Overcoming Price Objections (The Persimmon Paradox)
Persimmons are far and away my favorite food.
They outrank everything including chocolate, pasta, pizza, bread and butter, bagels, black and white cookies, onion soup, salmon, fried clams, applesauce… even my mother’s tuna casserole (sorry Mom!)
In fact, as they’re only available in New Hampshire for about 6 weeks in the fall each year, if you happen across a ripe one in February, I might be willing to sell you certain non-vital organs for a bite.
But a few years back I had a very strange experience at Whole Foods, our organic grocery here in New England. It was the first week of “Persimmon Season”, and Sharon and I were grocery shopping, as was our Sunday custom…
I practically fainted when we walked into the store and saw a display full of hundreds of persimmons!!! “I’ve died and gone to heaven”, I thought…
I rushed to the display (almost pushing Sharon aside – and I’m only half kidding) and started filling up a gigantic bag with about 14 of them. (You can’t eat’m before they’re ripe by the way or you’re definitely going to throw up)
Then… I paused.
See, because the season had just begun, they were $1.49 EACH.
Which meant I was going to be shelling out about $20 for the bag.
And despite what I just told you (I’d almost sell you my Mom for a bag), and the fact $20 isn’t very much money to me these days…
A “Big Hairy Price Policeman” in my head shouted “NO WAY GLENN… YOU CAN’T PAY $20 FOR A BAG OF FRUIT!!!”
And therein lies your pricing problem as a coach.
If your prospect thinks of what you’ve got to offer in any kind of predefined commoditized category… you’re sunk
But there’s good news.
I did indeed buy the big bag of persimmons, and walked out with my head held high.
Do you know why?
Because I remembered that I’d probably spent $40 on “Decaf Venti Soy Lattes with No Foam” at Starbucks that week.
And I said to myself “I’ll be damned if I’m going to let Starbucks hijack my brain into believing I should spend twice the money on a quarter of the nutrition and a tenth of the pleasure of this big bag of organic fruit in front of me”
I BROKE THE COMMODITY SPELL.
I made an apples to oranges comparison in my own mind and castrated the price police.
Which is exactly what you need to do with your prospects.
You need to ask yourself what artificial, commoditized category your prospects place your product or service in, then make comparisons to things they’re already spending without thinking about, and show them with specific, well grounded logic why they’re actually going to get a LOT MORE from you with this purchase than they’re brainlessly spending elsewhere.
Another way to overcome the price objection is to make a decision to step out of the commodity trap entirely.
For example, if I’m a guy who can’t seem to stop eating chocolate when I feel stressed (hey, I’m just sayin’), and you’ve taken the time to successfully position yourself as “The Stress Eating” coach, I’m less likely to flinch if your price is higher than many other coaches I know, or than what “research” says the average price of a coach should be.
Yet another way to overcome price objections is to gather MORE PROOF than anyone else in your market. But it’s gotta be proof that’s very specific to the problem you’re promising to solve.
For example, suppose you gave a free “Stop Eating Chocolate Under Stress” workshop in your local community (which I would totally attend!) You go all out and really deliver for the participants…
Then you have a friend point their iPhone at them as they’re leaving to ask what they thought. Now you’ve got a dozen video testimonials about how great your advice was… they feel HOPE where they felt none before. You follow up with them in a few weeks and document the results…
Now you’ve got PROOF specific to the problem you address.
So now picture this.
I’m a guy who can’t stop eating chocolate when I’m stressed (really, I’m just sayin’).
You do a specialty workshop on how to do just that.
At the end of the workshop you tell me to go look at your website for testimonials of all the people you helped to kill the Chocolate Monster.
How can I possibly compare your price to anyone else on the market? Now, I’m NOT saying you could charge $1,000/hr for this… your fee has to be affordable and somewhat within the bounds of reason. What I AM saying is that once I’m convinced you’re the only game in town for MY particular problem, your price becomes the last thing on my mind. And I’ll often pay 50% to 100% more than the “going rate” to get “the right coach for me”
See where I’m going?
Graduates of the Coach Certification Academy’s training program say we teach marketing better than any other program on the market. (You can LISTEN to them here). And a big part of this is because we show you how to BREAK THE COMMODITY SPELL:
- See how to choose the right coaching niche considering market size, your desired business model, the audience’s demonstrated willingness to pay, and your personal passion…
- Develop a powerful origin story which positions you as the obvious expert in your niche. More importantly it helps you come across as a coach on a very specific mission to help this very specific audience. And when you succeed, you’re not longer a commodity because they can both feel your passion and know in their souls that you’re “one of them!”…
- Create coaching programs to match your audience’s specific needs and your own personal passion. Overcome people’s natural reluctance to pay for open ended, ongoing sessions by presenting a very specific, time limited program which delivers the specific benefits they most desire…
- Find out which marketing and advertising mediums work for coaches, and which are largely a waste of time and money…
PS – Anyone got some chocolate? (Just kidding. I actually quit last year!)