The question isn’t how much it costs

Judy’s in a pickle. And I don’t mean the edible, actual kind. No, Judy’s left things to the last minute before turning to you – oh shiny amazing creator of all things that make life 100 times better for pickled Judys. She’s desperately in need of help, your help. Because her situation will escalate into something far, far, worse without it. Because she outsourced it to her neighbour who bodged the job, and then to the neighbour’s cat who bodged the job. Then, after wasting unthinkable amounts of time and cash she tried having a go at things herself but (surprise!) bodged it before she finally realised, “holy shit balls of impending doom, I need the experts on this one.” So, she turned to you.

Judy’s come to the right place. Never fear, she shall be saved! 

You launch into the details of the intricate processes behind your work. You reel off your accolades and, even though you are working from home in your pyjamas (no judgement, you’re in good company) there is some seriously fancy shit on that list. You indulge Judy with your A-lister clients and, sensing trepidation, throw in a once in a lifetime bonus offer (not your soul, please) as an sign-right-here-right-now incentive. Oh, for the love of a gin-and-tonic-before-midday, you could really do with a new client right now.

And a G&T, come to think of it.

Yet Judy, despite being known in her circles as being frequently distracted by all the pretty, shiny things, has one – and only one - question on her mind. She cuts to the chase:

“But how much does it cost?”

Sigh. Now, let me just stop and gag you there before you mumble anything in Judy’s general direction. If Judy is asking the wrong questions, whatever you do, do not back her up with the wrong answer.

The answer isn’t X dollars and X cents.

Judy needs to know precisely what, and how much you will save her. How your product will make her life better/brighter/easier/more enjoyable. Why spending her hard-earned cash with you will benefit her more than a foot massage at the end of a 12-hour day in new heels. “How much does it cost” should not be about Judy’s outgoing finances. It should be about what her investment returns. And it should reflect precisely why you’ve creating your products or services in the first place.

I don’t write ‘About Pages’; I help businesses find their voice, connect with their audience in a way that is so engaging customers stop walking out of the virtual door. I don’t write blog posts; I help business owners avoid sticking a fork in their eye that often comes with the pain of blog writing and instead allow them to direct their talents where they’ll generate the most income, with the highest time-for-dollar return. No fork in your eyeball? That’s a good return on investment.

Why do you take photos?

Why do you run a restaurant?

Why do you crunch the numbers in your accounting firm?

Give clients the knowledge of what their investment will return and watch what happens. The dollars on Judy’s transaction record may appear as before, the value of what you are selling her – and your broader customer base - will increase exponentially.

The question isn’t how much it costs. It’s how much it’s worth.