What happens if you look beyond the price?

I guess most things in life have a core issue underlying it.

If you are in an aeroplane there are lots of things that could be on your mind: the baby making a noise, the guy in front of you reclining his chair, the queue by the toilet, the quality of the food. But really, let’s be honest, there is only one BIG issue when you are on a plane – the fact that you are not on the ground, but 30,000 feet up in the sky. This one issue overshadows every other issue. It is the one thing at the back of everybody’s minds and for some, like myself, as soon as the plane hits the slightest of turbulence, it becomes THE ONLY ISSUE.

The same goes for many other things. When you are in a car, the core issue, with the power to overshadow everything else, is whether you have enough fuel. The core issue at a restaurant is not the air-conditioning or the background music or even the food. It’s the company you are in – that person you need to look in the eye and talk to. That’s the one issue that can make or break the evening.

In business the same applies. In my dealings with company owners I find the one issue always lurking in the background – let’s call it the 30,000 feet issue – is “price”. Are we cheaper? Are we more expensive? Who is out-pricing us? Who is asking for a better price? How long can we sustain this price? What will be our price increase – and more important – how do we get it past the customer?

Pricing is the 30,000 feet issue in business.

And as with altitude above the ground when flying, pricing is in my view the one issue business owners struggle with most. It’s not just an issue. It’s a difficult, scary, issue that many don’t cope with. Pricing is the hot potato in business.

But “price” needs to be seen in perspective. You cannot just focus on price because it’s not healthy, almost like being too paranoid of flying can leave you stuck.

You need to move beyond the 30,000 feet issue in order to win big.

Business owners must do the counterintuitive thing and challenge themselves to look beyond a pure focus on price. Put pricing aside for a second and ask questions such as:

  • How can I grow my business despite the price?

  • How can I beat the competitor in ways other than price?

  • Apart from our price, what other reasons are customers giving for choosing us?

  • What value are we adding instead of what discounts are we giving?

Take the one issue that dominates everything out of the equation, just for a moment, and consider then where it leaves you.