Douglas Emerson Profitable Horseman
Profitable Horseman Newsletter
Sept. 26, 2008 
What to Say When you Hear, "I Can't Afford That!"

You just got in the horse business yesterday if you haven't heard the cry, "I can't afford that!"
From a non horseman mom inquiring about her child's riding lessons to a ten year horse owner considering investing in a competitive level show horse, the confusion over price and value never ends.
Ranging from one hundred dollars to ten thousand dollars and more, every buyer has a different price threshold or I.C.A.T. ( I Can't Afford That).

And once the I.C.A.T threshold is surpassed, any price is too much. 
Price threshold is an involuntary reflex. Programmed early in life, it's a knee jerk, neck spasm and tic all rolled into one.  It's a customer's emergency brake for a screeching, sudden stop for financial safety.
Disengaging I.C.A.T. is possible with a good sales strategy.  Part of a good sales strategy includes having the money talk early about the difference in
investments vs. costs.
You might explain a cup of coffee, a cell phone bill and a parking ticket are costs. 
Education, recreation and happiness are investments.
As examples in connection with horses, money is invested in:
  • Boarding fees
  • Riding lessons and training
  • A new horse

In your money talks with prospects and customers, reframe their thinking about spending money to include value in the present and future.  Here are some things to say that will help with prospects and customers.
In this industry, it's impossible to charge less and offer more.  The question your customer must answer is, "With the limited amount of time I have to spend with my horse, do I want  to tolerate inferior facilities, put my horse at risk with sub standard care and jeopardize my ability to ride a healthy horse whenever I visit? 
Riding Lessons
A forty five dollar riding lesson once a week may sound like a self indulgent luxury.  But, without coaching on a regular basis, the best professional athletes admit their performances begin to deteriorate.  At an amateur level, your investment in riding lessons will create personal joy and yield measurable progress in your goal to become the best rider and horseman you can be.  Isn't that what you expect?
Purchasing a New Horse
A horse with poor behavior, an aloof attitude or that has plateaued for advancement is a draining experience.  An owner with the wrong horse pays a huge emotional price in the form of disappointment, frustration and a damaged ego. The board, health care and farrier expense are about the same for all horses.  The question that screams for an answer is, "If horse ownership is for my fun, recreation and personal growth, why don't I make the right investment to put the joy back into my experience?"
Work on your responses to I.C.A.T. price challenges.  Sell on value instead of price.
Let your competitors be the discounters.

Others Have Said 
"Your true value depends on what you are compared with."  --  Bob Wells
"A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money."  --   Senator Everett Dirksen 

"The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated."  --   H. L. Mencken

Back At The Barn

Lately, banking and investment economic woes dominate the media headlines and the thoughts in the heads of many.  Some of my friends revel in soaking up bad news day after day. I'll never understand why.
A little news each day is a good thing; too much news gives me News Colic.  You know that feeling in your gut when you've ingested too much.   The solution is to take small bites and walk away from the news table quickly and outside to the barn for a ride on your favorite horse. 
A ride to nowhere in particular, on a sunny autumn day, is the best medicine for News Colic.
 I'll Be Speaking At the Certified Horsemanship Association's International Convention In Lexington, KY on October 30, 2008.


cha intl convention Be Speaking In Lexington, KY at the Certified ctober 30, 2008.  

              Click here for the CHA details
Maureen Gallatin and I will be presenting an Equine Business Workshop in the morning of October 30 prior to the 12:00 start of the convention.  
At the moment, the U.S. economy is
as skittery as a bull in a rodeo chute.
Phone or e-mail me to discuss your current situation and the possibilities for improvement. 
I offer a thirty minute phone call at no charge. 
If I can be of help, I'll let you know how.  If not, I'll have suggestions for you for your next step.   The only thing that holds you from success is you.
Until next time,

Doug Emerson
Profitable Horseman Deewochagall
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(716) 434-5371
Douglas Emerson Profitable Horseman | 7444 Chestnut Ridge | Lockport | NY | 14094