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Are You Giving Your Customers Clues?

A man walks into a bar and asks for a rum and coke. It comes in a tall shaped glass, with assorted fruit on the rim and umbrella and swizzle stick. “That’ll be $18,” says the barman.

“What the…” exclaimed the customer, “that’s daylight robbery. I’m not paying that, and I’ll never come back here again,” he yelled to everyone in earshot, as he stormed out of the bar.

Now if this was just your average public bar, with a terry towelling cloth soaking up the beer spills, and patrons sitting round in blue singlets, this is exactly the reaction you would expect. The customer would be totally unprepared for such prices, even if the drink was nicely presented as I described. There were no clues to prepare him for the price shock.

If on the other hand, this was a trendy bar in a premium entertainment district, with expensive décor, the barman wearing a bow tie, dim lights and mood music, and with patrons dressed to the nines for a night out on the town, all the clues would be there. Anyone walking through the door would understand immediately, this is not the place to buy a $5 rum and coke.

This bar would no doubt lose the custom of the aforementioned man at the start of this story, but everyone else in the bar would have been prepared by all the available clues for the prices that they could expect. These clues enabled the customers to appreciate the value of what they buying, the ambience, the quality of service, even the quality of clientele so that they were already inoculated against price shock.

Sales are usually lost, not because of price, but because there has been insufficient effort to prepare the customer for the price and no clues have been provided so that customers can assess the value provided by the business, even before the first conversation with the salesperson.

I remember a corporate executive telling me once, I can always tell the size of the fee from a consultant by the thickness of the pile of the carpet in their offices.

What clues are you providing your customers?

All you need to do now is to Empower yourself and take action … 

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