How Offering Three ‘Virtual Products’ Can Help Maintain Profitable Pricing

Last week, the Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) tribe learned why understanding of a product’s benefits is crucial to selling the product into its target marketplace. This week, Marka explains how fire businesses can differentiate themselves by offering convenience, safety and peace of mind. Remember, fire = print.

Perched atop her favorite stool at the Red Argus, Marka listened to Zoot jaw on about price.

“Complaints about FEI’s prices have increased as of late, among new prospects and old customers alike,” Zoot said. “We’ve been tempted to bring out the dreaded ‘D’ word—Discounting. Half-off Fire Classic, two-for-one torches…whatever it takes to bring customers back.”

“Never in FEI’s history have we considered discounting,” Marka stated defiantly. “We sure as Hades won’t consider it now. Discount pricing is rarely a long-term sales growth solution.”

Zoot, reaching for the bowl of peanuts, shot back, “But how do we know that our customers won’t flock to Pyro and his low prices?”

“Price is far from the only influencer of customer purchasing behavior,” pointed out Marka as she lightly touched the sleeve of Zoot’s elegant toga. “For example, where did you buy purchase this fine piece of clothing?”

Zoot shrugged. “Olympus Brothers.”

“Olympus Brothers?” Marka replied with mock-surprise. “That’s a hoity-toity designer! Certainly not the cheapest toga brand.”

“No,” Zoot said. “But a discount toga could fall apart at any moment, making a bad first impression on a new client—or worse, my mother-in-law. Sure, I could save a couple drachmas, but I want value. The peace-of-mind provided by this high-quality product justifies its higher price.”

“You just summed it up,” Marka declared. “For any consumer, fear of purchasing a shoddy product or unreliable service is a huge motivator. If we remove that fear, we remove pricing objections as well.”

“How do we do that?” Zoot asked.

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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