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How To Price The Whole Elephant

While reviewing one of the tutorials in The PricingBrew Journal, Exposing Your Differential Value Step-by-Step, I found myself reminded of the story of the blind men and the elephant.

There are a few different variations of the story, but if you haven’t heard one before, here’s the general idea… A group of people are asked to determine what an elephant looks like…but only by touch. One of them grabs the tail and reports that an elephant is like a rope. One grabs a leg and exclaims that an elephant is like a column. One grabs a tusk and states that an elephant is like a curved pipe. You get the idea. All of them were right…and all of them were wrong.

So what does this have to do with value and pricing?

All too often, we place value on our products or services using only one dimension. As good pricing people, we (hopefully) avoid the cardinal sin of using our own costs as a dimension—but that doesn’t stop many of us from missing the bigger picture.

  • Maybe your product is faster than the competition…
  • Maybe your response times are second to none…
  • Maybe your company reputation is stellar…
  • Maybe your product quality means it will last longer…

There are likely dozens and dozens of value drivers that exist for your products. But you have to examine all of them to understand which ones are the most important to your prospects.  If you haven’t, you’re not seeing the whole elephant.

The thing is, even though we’re not selling to consumers when we’re doing B2B pricing, our buyers are still humans. Their decision process will consider all sorts of different factors—and the more expensive and considered the purchase, the more factors that they’ll consider. In other words, your customers will look at the whole elephant when they’re buying. You need to be sure you’re looking at it from their eyes.

It can be a tricky—especially when you’re trying to find new perspectives in seeing your own products and services. Thankfully, the tutorial in the Journal does a great job of walking you through a process to understand all of the dimensions that your products and services can be seen through and how to determine which ones are most important. There’s even a PDF you can download that has over 50 potential value-drivers to help get you started.

It’s a good resource to check out if you haven’t already. And it could be very worthwhile—once you can see the whole elephant, it might be worth much more than you thought.

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