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The Ultimate Business Owner’s Cheat Sheet for Not Pricing Yourself As A Commodity

You are not a commodity; don’t present yourself like one. And be mindful that your marketing message doesn’t come across to your target audience, as if you are pricing yourself as a commodity.

I’m reminded of a question posed in one of the coaching forums that I’m a member of. It’s a question that I must have heard a hundred times over the years I’ve been in business. This particular question came from an esteemed Resume Writer for both Students and Executives.

The question was: “What suggestions do you have to ensure clients understand I don’t write $100 resumes?”

The short answer: fix your positioning.

Here’s the long answer…

If this scenario (or something similar) is happening to you, it is a symptom (consumer response) to how your marketing copy is written and your brand positioning is perceived.

To illustrate what I mean, I’ll share this particular business owner’s elevator pitch. (The elevator pitch or introduction is the cornerstone of a business owner’s marketing message):

“I provide strengths-based and goal-oriented career and life coaching for students through Fortune 100/500 executives.”

This elevator pitch does not effectively speak to the value and solution this Coach provides, and in the absence of a strong value proposition, the consumer defaults to asking about price.

The other challenge that this Coach is experiencing is that he is trying to target two very diverse groups of clients with the same language; (i) students and (ii) executives.

This is a marketing no-no.

In order for your message to be effective and truly magnetize your audience, your client’s language must be reflected in your language. Your communication (both verbal and written) must speak to the hearts and minds of your specific target audience. (That’s why, if you “work with everyone” then you will attract no-one.) The language you use to present and promote yourself is critically important.

Speak in the language of your target audience.

Each of these two groups (students and executives) has perhaps the same need: a resume, but very different reasons for what that resume will truly offer them (ie. value proposition/solution). If you position yourself as selling ‘resume writing services’, then you’ll always been seen as a commodity — and commodities can only compete on price, and unfortunately the lowest price always wins.

You may remember Zellers Inc. – a major Canadian chain discount department retailer. In the late 80’s/90’s their slogan was: “Where the lowest price is the law!” Zellers was founded in 1931 and reached its peak in the 1990’s with 350 stores across the country. However, fierce competition by Walmart Canada resulted in Zellers losing significant ground… and then came The Bay and then Target…and we know how the story ends. No more Zellers.

If you compete on price, the lowest price always wins.

When you articulate what you are actually selling for each of your distinct target markets, you’ll be better able to change your marketing communication and start attracting the type of client that will jump at the chance to work with you — at ANY price, without stalls, objections or discounts 🙂

This is a simple formula that you can use to re-craft your compelling elevator pitch:

I help <audience> with <problem> so they can have <solution>.

You’re offering a transformational solution that will change your client’s life. You are not a commodity; don’t price yourself like one. Your value is based on the years of experience, training, and mastery you bring to the table, plus the measurable results your clients experience when they work with you.

Here’s an easy cheat sheet to make sure you are not pricing yourself as a commodity:

  • Create a value-based pricing model, not an hourly one.
  • Start selling transformational outcomes. (People buy transformation, NOT information.)
  • Articulate the solution people are buying when they engage your services, in your messaging.
  • Be sure your marketing communication uses your customer’s language, not yours.
  • Craft an elevator pitch that identifies the audience, the problem and the solution.

For more sales secrets, grab your copy of my self-guided resource Stop Giving it All Away and Start Getting Clients to say YES! It will help you successfully navigate the sales conversation, so you can stop chasing prospects and start magnetizing buyers who will jump at the chance to work with you – without hassles, stalls or discounts.

To your success,


About Michela Quilici

International Business Growth Coach, Award-winning Marketing Strategist, Best-Selling Author, Speaker and Forbes Coaches Council. Known as a Business Navigator, Michela works with growth-minded business owners, service professionals and CEOs who want to ignite their businesses and accelerate growth, while building a business aligned to who they are.

She is passionate about creating roadmaps that ignite leaders to take inspired action to navigate their growth on purpose using strategy, systems and self-leadership, so they can get noticed, get clients and get profitable.