Article review: The truth about selling value

Go-to-market Strategies posted an article entitled The truth about selling value: you must ADD Value.

While there is much in the article with which I agree (Value is subjective; It is hard to get to value, etc), there is one key point to which I object strongly. The writer’s definition of value is "the amount of money or relative worth that is considered to be the fair equivalent for what is to be received in return." (Emphasis mine.)

This continues the thinking of business-as-zero-sum-game. The value the customer is getting should outweigh, in some cases significantly, the price that they are paying. This is the beauty and morality of the free market. Wealth is created on both sides of every transaction because they are a) mutually beneficial and b) entered into with the freedom to choose. The buyer benefits more than the price they pay and the seller benefits because they provide the good/service/knowledge for less cost than their price. Of course, this is called profit.

Contemplating large numbers

Try thinking about this the next time you hear someone say "$1 trillion."

Seconds

Minutes

Hours

Days

Years

                     1,000

                     16.67

                  0.28

              0.012

  0.000032

               1,000,000

               16,667

              278

              11.57

  0.032488

        1,000,000,000

        16,666,667

        277,778

        11,574

               32

  1,000,000,000,000

  16,666,666,667

  277,777,778

  11,574,074

         32,489

In tough times, create a flanking product/service

This is a reprint from Holden Advisors newsletter, this is the best advice for pricing in these economic times.

Emerging Market Innovations Protect Profits at Home

Commentary By Mark Burton

From Innovation Trickles in a New DirectionBusinessWeek.com, March 11, 2009

One the most effective ways to preserve the pricing power of high-value offerings is to have low-value flanking products within the line. These flanking products are critical, because they enable sales teams to give customers a low-priced option when they try to negotiate price on the high-value product. This turns the tables on poker playing customers who are just fishing for a discount. They now have to make a decision: go for the low-price, low-value option or admit their preference for the high-value one.  Whatever decision they make puts the sales team in control as they force the customer to decide between “price” and “value.”

One problem many executives have with this concept is fear–fear of taking on additional development costs for a lower-margin offering and fear that the new offering will cannibalize sales of higher-margin offerings. Now one of the great forces of upheaval in our times, the growing power of “emerging markets” is being harnessed to make the process of introducing low-value flanking products easier.

Amendment XIII of the US Constitution Repealed

Yesterday, the United States government agreed in principle to provide almost $8 trillion on behalf of American taxpayers. The complete story is available on Bloomberg and various other sources. The amount is more than one-half of the value of everything produced in United States last year alone.

The question of who is going to pay is settled. The citizens of the US are. This agreement is tantamount to repealing the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution which reads in part, “Neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for a crime…shall exist within the United States.”

If you think this is extreme consider this question, can I opt out of contributing without being put in prison? The answer of course is, no!

As a reminder the $8 trillion mentioned above does not include the unfunded liability for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Our lives and our fortunes have been pledged to the government. We, in the United States, are all slaves.

My Friend Philip’s Vision

One Friday evening in early December 2001 at John’s Pizzaria on West 45, my friend Philip Schwalb shared his vision with me.

“There are over 250 museum’s on the island of Manhattan. None of them are dedicated to sports,” he said. The bulb went on. He intended to build a new museum for sport in New York City. The Hall of Halls he dubbed it. He described how the rooms would be themed. “The floor of the hockey room would be white and slick with blue and red lines. The basketball room would be in parquet as a nod to the great Boston Celtic teams.”

Phil pursued his dream, often are great personal expense in every way.

Earlier this month the Sport Museum of America opened its doors. We were there cheering Philip on. Nice work, my friend, well done.

Create your vision. The book of Proverbs notes, “Without vision, the people perish.”