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In times of crisis when simple customers are trying to move to cheaper goods and more wise customers by blackmail trying to bring down prices - «the method of paper bags» helps the seller protect its price.

This method is simple enough. Imagine that you have a bag, put it in your goods and write on the package price, you want to receive. Now think about what else you have to put in the package that the customer wanted to pay for it the price that you wrote? 

Maybe this is a companion product - like the stack in addition to the brewing kettle? Or the right to use any service - such as technical support when buying a computer? Or maybe this is an informational product - like a book of recipes in addition to the microwave?

Of course, you should ask before collect the «package» potential buyers if their proposal is attractive? Is it true they have a will to pay such a sum for that set of goods and services?

On the other hand we can dispense with the interview and just try. After all you do not change the products themselves and do not create new services but only re-packs available goods. If you fail you simply remove the items from the package and put them back on the shelves. And in other businesses «package» and even be virtual - sort of «special offers» in a restaurant or a package of channels on cable television.


Some may argue that there is no much difference between the discount and gifts. Do you reduce the price for your goods or appended to it another item free of charge - profits are still falling. However there are two important nuances.

First. A gift to one hundred dollars no matter how strange it may sound cheaper discount per one hundred dollars. Because the cost of that product for you is much lower than the amount that is written in its price list. If the store sells the phone for a hundred dollars was worth it store only 70-80 dollars. And if the restaurant offered for the same a hundred dollars a bottle of wine - if you bought it well over fifty.

Second. Nobody prevents you to take into account the value of all members of the «package» of goods. And assign a price for this «package» in such a way as to profit from sales has not decreased.

In addition, there is another interesting nuance.

«The perceived value» vs. «Value»

For any product there are two options - it is his real value and perceived customer value. 
The real cost - that is in fact the cost of the goods. It means how much will it cost goods manufacture or acquisition to you. And perceived value - it is how much this product is (or should cost or is likely to cost) in the opinion of the buyer.

In many cases the real value is very different from the perceived value. Sometimes this difference is at times and sometimes - in the tens, hundreds or even thousands of times.

For example a cup of coffee in the big city can cost 70-100 rubles. However the cost of this coffee for the restaurateur is unlikely to exceed 7-8 rubles - the standard price of coffee in public catering is approximately equal to ten cost.

Or by the way the cost of a computer game disk, the operating system or software for design - ranging from 6-10 to 50 rubles depending on the edition and the print quality on the disc. But this disc cost in the free sale and would be $100 and $1000. And people will buy it for the money.

The difference in the price of two similar models of irons is about 130 rubles. Although the only meaningful difference is that in the more expensive an iron lamp that shows that iron is included in the network. Although the cost difference of these models is no more 30 rubles.

This is slightly more exotic example. It is desserts with gold. In some expensive restaurants there are desserts decorated with pieces of foil made from real gold. However the weight of gold is measured in milligrams so that the price if to restaurant is one dollar or two but the words «gold» immediately allow to raise the price of ice cream or chocolate on tens of dollars.

* And, incidentally, an expensive cosmetics «gold», «with pearls» etc making of the same principle.

There are not too few of these products, the perceived value that is many times greater than their cost to you. By inserting them into the «package» thus you can dramatically increase the perceived value of «package» no increase in general of its costs.


Sometimes you can create«package» just for the principle of «the magnificent tail». For that you take out your proposal in detail and paint everything inside presenting it as a separate product or service that costs money - but in the «package» customer receives them for free.

For example, in the case of medical services you can specify that for basic services payment the customer gets a free diagnosis (normal price USD ...) and free medicines (regular price ... dollars), a free medical examination after the procedure (normal price. U.S. ..) etc.

Or they say, you can show in a computer shop advertising that the client buying a computer here also receives a free surface scan of the HDD, free setup BIOS, free installation of the operating system and drivers, installing and configuring anti-virus, etc.

Never mind that all this is done the same in that store that of competitors. «The magnificent tail». proposal usually looks much more attractive and often allows to justify the price.

Of course, all the nuances and tricks concerning «packages» cannot be read as a single issue instead. But what did you learn today may be enough to increase your sales.

Sincerely, Alexander LEVITAS, Business consultant and business coach.



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