Summer 2010, family holiday in Pietrasanta.
At that time, the children were 10, 8, and 5 years old.
In the evening, walking was a continuous “Please, buy me this, please buy me that”, a real torment.
One afternoon, on my way home from the beach, I announced this experiment/game:
“Kids, tonight we will give each of you a small budget, and you can buy anything you want, without the need to ask any permission. But if run out of money, you can no longer ask us to buy anything else”.
After an exhausting negotiation, we set a large budget of 5 euros each.
Imagine the classic multi-colored shop, full of exhibitors with two hundred thousand different candies, of all kind of shapes, colors, and tastes.
For an adult, an insult to blood sugar. For a child, a paradise.
“Here are your 5 Euros, now do as you please. When you’re done with your choice, everyone goes to the lady at the counter to pay for their purchases”.
Then I see one of the most enlightening scenes of my life as a parent.
First, it is remarkable to see how all three abandon their compulsive “buy me, buy me, buy me”, and start to realize what they can buy with the budget at their disposal.
Also, they start to realize the difference in price, and therefore probably in value, between a cheap candy and a chocolate.
And finally, it’s nice to see them coming out satisfied with their purchases, even proud that they have some change to re-invest the next day.
Now let’s get to business.
More and more customers are telling us about this problem:
“Many prospects ask me if I can do or give something to them. They want this, they want that… but they don’t realize that things cost money, and when they see the offer they disappear because it turns out that they don’t have the budget to proceed.
What can we do, Andrea?”
I’d like to be one of those arrogant gurus with all the answers.
I don’t have any. The truth is that there is no magic formula.
But we can do one thing:
As in the experiment of candies I used to teach children the value of money and the value of different products, for a few weeks we will be carrying out this sales experiment:
- If you contact us for our service, we’ll ask you directly how much you’re willing to spend. (I know, it’s unconventional, but I love going against convention, and then, it’s just an experiment).
- Then we’ll tell the customer what he can get from us with that budget, or how many candies he can buy with that amount.
- In the end, say after 4-6 weeks, I will be happy to share with our readers the results, with all the necessary considerations.
I think we’ll see some incredible things.
What do you think?
But remember that I will not make exceptions to the procedure: you will have to tell me the budget available to you, otherwise it does not count.