Seth Godin and I Agree: Sell Value

Seth Godin is a guy that anyone in marketing follows. He’s a former VP at Yahoo and a couple of years ago was inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame.

If you’ve never heard of him, let me tell you this: Just type in the word “Seth” and he’ll appear high up on your search page. I just did, and he hit the TWO top slots on Google.

THAT’S how big he is. And people listen to him.

A blog of Seth’s last year sounded oddly familiar. In it, Seth told readers that “It’s too expensive” almost never means “there isn’t enough money if I think it’s worth it.”

He suggested readers should find a community that values the work they do and then increase the perceived value rather than lowering the price.

“When you don’t need everyone to buy what you sell, ‘It’s too expensive’ from some is actually a useful reminder that you’ve priced this appropriately for the rest of your audience.”

Now, in the July issue of our SmartBox newsletter (you’re getting the newsletter, yes?) I said pretty much the same thing. Maybe this is where he got the idea!

No way to be sure, but it is an interesting coincidence. But we agree.

What someone is willing to pay has nothing to do with price. It is all about value. If some people don’t see the value, then you know two things:

  1. Keep working on your presentation technique. If you feel it is valuable to them, you want them to feel that way, too.
  2. You’re probably doing something right. You need to find the right price points where some say no while enough say yes.

Too many yeses and you’re not charging enough.

Too many nos and you’re charging too much.

Now, I can’t emphasize enough that “value” is completely subjective. It’s a perception that turns into a belief. Take the new trend in direct-selling razors to men. The entire value proposition of those advertisers is based on price. They give lip service such subjective things as ergonomics, aesthetics, branding, and so on. But all of those, and more, make up the perception of value. And the equation is different for single individual.

That’s why your presentations have to be individualized; if you’re selling value, you have to find out what determines your customer’s perception of value. Is it lack of mouth pain? A more comfortable eating experience? A winning smile? Better sleep?

Determining patients’ individual perceptions of value takes more time and more attention, but the results are worth in many cases.

If you’re getting a “No, it’s too expensive” while trying sell a patient on what you know they need, you have three choices.

1) You can write them off as unsellable.

2) You can continue trying to sell by zeroing in on what they value.

3) You can take their refusal as confirmation that you’re pricing appropriately.

Regardless, you’ve learned something very helpful in presenting your ideas to your patients.




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About the author
Colin Receveur is a nationally recognized speaker, author, and dental web marketing expert who has pioneered the way dentists market themselves online for the past decade. Since incorporating in 2001, Colin has established a rock solid track record with his dentist clients and turned SmartBox into a stalwart of proven results for hundreds of dental practices.