Here are 3 phone questions you get all of the time.
The caller asks:
- 1. "How much do you charge for board?" or,
- 2. "How much do you charge for riding lessons?"
- "How much do you charge to train a horse?"
Your palms sweat and your head aches as you begin
to recite your price list for the 18th time this week.
You feel if your price isn’t as low as the
competition’s, then you’ll lose the prospect forever
right on this phone call.
These prospects use an approach similar to finding
the cheapest seat on an airline for their next Disney
World visit. It’s a research mission based entirely on
price. Seats on a jet are a commodity.
They are all pretty much the same.
You sell unique services that aren’t commodities.
Choosing to be the lowest priced professional
horseman is a choice that will guarantee you many
new customers and a long list of former customers.
When price is the main decision factor, you’ll find
that your clients come and go on a rapid basis.
What does that mean for you? It means you’re
miserable because: you’re always overworked trying
to save on labor, you’re stressed about not
having enough money to maintain the business and
you are emotionally drained putting up with client
demands for first class service at steerage
I’m a big fan of marketing expert and author Seth
Godin. Seth writes books with a non-
viewpoint about marketing. Okay, admittedly, he’s a
little wacky some of the time as he makes his
points. Read “Purple Cow” to understand
concept of having remarkable products and services.
Seth makes a good point about being cheap as a
marketing strategy here.
He writes, "Cheaper is the last refuge of the
person who's not a very good marketer.
Cheaper is easy and cheaper is fast and cheaper
is linear and cheaper is easy to do properly, at least
But cheaper doesn't spread the word (unless you
are much cheaper, but to be much cheaper, you
need to be organized from the ground up, like Wal-
Mart or Jet Blue, to be cheaper).
They are, you're not."
So you are not Wal*Mart! You aren't even selling
retail goods. You are selling all or parts of a
“BLT” (Boarding, Lessons, Training). And
best of all, Wal*Mart will never be your
Which means that your prices don't have to be the
Never the lowest price, always.
Market You. That is what your clients will
pay for. Your brand is only available from your
Get out of the cheap seats, and find clients who
want your brand.
They are out there. Clients are willing to pay more
for friendly service, clean stalls, a regular feed
schedule, ample bedding, kind voices during riding
instruction, a horse trained from the fundamentals
first, with advanced training to follow.
The answer to “how much do you charge” can also
“Our rates are reasonable, but I’ll tell
now they are not the lowest. You’ll find the reason
for that is because we are high on service. The
best way for you to find out about our programs is to
make an appointment to visit and find out if our
program is right for you. When would you like to
Become a marketer; stop being a discounter.