Price List Widows and Orphans

I often bang on with friends and business buddies about how bad most retail ‘selling’ is.

So not long ago, I was challenged to apply some of my b2b wisdom in the land of food retailing. Specifically, for an eaterie.

I set about the task in my own spare time with glee.

I realised many facets of my solution sales experience were eminently transferable.

Here’s one.

When constructing a price list, whether it be the age-old PLOF (price-list-order-form, where customers simply tick off what they want from a list with everything on it) or how to show selective products (like on a quote page in a proposal that avoids the trap of looking like an invoice), I remember having a lot of fun with the psychology of it all.

One tactic I’d employ was never showing only a single option. A choice must be put forward.

Another, was to ensure one option commanded a large price tag.

The wine choice analogy is a good one here. How often do people plump for a ‘middle of the range’ bottle? Most times, right. So if you understand this, you increase sales (and of course, hopefully client happiness) by having at least one stand-out “expensive” selection.

In my old, early software days, a ‘platinum product’ was given as a potential. It featured more modules, and tons of service and delivery man-days. All at a tear-inducing price. Yet although hardly ever taken up, it made sign-up for a decent package below it seem that much simpler.

I’ve tended to call price list distractions “widows” and “orphans” .

A widow is something that doesn’t sit right. Prospects will wonder why it is there. It can be unexplained, confusing, and does not make the decision a more comfortable one.

Orphans are options that stand out alone which are crying out for a basket of options to be with them. They could be the same kind of thing, but with a couple of different specs, say, or even colours, also given.

Does the way you presented your last prices suffer from these drawbacks?

Even in solution selling, the way we present our eventual numbers can have a huge impact on whether we will prevail.

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