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NMOA Direct Marketing Article
How to Sell High-Priced Info Products
By Bob Bly

"I want to charge $399 for my audio cassette album," a small publisher told me.

"But Nightingale-Conant also sells several audio albums on the same topic for $79," I pointed out. "What makes yours worth five times more than theirs?"

The answer most people would give is "because mine is better." Well, maybe it is. But "better" is a difficult proposition to sell through a direct mail package.

So how can you charge a premium price to buyers to whom the greater quality of your product is not immediately obvious? Here are 7 ways to ask for and get the price you want for your products and services:

1. Vertical niche. The more vertical your product, the higher the price you can charge. Your total audience will be smaller, but their need for a specific solution to their problem will help them rationalize paying your premium price.

2. Supply and demand. It's always easier - especially when selling your services - to hold out for more money when the demand for your service outweighs the supply.

If you market to the point where you are generating more potential business opportunities than you can handle, you can raise your fees, because you can afford to have some of these potential buyers who balk at the higher fees walk away.

3. Add value. Add value to your product or service until the buyer perceives that the price you are asking, however high, is a drop in the bucket compared to the value he is receiving.

One way to add value is to offer a premium that is inexpensive for you to source but has a high perceived value. Example: Ron Popeil gives away cooking tools free when you buy his cooker on
TV.

4. Become a guru. Whether it's Tom Peters, Alan Dershowitz, or Dr. Ruth, people can't get enough of gurus.

Make an effort to build your reputation and establish yourself as a guru - a leading expert - in your field. When you are a guru, people will pay a premium price for your seminars, speeches, videos, audios, books, newsletters, software, and products.

5. Demonstrate Return on Investment (ROI). Buyers are less reluctant to pay a high price when you can show that they will get a rapid - and significant - return on their investment.

For instance, a direct mail package selling a $149 newsletter on employee hiring says, "Hiring the wrong person costs you three times their annual salary."

The reader figures that if his average employee makes $50,000, and the newsletter can prevent even one hiring mistake, his return on investment for a subscription is 3 X $50,000 = $150,000 divided by $149, or better than 1,000 to 1 - which makes the $149 asking price an easy sell.

6. Unique system. Despite the glut of free stock tips and financial information available on the Internet, a direct mail package from Agora Publishing successfully sold a $59 a year newsletter with this headline, "Unlock Wall Street's Hidden Logic."

Why did it work? It offered the reader something he felt he couldn't get from all the free Web sites and e-mail newsletters he was offered: the secret to how the stock market really works - Wall Street's hidden logic. If the customer perceives he cannot get what you offer elsewhere, he will pay a premium price for it, provided the product offers benefits he desires.

7. Guarantee. A guarantee overcomes buyer resistance, including price resistance. When your product is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can offer a "no-risk trial" or "risk-free 30-day subscription" rather than just say "buy my product."

In essence, you are not asking the reader to buy anything; merely to try it - to accept your offer of examining it for a month in their home or office, with no risk or obligation of any kind.

About the Author:
BOB BLY is an independent copywriter and consultant with more than 25 years of experience in business-to-business, high-tech, industrial, and direct marketing. He has written copy for over 100 clients including Network Solutions, ITT Fluid Technology, Medical Economics, Intuit, Business & Legal Reports, and Brooklyn Union Gas...and has won numerous industry awards. Bob is the author of more than 70 books including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Direct Marketing (Alpha Books) and The Copywriter’s Handbook (Henry Holt & Co.). Visit: www.BobBlyMarketingBooks.com
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