from? 

At some point, it was simply created, made up!  I’m sure it has some basis, but I’m certain the Oracle of Pricing was not consulted.

Above all, you have to have a firm belief in what you are charging for your product or service, because your pricing is going to go up against what others believe it is worth.  This is where the rubber meets the road in how you respond when someone says “that is too expensive” or “what can you do for me on price,” because it will determine whether or not you get the market to pay you for what you feel your product or service deserves, or you give in and reduce your price.

Since the price is made up, all you have to do is firmly believe that your product or service warrants its asking price, and then you simply need to build more value in the customers mind so that they too can see that your price makes sense – once they place more value on your product than they do their money, they will happily exchange it for your product or service.

Price is not something that someone can purchase.  It is not a physical object, rather it is more of an idea than anything else.  You could even go so far as to say price is a myth.  It is so easy to get wrapped up in all the significance of it, so you must remember it is simply numbers arranged among commas, periods and a dollar sign.  From its simple arrangement, all sorts of considerations form in one’s mind – “it’s too expensive”, “that price is too high” “I can’t afford that”, “I never pay retail prices” and so on.  It’s not that these ideas are not important, they absolutely are to that person, but you don’t have to hold these same beliefs or buy into them.  These ideas are theirs, not yours.  Know that your product is a tremendous value, and then go about showing the customer that value, and all of their considerations will fold in the face of your conviction.

Selling, everybody’s doing it.

Selling, everybody’s doing it.

Merriam Webster defines selling as an action of persuading or influencing a course of action or to the acceptance of something.

Selling touches everyone, everyone sells, there is no escape from this fact.

Webster defines persuade as to move by argument to a belief, position, or course of action.

Think about it, whenever you try to get your way, you’re selling.  Whenever you try to get someone to do what you want instead of what they want, you’re selling.  Whenever you try to get your proposal signed off on, you’re selling.  Raising money for your new venture, you’re selling.  Getting a key employee to join your company, you’re selling.

Everyday, everyone is selling.  You get your child to eat their vegetables, do their homework or go to bed on time, this is selling.  Getting your friends or spouse to go see the movie you want, eat at the restaurant you want or getting them to tag along with you on an errand involves selling.  Convincing the mechanic to fix your car for less or negotiating a lower price on a home, involves selling.

I would go so far as to say that your success in life depends on your ability to persuade, influence, convince and move others to your course of action, ideas or offers.  Your ability to achieve financial security for yourself, your family and your team depend on your ability to sell. 

Given that selling , then it stands to reason that we had better understand a little bit more about this thing called selling.

To cover all the basics of selling here wouldn’t really make sense, as this is not the place for such an exhaustive discussion; however there is one aspect that I’d like to cover and one that is most important to selling. 

The most important sale.

From Grant Cardone’s Sell or Be Sold,  “Only to the degree you are sold can you sell.  This is a critical and unavoidable fact that cannot be missed if you’re to become great at what you do…The bottom line is, if you’re not selling to some degree, you’re not sold…In order to become a great salesperson, you have to sell yourself on what you’re selling.”

And that is the most important sale of all, selling yourself!  You have to have an unwavering certainty that your product, your service, your company or your ideas are superior to all others.  This level of conviction is required to achieve a high degree of success and it can also be used as a monitoring factor in your career – if you’re sold, your selling, you’re moving product, signing contracts.  If you’re not sold, your conviction is down to a greater or lesser degree, sales are not occurring, and contracts are not getting signed.

Let’s say you’re in front of a prospective client and they’re telling you that they can get your company’s services down the street for less.  What do you think your response would be if you had complete conviction, you’re totally sold on the fact that your company’s services are the only option for them:  “I completely agree, you could easily go down the street and get it for a lower price, but let me cover the key reasons why my company is the option that is best for you.”  

On the other hand, If you’re not completely sold with unwavering conviction on the fact that your company is the best option for your client, it would probably go something like this: “I see, well once you hear what they have to offer, come back to me and we will do what we can to earn your business.”

Not only would this apply to a product or service but I believe it has sweeping implications across many areas.  Any great performer, whether musician, artist or athlete would probably agree that they must hold the conviction that what they do is the absolute best when compared to all others.  There is an insatiable drive to be the best they can be and must convince themselves that this is the case, and if they fall short of that conviction, then they must do whatever it takes in the form of training, practice, drilling or rehearsal to achieve absolute conviction.

There is a simple exercise that can be done to help you work out that conviction.  To help you to become completely sold on yourself, your company and your product or idea.

Take out a sheet of paper and divide it into thirds – at the top you’re going to write “company” and then about a third of the way down, you’re going to write “product” and on the last third of the page, you’re going to write “you”.

So now, what you’re going to do is sell yourself.  You’re not going to sell your friends, your spouse or your co-worker.  You’re not going to show anyone else this piece of paper.  You’re simply going to sell yourself on why you should do business with your company.  Then sell yourself on why you should buy your product, and lastly, sell yourself on why “you”.  Why should you do business with you?

Set aside the time, write down all the reasons in each section, don’t just think about it.  Take the necessary time to write it out, and as you work through the exercise you’ll notice that your conviction is rising.