Would you recognize a $600 haircut if you passed one on the street? Would you pay $600 for a haircut if you could? This was the question asked on ABC’s 20/20 one night in their episode True Confessions (click here to view the episode).
Many of us would no doubt express shock at such a price tag. “Six HUNDRED dollars for a HAIRCUT?? Good heavens…that’s ridiculous!” Right?
On the surface, perhaps. But to those who have the money and can invest that much in themselves, it’s not so silly.
Let me ask you this now, when it comes to your business, would you be willing to pay $2000 or more for a website?
Again, some would look at that and faint dead away from sticker shock, while others would see the value of the investment, save up if they have to, and gladly pay a highly skilled professional to do the work for them.
Quiz time…what do the haircut and website have in common? Go ahead, review the notes. It’s an open book quiz.
See the common thread? I called each one “an investment”.
Some people choose to invest in themselves, some choose to invest in their business. Celebrities and high profile people must invest in themselves to shine in public. They need the best hair, makeup, personal trainers, dieticians, chefs…all so they look the very best they can to represent their brand. Their bodies, faces, lifestyles and fashion statements are all a part of what makes them, them.
Your website is the same. It’s the face of your business, it’s the front line of contact, it’s the first impression to potential clients.
But “the $600 haircut” goes deeper than first impressions. There’s another side of this well-coiffed coin from the professional’s point of view: The High Quality Service Experience.
The moment you tie a big price tag to your services and product, it tells the world you’ve got something special, something no one else can get anywhere else. You’re paid the Big Bucks because you value what you do and others value it too.
The old adage “you get what you pay for” rings true on so many levels. One of the hairstylists in the interview when asked, “Is this a Monet? ” he said, “Hopefully it will be, I’m going to give it as much love as I can.”
When people buy a Monet, they expect nothing less than a Monet. When you’re paid what you’re worth, you feel good about you and you pass that love on to your client.
Just to put it into further perspective, can you remember a time, possibly during your first year of business, where you under estimated a quote and ended up doing far more work than you anticipated? Maybe the project suffered from “scope creep”, where the client keeps asking for more and more, and you don’t want to say no because you REALLY want to make an impression and were afraid of losing out on that income?
What happened? Did you get resentful, grumbling at your screen that you’re not getting paid enough for this? That the client was taking advantage of you and totally unappreciative of your efforts?
Whose fault is that? Not the client’s. They’re only guilty of bad manners. You were the one who set the terms, and you were the one who kept moving the boundaries to compensate and accommodate. Some, not all, clients will push these boundaries to see how much they can get away with. It’s your responsibility to put a stop to it and keep the project on track with what was agreed to in the initial proposal.
Your prices are more than just time and materials. Prices include the kind of experience your clients can expect from you. Are you offering champagne and caviar, or mediocre coffee and a day-old danish?
So, with that said, what do you think of the $600 haircut now? Is it worth it to you to have your hairstylist come to your house and treat you like a queen getting ready for the red carpet? Or are you content with schlepping down to the local quick-cut franchise in the middle of a hectic day? No one will know the difference once you’re done, but you will.
Tell us your thoughts and opinions in the comments, we’d love to hear what you have to say on the subject.
Lisa Hines says
Nice way to bring it around full circle. It’s true, though. If it’s something one is looking for, and the value is translated, then the investment becomes a no-brainer. There are, however, some things that just are too outrageous for me. For example, some high-end coaches have encouraged their clients to go spend $1000 on a purse for various reasons and lessons. I don’t care how much money I have, there are many other things to do with that $1000 than to buy one purse. It’s not in my value set.
Lisa Hines recently posted..Navigating Anger After a Loss
Deb Dorchak says
That’s the key right there, Lisa. Whatever it is you’re spending that money on, it must have value to YOU.
…and I wouldn’t buy a $1000 purse either. I’d drop that easily on one trip to Best Buy…oh wait….that was the Great Computer Disaster of 2013. Even so, it was a no brainer. It was a necessity and it holds high value for me. A Fashionista probably wouldn’t agree, but there you go.
Pamela Wills says
Deb, I love this and couldn’t agree more. It really is all about each person’s individual value set and requirements for success and satisfaction. If that one purse with the high price tag is going to make me feel professional, special, beautiful and organized, I’m all over it. Especially if that also means I won’t be buying and tossing out lesser models for years when I could have just invested in the real deal in the first place. Same goes for investing in our businesses and our professional development. How can we NOT invest in improvements and yet expect our clients to come and openly value US? Build those investment opportunities into the yearly operating budget. Then go for it!
Pamela Wills recently posted..Talking Points
Deb Dorchak says
It’s difficult in the beginning to change that mindset, especially when you’re first starting out and watching where every dime goes. The trick is to look beyond the bandaid solution and think long term—is this going to save you money in the long run, or are you going to end up throwing twice as much money at it before you get the results you want?
Miriam Wiener says
Oh, this is so powerful Deborah. “No one will know the difference once you’re done, but you will.” You are so right about this – and I agree that the EXPERIENCE is every bit as significant as the result.
In my weight-loss practice, when I work intimately with a client over many months’ time, she may achieve the same weight-loss results as a client in my larger group program investing less. But my private client will have experienced the benefits that can ONLY come from a VIP experience – individual attention that can lead to enormous personal breakthroughs. This “bonus” will carry her for many years down the road, and although she’s achieved the exact same weight-loss as the other group client, she walked the red carpet and got exactly what she paid for.
I’m sure it works the same way for web design. I’ll go for the $600 haircut! Brilliant 🙂
Miriam Wiener recently posted..Sugar-free and FABULOUS!
Deb Dorchak says
Yay for EXPERIENCE! I couldn’t agree with you more. It does work the same, for web design and really every aspect of life.