As a coach, consultant, advisor, agency, service pro or solution provider, you are an agent of transformation for your clients.
And one of your core responsibilities as an agent of transformation is raising the perceived value of your products and services, so you can charge premium prices.
Because as an agent of transformation, your perceived value and actual value are inseparable.
That’s right, you’re actually doing your clients a disservice by not maximizing the price and perceived value of what you’re selling.
Consider this analogy …
Suppose you’ve got one heck of a sore throat and you go to the doctor for help. Which of these two scenarios would be more likely to make you feel better?
Scenario A: Doc listens to you for a few minutes and then sticks his wooden thingy on your tongue and peers down your throat.
Next thing you know he’s telling you to go to the corner store and pick up some throat lozenges for $5, take a couple of aspirin, and call him in the morning.
Scenario B: Doc does his thing and then writes you a prescription for some extra strength medicinal grade throat lozenges for which you’ll have to pay a pharmacist $20.
So which is it?
Most certainly you’d have more confidence in scenario B. And therefore, you would indeed feel better as a result of following that course of treatment.
Now what if I told you they were the same lozenges?
Thousands of double blind “placebo” studies prove that regardless of what’s in those lozenges, scenario B is going to have you whistlin’ Dixie a whole lot faster than scenario A. Doctors have even been known to write prescriptions for over-the-counter medications for this very reason.
By feeding the mind a high value expectation, you can expect a high value result.
We’re all far more likely to derive value from something when we pay a price for it. The higher that price, the better. I know this is weird science, but it is absolutely true.
Once you firmly grasp this concept, you will always feel proud of charging premium prices and building perceived value that supports them. You’ll be incredibly motivated to do so.
The more you charge for your solution, the more your clients will value it. And the more they value it, the more they will do with it. And the more they do with it, the more they will benefit. Do you see the logic?
Concept #2 — The subconscious mind can’t tell the difference between a real and an imagined experience.
The key to unlocking an avalanche of sales and getting top dollar for your programs is to create the illusion of ownership in your prospects’ minds. Before they will take actual ownership by giving you money, they must take mental ownership by experiencing what ownership will be like.
You build that feeling to some extent with pictures and testimonials and by demonstrating benefits. But most of all, you do it by getting your prospects to daydream about their future life. A life that is the result of what they can do, have, and become with your help.
The key trigger words are “imagine … ,” “picture … ,” “what if … ,” “can you see yourself … ” and the like. These words tell your prospects to withdraw from the senses and go inward, into the theater of their minds, where mental movies are created. These mental movies are about the future, but they are based on memory, and therefore highly personal to your reader.
If I were to say to you, “imagine her kissing you like you’ve never been kissed before,” I can say with 100% certainty that your mind will conjure up an image from memory that is unique to you. And that image will be imminently more powerful and moving to you than anything I could possibly describe.
I can guide your visualization, but you will build it with vivid images pulled from memory that are entirely personal to you.
During an enrollment call, your prospect will tell you precisely what those visualizations should be. But in your marketing, where you don’t know how people are processing, it’s best to present several possible scenarios.
“Imagine turning back the clock on your health. What would it be like to have virtually unlimited energy to burn … to bound through the day like a teenager again … to never experience the aches and pains of middle age?
“Picture yourself powering through the workday … towering over others in intellect and concentration … and then coming home refreshed and looking forward to a night on the town.
“Instead of crumpling like a sack of potatoes on the couch, you’re out partying with friends into the wee hours of the morning … skinny dipping … and topping the night off with a couple of hours of passionate sex by the pool.”
The body only goes where the mind has already traveled. Remember that.
Once you’ve ushered your prospect into the theater of his mind, you can then plant further ownership suggestions. You can send powerful signals to his subconscious mind by presupposing he will take the necessary action required to bring the imagined experience to fruition.
If you’ve put yourself in the right “mental set” before writing your copy or conversing with a prospective client — creating a positive expectation in your mind that your prospect will buy — you tend to do this naturally.
Your communication will assume the sale.
Instead of: “You could increase your take home pay by up to 40% without an increase in salary if you were to take advantage of my new tax zapper investment plan.”
You’ll be more likely to say or to write: “You’ll increase your take home pay by up to 40% without an increase in salary when you take advantage my new tax zapper investment plan.”
Or if you’re really in the zone: “You are increasing your take home pay by up to 40% without an increase in salary with my new tax zapper investment plan.”
The conscious mind doesn’t see a lot of difference in these three sentences. They’re all pushing the same benefit. But to the subconscious — which can’t tell the difference between a real and an imagined experience — the difference is night and day.
Note the differences: The first sentence creates a mental image of self as yet undecided. The second sentence creates a mental image of self already decided and looking forward to the intended benefit. The third sentence creates a mental image of self enjoying the benefits of ownership in the present moment.
Which one creates a stronger feeling of ownership when you stop and think about it? Go back and compare them carefully.
Concept #3 — The fear of loss is greater than the desire for gain.
Anyone who’s watched the stock market for any length of time knows that markets fall much faster than they rise. The reason for this is that people place a much higher perceived value on that which they already own. They can’t bear to imagine it being taken away from them.
Think of your pet for example. What kind of a premium over purchase price would you place on your pet’s head? Is your pet any cuter because YOU are its owner? It certainly seems that way, doesn’t it?
And the more work you put into ownership the more ownership you begin to feel. Somehow the more involved you were with house training, feeding, exercising and otherwise caring for your pet, the more valuable little Rex or Patches becomes to you. As if your efforts in these areas somehow create more value than somebody else’s.
In the same way, you can increase the perceived value of your programs with involvement devices and contests that mentally commit your prospect to the sales process … hurdles to overcome such as applications that must be submitted before someone can enroll … and other “work” that similarly invests your prospect.
The more you can strengthen the feeling of ownership, the more effectively you can leverage the fear of loss. Scarcity is a powerful tool on its own, but its power is amplified many times over when a sense of ownership has previously been cultivated.
The allure of “FREE” also derives its power from this natural human inclination to overvalue that which we already have, relative to what we may hope to gain. Have you heard the expression, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”?
What the word “FREE” really means is “FREE from risk of loss.” Given the choice between a free $10 off coupon, and a coupon worth $20 that costs $7, the overwhelming majority of people will take the free coupon. Is that stupid? Perhaps, but it all goes back to our primal fear of loss. The second offer is clearly better, but the first one is free of risk of loss.
What this means is that you can enhance perceived value dramatically with free stuff piled on top of your basic offering. The perceived value of free stuff actually exceeds the dollar value you attach to it.
And once a sense of ownership has been established for that free stuff, you can then create scarcity that threatens to take it away from people if they fail to act.
So let’s review:
Step 1 — Come to grips with your responsibility to charge premium prices and create perceived value that justifies those premium prices. Realize that it is in your prospect’s best interest, and that perceived value and actual value are tied together at the hip.
Step 2 — Leverage the subconscious mind’s inability to separate fact from fiction. Stimulate “ownership” imagery in the theaters of your prospects’ minds. Presuppose the sale as well as the realization of its desired benefits.
Step 3 — Create a condition of scarcity or urgency that threatens to take away what your prospect has already become mentally attached to.
There you have it, a three-pronged plan of attack. Charge premium prices, build perceived value, and prosper.
Until next time, Good Selling!