• Secrets for Stress-Free Finance

Cincinnati Chili, A Broken iPhone, and the Emotions of Customers

October 5, 2018

Cincinnati Chili, A Broken iPhone, and the Emotions of Customers October 5, 2018 In 1922, brothers Tom and John Kiradjieff, immigrants to Cincinnati from Macedonia, opened a small food stand next to the Empress Burlesque Theater. They perfected a meat sauce, using spices such as paprika and allspice which were common in their homeland, to be served over hot dogs and spaghetti. In 1949, a former employee of Empress Chili, Nicholas Lambrinides, opened his own restaurant, naming it Skyline Chili…

On Why B2B Service Providers are No Different Than Coffee Retailers

October 1, 2018

On Why B2B Service Providers are No Different Than Coffee Retailers October 1, 2018 My taste in coffee is plain. Give me straight black coffee. I don’t care much about the label. I don’t pay attention to where the coffee beans are sourced. I’m generally indifferent on where I buy. I’m perfectly happy to stop at the local convenience store for a $1 cup of coffee. My college-age daughter, on the other hand, loves Starbucks.  This time of the year,…

Pricing, Quality, and the Last U.S. Manufacturer of Marbles

September 25, 2018

Pricing, Quality, and the Last U.S. Manufacturer of Marbles September 25, 2018 Offshoring and video games decimated the U.S. marble industry and left only one domestic manufacturing standing: Marble King in Paden City, West Virginia. How did they do it? As this Inc. profile indicates, they competed on quality, not on price:  “‘When other manufacturers tried to compete on price and couldn’t do that, Marble King consistently strove to be the best marble maker in the world,’ says Gerald Witcher,…

The Death of Subway’s $5 Footlong and the Lingering Pain of a Jingle

September 20, 2018

The Death of Subway’s $5 Footlong and the Lingering Pain of a Jingle September 20, 2018 What’s one of the worst ways to build a brand? For me, it has to be putting a discounted price in a jingle which sticks in customer heads long after the rationale for that pricing strategy has gone away. Remember the Subway $5-foot-long jingle? Amid franchisee grumblings and declining sales, the sandwich chain has announced that the $5 footlong promotion is going away for…

Posting Prices and Value Propositions on Your Website: A Property Inspector’s Example

September 11, 2018

Posting Prices and Value Propositions on Your Website: A Property Inspector’s Example September 11, 2018 I recently addressed the problem of getting the “What are Your Rates?” question at the beginning of a phone call from your website or social media (and well before, obviously, you’ve had the opportunity to have a value conversation with a client). One obvious solution is to simply put your prices on your website. I’m generally not a fan of that strategy, and particularly not…

Matching Vision and Talent: How One Videographer Invites a Value Conversation With Clients

August 27, 2018

Matching Vision and Talent: How One Videographer Invites a Value Conversation With Clients August 27, 2018 In a recent post we discussed how to respond to a client who asks about a price before there has been a value conversation about their needs. Trenton Carson and I recently discussed this problem as he experiences it with his video production company, TC Productions. He frequently has people who ask in passing “how much does a video cost?,” as if purchasing a…

How to Respond to the “What are Your Rates?” Question

August 23, 2018

How to Respond to the “What are Your Rates?” Question August 23, 2018 Here’s a question I received earlier this week from a B2B service professional: I was thinking over one of the things you said to me at lunch a few weeks ago.  You said if someone asks you about your price right away on the phone you mention you may not be a good fit.  [At a recent networking event] someone came up to me at the end,…

Prices Send Signals to Customers: The Jewelry Store Version

August 20, 2018

Prices Send Signals to Customers: The Jewelry Store Version August 20, 2018 Published in 1984, Dr. Robert Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion is a classic, appearing on most lists you’ll find of all-time best business books you’ll find. Near the beginning of his book, Cialdini relates a story on influence and pricing:   I got a phone call one day from a friend who had recently opened an Indian jewelry store in Arizona. She was giddy with a…

“How to Increase Your Prices and Profits”: My Interview on the “Biz Communication Show” with Dr. Bill Lampton

August 16, 2018

“How to Increase Your Prices and Profits”: My Interview on the “Biz Communication Show” with Dr. Bill Lampton August 16, 2018 Thanks to Dr. Bill Lampton, the “Biz Communication Guy,” for having me as a guest on his “Biz Communication Show.” We discussed pricing topics like how to deal with the “I can’t afford you” objection, the need to have a value conversation before pricing your service, and how professional service providers offer intangible value which goes well beyond the service…

The Value of a Barber: More Than Just a Haircut

August 15, 2018

The Value of a Barber: More Than Just a Haircut August 15, 2018 Do you have just one hair stylist or barber you trust with your hair? One you’ll drive out of your way to visit? The New York Times recently ran an article on the bonds some barbers have with their clientele of professional baseball players. One barber has regularly flown 7000 miles from the United States to South Korea to cut a client’s hair. He not only receives…

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