How to be Affordable not Cheap…You’re Not the Value Meal!

 In Blog Post, Entrepreneurial Lessons, Hank Yuloff, Hyperbole in advertising, Languaging, Messaging

At our networking group , as we went around the room talking about what we did, I heard the same things:
“I’m the best locksmith and we have cheap prices.”
“We work fast and cheap,” said the painter.
“And I am cheaper than the prevailing rates in Sedona,” said the massage therapist.

I cringed each time I heard it. The word CHEAP. We must all learn that our services are affordable not cheap.
I hate it when people devalue their product or service. When I think of all the training, effort, and time they have put into sharpen their skill sets, it saddens me to hear people compare themselves to the Value Menu at McDonalds.
be affordable NOT cheap
This goes back a long way for me. I had a transmission shop client who used to tell me that he didn’t care if there was just enough ink in the pen to write the check to him, he wanted CHEAP pens.

I also remember doing the same thing TO myself. When I began in the promotional product world, if someone asked for a polo shirt, I started by showing them the bottom of the barrel shirts, thinking that I was going to solve their problem (they needed a shirt with a collar) in the least expensive (cheapest) way possible.

It took me awhile to learn that when it came to the clothes people put on their staff and themselves, a certain level of quality, and therefore a higher price, was necessary. That was a huge hurdle for me.

I learned that when it comes to great logo’d clothing, it is far better to be affordable not cheap.

Later, when it came to charging for marketing services, the same challenge confronted me.

The first pricing structure we offered was very low. The idea was that an inexpensive add on to our promotional product offerings would add an injection of cash to our profit level. But there was a mistake in this thinking. As you can see from the chart below, if you are a Coach/Advisor/Oracle, this is where you should be charging if you want to feel valued and, even more importantly, are GIVING incredible value for your services.
This chart came from Smart Meetings Magazine:
5 levels of fee affordable not cheap

In other words, if you ARE an expert, charge like an expert. The services we offer are commensurate for the value we add to our client’s businesses and that makes what we do AFFORDABLE not CHEAP.

Do not turn yourself into the lowest price alternative. You can NOT “make it up on volume.” You are NOT the McDonald’s Value meal for what you do.

When you need assistance in deciding what to charge for your services, give us a phone call at (800)705-4265. Even better, head to our Marketing Assessment page at

As long as I am at it, when I hear people use the phrase “Give me your best price” it shows me that they do not respect the skill and the benefits they get from working with the person they have just insulted. I had one person recently ask me for a referral for one of my “team members,” and said that they “Of course, I’d like it to look professional without the professional price tag. Lol!” I connected them with my team member and added 20% to his rate. He’s worth it. And so are you!

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