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Last week we tackled the below challenge:

I would like to increase my prices, in fact I know that I probably should, but I have no idea how without all of my customers leaving

We reviewed the first of three steps in addressing this issue (adopting a different mindset) last week and this week we will look at the second step (adding more value).

Of course, some businesses are already adding sufficient value in order to justify a price increase. If this is your business, then you could skip this week’s advice. However, even if you are adding sufficient value now, adding even more value will simply mean that you can increase prices by more. Moreover, customers are less likely to leave and take up the services of one of your competitors.

So either way, adding more value is advisable!

In crude terms, the only way to add more value is to do something different (to your competition). Why? Because people pay for value (a purchase is simply an exchange of money and value). The value they pay for is the product or service (the outcome) that they receive.

So, if we add more value (at least some) customers will pay more. Which means that we can increase prices; as people will pay a higher price for a greater amount of value.

Hence my argument that to charge more, in the shape of higher prices, we must add more value when compared to your competition.

This process is often described as ‘meeting the unmet need’. Hence your challenge is to find out what need of your customers is currently NOT BEING MET. Then meet this need – and properly brand, market and sell this to the marketplace – and thus justify higher pricing.

But how? Here are ten of the most effective ways to add more value; ask which of these would meet an unmet need for your customers?

  1. Introduce a new service or product, including an ‘up’ or ‘cross’ sell item (straight innovation!)
  2. Make an improvement to an existing service or product that nobody else is doing (most of the time, your customers will actually tell you what improvement to make)
  3. Increase quality to be the highest quality within your service or product category (people think ‘you get what you pay for’)
  4. Promote authority, by acquiring, developing or better positioning existing expertise (people pay more for experts and the most for the foremost expert)
  5. Have the best case studies and examples of your work, by having the widest, most impressive or highest profile portfolio items
  6. Create a premium brand, with the best and most comfortable surroundings, atmosphere and environment (people pay for comfort, just like quality)
  7. Provide the quickest turnaround or delivery time (this is not limited to online products, but is very suitable for this category)
  8. Focus on a niche for your service or product (people will pay more for ‘the industry experts’)
  9. Have the widest selection of stock (this works particularly well when combined with a niche as above, so that you have ‘everything x niche could ever need’)
  10. Create a risk reversal guarantee on the basis of the greatest frustration felt by customers (when people say ‘they all do x’, guarantee not to do x)

This is your homework for this week! If you can’t see which one applies to your business, just shout…

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