No Brainer Pricing Is Killing Your Business

As a business strategist for small business owners and creative entrepreneurs, I have the unique vantage point of being able to look under the hood of a wide array of businesses. It’s an honor, and there are some alarming patterns.

When I work with a new client, I ask them to walk me through their current offerings. They all generally have the same layout (the result of following cookie cutter advice, unfortunately) — the higher end one on one service, the group program, and some itty bitty e-book or email course for less than $20.

“Why do you have this, priced like this?”

Invariably, they’ve all said the same two answers. They either call it a ‘no brainer’ or ‘tripwire’.

“It’s priced so low it’s a no-brainer! They buy this ebook/program/thingy from me, fall in love with my work, and by extension me, and then they buy my next offering.”

First of all, people should be thinking about their purchases. All of them. You don’t want your business filled with a legions of zombie buyers! You want it filled with people who are intelligently and thoughtfully considering their needs, your work, and then voting yes on you. With their dollars.

Second of all, if you do ‘catch’ someone with your low priced offering (because it’s low priced, not because it fits their needs, is counter productive — see rant above about zombie buyers) and your next offering is $500 or more, that’s a huge gap! Someone who is impulse buying $20 is going to have a hard time swallowing a $500, $1,000 or more price-tag for the next offer.

Pricing is positioning.

How you price your work tells a story. If that story is confusing to your readers/clients/customers/buyers, they’re going to bail. They’re not going to start to trust you, and they’re certainly not going to come back for more.

For goodness sake, stop trying to trick your clients. Or trip them. Or assume they’re not smart enough to make good decisions and investments for their businesses. The quality and impact of your work should make the sale, not the low-ball price.