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  • Writer's pictureJohannes Mutzke

Got a great idea? Don't be scared to put a price on it and hear what people really think!

I was recently part of a startup/innovation team trying to create a new offer for an important customer segment. We had moved quickly to create & test rough prototypes with real users and were beginning to get positive feedback. But for some reason we weren’t quite sure if we had really landed on a winner, or just something “ok” that might get interest, but not enough traction to sell. How would we know?

We decided to create a professional-looking flyer for a potential client in which we would present a “real-looking offer”…with a PRICE! We were pretty nervous – would they love it, hate it, reject it, or accept it?

…They hated it!!…after an emotional & reactionary outburst, they proceeded to tell us all the reasons why they didn’t like it…BUT then told us what the real industry need was, key selling points we’d have to emphasize…and at what price-point we’d have to offer it for it to be bought. In the end, it was the most valuable customer interaction we ever had, and actually re-shaped the next version of our offer which became a success.

Of course there are many factors at play in this story, but I believe one of the most significant is that we dared to put a PRICE on our offer. Why? Here are a couple of reasons…

  • “Dollars & Sense” – a good dose of reality sets in when someone has to open their wallet and vote with their hard-earned dollar. It forces them to think about cost versus value/benefit. Is it really worth it? Is it a priority over something else? Does it make sense?

  • “Black & White” – decisions are moments of truth. Are you in or out? Yes or no?…can’t be in the middle. By forcing a potential customer to “take a side” you’ve created instant clarity that gives you an amazing opportunity to understand more. What are the pros/cons, advantages/disadvantages?

Again, as is hopefully clear from my story, it doesn’t really matter which answer you get from your customer – “yes” or “no.” The value is that you’ve created clarity. And by making them take one side over the other, you’ve created amazingly fertile ground to dig further and understand the reasons why.

Don’t miss this opportunity. Next time you pitch a new idea to a customer, dare to put a PRICE on it!

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