10 alternatives to selling on price

“If you sell on price, you don’t have a sustainable business”


This is a topic drilled into small businesses from an early age, that you can’t sell on price. Some choose to ignore it – at their peril I’d say.

Here are 10 things I think you should be selling on instead.

  1. You – as a business owner – you are a differentiator and a personality.
  2. Ongoing support- can you persuade people you’re a safe pair of hands and will look after them ongoing. My dad would buy on that when it comes to IT services, that’s for sure.
  3. Your geographical location – being close to someone can be a distinct advantage.
  4. A unique benefit -benefits are only unique to an individual. What floats one buyer’s boat, won’t necessarily float another’s. There is rarely such a thing as a USP – drop that from your vocabulary.
  5. A genuine USP – yes, I know what I just wrote… however, if you’re Apple you have one. You may have one too – just be really careful it is unique if you’re planning to sell on it.
  6. Speed – can you deliver faster? People will buy from you because of it and guess what, they’ll pay a premium too.
  7. Recommendation – people buy on recommendation and referral every day of the week – make sure you are set up to do this on an ongoing basis
  8. Timing – being in the right place at the right time is key. You should spend a good proportion of your selling hours increasing your chances of this
  9. Desire – creating longing amongst buyers and appealing to our primate ‘Croc Brain’ is one of the best ways to sell. Painting a picture of the outcome of buying your service will create desire.
  10. Brand – it worked for IBM… (for a while)

Rarely of course does it boil down to just one thing off this list. Normally there’s a combination of factors involved however focusing on a subset of these 10 means you will remove the price discussion from the sales cycle, assuming you’ve done the budget qualification in the first instance.

I want to leave you with the inspiration for this post… undeniable proof that you don’t have to sell on price.

The world’s most desirable PET HOTEL. (yes really – and there’s a video to prove it, I’m afraid).