Recently, I was watching an episode of The Celebrity Apprentice and it was about a challenge to create a restaurant for one day to raise money for charity. While the show has changed so much over the years and gone from what I had thought was a great opportunity for business owners, entrepreneurs, and business leaders to learn some lessons into a show about entertainment and stars, sometimes there is a tidbit in the program that I believes provides a learning experience for business leaders. This show had that. The “men’s” team decided to sell expensive food and to put an extremely high price on the lunches while the “women’s” team opted for more traditional pricing (in NYC terms anyway) and volume. Watching the show, it seemed that the women had made the right choice as they were clearly turning over more and more customers. At the end, though, it turned out that the men had made the right choice and had raised the most money. What was interesting to me was a quote from one of the men who said (and I am paraphrasing) – “I would rather server many fewer lunches to a more exclusive crowd paying considerably more than go for volume and have to server so many more customers. For each customer I bring in this way, I would have to serve 10 customers at the ‘normal’ pricing to make the same money.
I am not saying that in all cases this is possible. In fact, I think more and more with the ability to do price comparison so easily online that this is becoming less and less possible. But where it is and with whatever aspects of a business one can consider this tactic, I think far too often it is a tactic not considered because of the fear and concern that go along with making such a decision. When launching New Marketing Labs we made a similar decision – not so much in pricing but in discounting and in the clients that we were targeting – and thankfully were successful in doing so and have enjoyed the benefits ever since.
My recommendation – explore where in your business you might have the opportunity for distinction and focus on it a little more. Put some pressure on it to perform better, and measure your success. My guess – you will be pleasantly surprised.