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I thought I would share this sign I saw in a coffee shop the other day. Did you notice the prices?

The first thing I said to the person behind the counter was, “Who would pay this much to learn how to knit?”

Her statement to me was, “Only someone who wants to learn how to knit or crochet —really badly!” I still couldn’t believe my eyes, $195 for the weekend. I think she was astounded also.

Why was I so unbelieving? Because I’m not the customer, and the offer has no value to me.

Obviously, the salesperson isn’t’ worried about the cost, or they wouldn’t have priced it the way they did. I think I’m going to call and tell them I think the price is really high and see what they say.

Surveys about price say that price is way down the customer’s list of concerns. In fact, if you ask most salespeople what goes wrong in their sales, they’ll probably say price.

Think about it. If the customer stands for a long time without talking, salespeople gets nervous. They’re probably wondering, is the price too high? Customers also add to the salesperson’s discomfort by saying,  “I saw it down the street cheaper.” All of these things rattle salespeople.

So why would a customer not pay the salesperson’s price? Most likely, because the customer doesn’t think, the product hasn’t got the value. Could it be the salesperson doesn’t think the price is worth it?

Value is in the eyes of the beholder?

I looked at a Lexus convertible for sale on line. My dream is to own a red convertible. I’m looking at a used one with fairly high mileage, but I thought I would take a crack at the salesperson anyway.

“I think the price is high for a car with 60,000 miles on it,” I said to the salesperson.

“It is a Lexus,” he replied.

“I know, I said, it still has  60,000 miles on it.”

“It will run beautifully  for at least 200,000 miles,” he said.

“So what I said, it still has 60,000 miles on it.”

He replied, “I’m surprised you’re saying that,  I thought you owned a Lexus?”

Busted I guess.

Value is in the eyes of the customer—it becomes a problem when the salesperson is hungry or doesn’t understand the value of what they’re selling. Sometimes if the price is lower than the perceived value, the customer gets suspicious.

He thinks, “Is there something wrong with it?”

“If the product is so good, why is the price cheap?”

Why do people pay $3500 for a Rolex watch when they can buy the imposter for $50.00? I mean who really knows the difference? Is the robber who’s pulling it off your arm going to ask if it’s fake?

Some people value quality; they like paying for the real thing. For them, it has prestige, status and means they made it. There are also some people who buy the fake because they want to,  not because they have to. Why take away their pleasure?

Sarah Kidner

Remember, no matter how long you’ve been selling, value is in the eyes of the beholder. The customer always buy for their reason–not yours.

Lisbeth  considers herself a customer service fanatic. She helps businesses build loyal relationships with their customers through training and social media management. She can be reached at redhotcustomerservice@nycap.rr.com

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