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Author – Dale Furtwengler: Pricing for Profit

Dale Furtwengler

Bio

Dale Furtwengler helps business owners get higher prices regardless of what their competitors or the economy are doing. He’s an internationally-acclaimed author, professional speaker and pricing/branding specialist. For over 21 years he’s been helping his clients get higher prices for their offerings. Dale shares his vast experience in his latest book, Pricing for Profit, which debuted in seven countries. A Chinese translation is under way.

Dale’s a regular guest speaker at Washington and Webster Universities in St. Louis, MO. He’s been quoted in a variety of national publications including Bloomberg Businessweek, Fox.com the Harvard Management Communication Letter. His articles and blog posts appear in nine online publications including Retail Customer Experience, Best Thinking, Ezine Articles, SBTV.com (Small Business TV) as well as in print in a variety of national publications.

He’s also had the good fortune to co-host a Business Roundtable program on Lindenwood University’s cable TV station. Been a Missouri Quality Award examiner, a state sponsored program based on the national Baldrige awards program.

His hobbies are scuba diving, camping, hiking, canoeing and travel.

Book Synopsis

Most business owners are woefully under compensated for the value they provide because they haven’t been taught how to convert that value to dollars and cents. Pricing for Profit not only shows business owners how to quantify the value, but how to communicate that value effectively in marketing materials and sales calls.

An effective pricing strategy goes well beyond establishing and communicating prices. How a company:

Staffs its sales force.

Sets sales quotas

Compensates its sale force.

Establishes policies.

Delivers on its brand promises.

can enhance or diminish the company’s pricing strategy. You’ll find this and more in Pricing for Profit.

Why Buy Pricing for Profit

Pricing for Profit not only allows business owners to get higher prices regardless of what their competitors or the economy, it helps them avoid the more common mistakes that business owners make in pricing their offerings – mistakes that often cost them sales because they’ve confused their buyers.

Why I Wrote Pricing for Profit

My mission in writing Pricing for Profit was twofold – to help sellers break the bonds of industry pricing and to help buyers make more informed decisions. The lack of congruency between marketing claims and pricing creates confusion which causes sellers to lose revenues and buyers to make bad buying decisions.

Authors Signature, etc.

Dale Furtwengler

Pricing for Profit: How to Command Higher Prices for Your Products and Services

http://www.pricingforprofitbook.com

Article

You’re Worth It! – Your Guide to Premium Prices

If you feel trapped by industry pricing even though you know that your offerings are superior to your competitors’ offerings, then you’re about to learn how to escape that trap.

First, there are only three things that any business sells – image, innovation or time savings. Look at any benefit that your offering provides and you’ll find that it fits into one of these three categories.

Once you’ve identified which of the three is your primary benefit (brand), there is readily available buyer data to tell you what premiums buyers are willing to pay. Before we get into that, I want you to know that it’s possible to provide two of the three with the same offering. Apple is a classic example, it appeals to two markets – those who love innovation and those who appear to love innovation.

The former are true innovation buyers. They love to play with the latest, greatest toys in their area of interest. The latter group, image buyers, enjoy being viewed as someone who is on the cutting edge even though they aren’t. The beauty of this is that both buyers are willing to pay the same premium. They both pay exactly the same price for the iPhone or iPad, yet for different reasons.

Once you’ve determined what your value proposition is – image, innovation or time savings, then you can look at non-competing industries to see what kinds of premiums they’re getting when they sell to your market. In every industry there is a spectrum of buyers. In clothing you’ve got Walmart, Target, JCPenney, Macy’s and Nordstrom to name a few.

If you choose to be the Walmart of your industry, you’ve got to have the lowest prices and you’d better be exceptionally adept at cutting costs or you won’t survive. If your demographic is Target, then you know that you can get anywhere from 50% to 100% more than Walmart. JCPenney’s clothing will be roughly three to four times the price of Walmart. Macy’s five to seven times what Walmart buyers pay. Nordstrom’s will command a whopping twelve to fourteen times as much as Walmart.

As you can see, the use of relative pricing – non-competing industries’ pricing spectra – can simplify pricing dramatically. It also provides ready responses to “…but your price is too high!” because you know exactly where you fit on your industry’s spectrum and how your offerings are different than your competitors’ offerings.

This approach does another important thing for you. It helps you know when to say “No” to a prospective customer. You see, premium prices are only available if there is some exclusivity to your offering. Whether you choose to be the Target or the Nordstrom of your industry, you’re saying “No” to people who don’t fit your ideal customer profile. This exclusivity is what allows you to get the price premiums you so richly deserve. It’s also how buyers are able to make informed decisions about their purchases.

Once you have this clarity it’s time to communicate that value to your target market. One of the beauty’s of today’s world is that we have a plethora of very exciting, inexpensive tools to get the word out.

Yes, I’m talking about the social media tools. My Pricing for Profit blog is published weekly at http://www.pricingforprofitBOOK.com. The topics cover:

Pricing.

Common pricing errors.

Insights from articles of national and international publications.

Branding tips.

Marketing tips.

Economics.

Social consciousness.

Some of the tools I find particularly useful are:

Google fast-flip for finding articles on pricing.

RSS feeds to other writers who focus on pricing/branding/marketing.

Google alerts to help me identify where my articles/blogs appear.

HootSuite to distribute links from relevant, useful articles/blogs to my LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter followers.

iContact for announcements like the fact that Pricing for Profit is being translated into Chinese, my speaking engagements, interviews that I’m doing and where I’m being featured or quoted.

When I first began my business 21 years ago I was involved with the local chapter of the Institute of Management Consultants. During three consecutive years we held panel discussions with members’ clients. One of the key questions we asked was “How do you find a consultant when you need one?”

The answer was exactly the same from each participant. They said “First we check with our trusted advisors. If we don’t find what we need there, we’ll talk to our peers in non-competing companies. If we read something you’ve written, we’ll hire you. If we hear you speak and like what you said, we’ll hire you. Anything else is a waste of time and money.”

That same principle holds true regardless of whether your marketing a book, working as a coach/consultant or providing products to the market. It’s that personal contact that sways people to buy. It’s why people shop online and buy offline. They inevitably have unanswered questions and want those answers before making the buying decision. That’s why they’ll pay a little more at the bricks and mortar facility than they would buying online.

So what’s the moral of this message, get your face in front of as many people as possible. I’ve gotten business from some very unlikely sources simply because they saw me speak or read my material. Indeed, both of my book contracts are the result of speaking and writing.

The final step in the process, after you’ve:

Identified your offering’s value and your ideal customer.

Determined what premium they’re willing to pay.

Attracted the right buyers through your marketing efforts.

you’re ready to talk to prospective customers.

I’ve certainly made a lot of mistakes over the years, but one thing that I did right was to place this thought into my mind before I went into the call – “I don’t need this business.” Given the fact that I only did $265 in revenue my first month in business, that might seem like a daunting task. The reality is that I knew that if I had any reason to doubt that the prospect and I were going to be successful working together, we’d both be better off if I continued to look for situations in which I could be successful.Ultimately, there is only one thing that each of has to sell (a further distillation of the image, innovation and time savings mentioned above), that is success. If we can’t make a prospect more successful, we ought to walk away from the business. Interestingly we enhance our image in the eyes of prospects to whom we say “No.” First, they know that we have their best interests at heart. Indeed, they’re more likely to recommend us because we do. Second, they appreciate the confidence we have in our abilities – another reason to refer us. Finally, these prospects look for opportunities to refer us because our integrity, confidence and genuine interest in their welfare are much greater than they typically experience.

I hope these few tips help you enjoy higher prices and greater success with your customers. Happy selling!
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