Nobody Cares About Cost
5-minute read ⚠️ Work In Progress
We're ... here to make more
NOTE: This is Part 3 of the “Nobody Cares” series
but all that cost-saving corner-cutting
goes away when they see Value™
Businesses think very differently from people
- the more expensive
- the more custom
- the better
because that brings confidence & comfort,
knowing they’re getting the most work done
You don’t have to be the cheapest option!
They won’t skimp on $1000,
IF they know it’ll cost them $10k later
- Cost == money leaves & never returns
- Investment == money makes more money
The question becomes:
how can we communicate your services
as an investment, rather than a cost?
“Your services” is a fancy repackaging of “a job” from the consulting world. Think of yourself as a 1-person business, not an employee. In general, employees sell their time for limited returns while businesses sell products & services (or should I say “experiences”? …no: Transformations™)
Turns out you already do it:
“Getting a job”?
More like making an “enterprise sale”
(“enterprise” == big company & even bigger money)
🔑 Companies want to get rid of as much money as possible 🔑
Companies actually want to
get rid of as much money as possible
They play “hot potato” with money
They want to make sure it’s not stuck sitting in their hands …the same way you don’t want any emails from your boss sitting unanswered in your inbox. Every second that money sits there, it’s not out generating even more.
Again, great news:
you want more money now
but they just want more money later
They’re happy to give you money now
if that means you’re thinking non-stop
about how you’ll make them even more
Why was this so counter-intuitive?
Individual consumers like you & me
don’t often think like businesses
Think about it this way:
businesses could cut costs,
but there’s no ceiling on profits
Businesses = profit machines
When it comes to us as individuals,
we’re highly risk-averse:
we play to not lose
Humans = survival machines
Ever heard of “loss aversion”?
We value losses 2-4 times more
than gains of the same value
One more reason:
Pricing™ is a complete art form
There are many many mindgames to pricing
(countless books written on this)
Despite what childhood movies taught you
about The Big Bad Greedy Executives™,
most executives just want safe bets
Maximizing money-in-pocket is nice & all, but if I have a big plumbing issue that could corrode the foundation of my house …am I going to laugh maniacally about my savings when some random plumber I don’t even know named Dan [who doesn’t even look that coordinated …or agile] pretends like he can do it in no time for 7 bucks?
Or let’s say your team secured a SuperBowl commercial timeslot. Do you honestly think you’d entertain a small agency with zero reputation to pull off a good ad for the “super-duper cost-effective” pirce of $1,750? Every other advertiser is investing millions to sharpen their messages. I hope you can appreciate why cost often isn’t the #1 priority for these decisions.
People pay Premium
for peace of mind
They want a sure bet
What’s the Return on You?
They want your most expensive offering
if that can free up their time
to face bigger problems
If I handed you a mysterious box
that turned $1 into $1.05,
you’d get crankin’
In what environment do you turn $1 into $1.05?
This isn’t “give me 5 cents”
That’s not the transaction here
Notice the difference:
“Oh you can make $1.05?
hmmmm …go ahead: here’s $1 up-front”
Life is rarely that straightforward, but now you can appreciate why businesses actually prefer to spend more money. It’s not about costs, but returns. If I gave you $100 & you only invested half of it to make a 10% return on that $50 …walking away with $105 sounds nice, but part of you would wish you could go back in time to turn that entire $100 into $110, instead of only $50 of it into $55.
“you need to spend money
to make money”
So what can we do?
Thinking like a consultant
- TODO: explain value-based pricing (or google it before I draft my own take on it 😉)
How can “thinking like a consultant” help us better approach our job search & even negotiate a higher salary?
The best “consultants” in the world optimize for other things than profit (e.g. to work on interesting projects, to work with interesting people), but let’s pretend like we’re only in it for the short-term money. There are many ways to price your services but we’ll look at the most basic, then the “best”
This is probably the most intuitive
If you want to make profit, just charge more than it costs to produce
- TODO: elaborate
If you always charge
so you sell products at a price slightly higher
What’s wrong with this?
What if they’re willing to pay more than you’re asking? You just negotiated against yourself. The higher the price or more specific the service, the more flexible people are on price. If we only ever charge this relatively fixed price, then we could potentially be leaving a lot of money on the table.
There must be a better way…
- TODO: Value-based
- TODO: add image to visualize value-based pricing vs others
Thinking like an investor
Sure, understanding how companies think helps you communicate yourself to employers, but this is a great opportunity to explore how else this can improve your life & career: we’ve written about co-opting this “investment mindset” & searching like an executive
Don’t worry about your costs
Worry about their returns
NOTE: This is Part 3 of the “Nobody Cares” series
⚠️ Full story: coming soon…