I can’t remember where I first heard this expression, but I’ve been using it ever since, and I love it.
Typically, I use this phrase when a client is pushing back on me—or somebody that I’m coaching—about expanding the scope of work at the same price, or keeping the same scope of work at a lower price. In these situations, I advise that you can gently explain to them that there are two options: you can either pay a little more, or get a little less.
- It’s straightforward, easy-to-understand, and perfectly reasonable.
- It implies the question “why should I lower my price?”
- It states unequivocally that your time and energy have value and you stand for it.
No one is really prepared to give you a good reason why you should charge them less, or give them more for the same price. They just want it cheaper, and probably faster.
Same Idea – Different Lens
Earlier this morning I finished listening to The Practice by Seth Godin on Audible. It’s a great book, and I highly recommend that you read it. Finishing this book means that it’s time to move onto the next book. While I have an extensive library of unread books on my Audible and Kindle, none of them are calling out to me right now.
I have been buying books on Amazon for several years now, and I’m a huge fan of my Kindle. But when I’m buying a paperback or hardcover I’ve started trying to buy from local bookstores instead.
I recently found out about Harriett’s Bookshop in Philadelphia. This is a local, women-owned and black-owned bookstore in my city. This bookshop celebrates women authors, artists and activists and proudly featured black authors.
I navigated to Harriett’s bookshop browsed their selection. I found a book called Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World by Vivek H. Murthy. The total cost for the hardcover after standard shipping (3-16 days) and taxes was $32.96. That purchase also contributed $9.00 for local book stores.
Then, I searched on Amazon. Hardcover, delivered tomorrow, for $19.98.
Why should I pay more?
Most people, myself included, will buy anything and everything on Amazon (or Walmart, Target, etc). We’ll get free shipping, we’ll get free returns, and the price will be lower than our local merchants.
However, if you think deeply on it, you’ll realize we have this same choice: pay a little more or get a little less.
It just means something different in this context because the deck is stacked.
Of course Amazon, Walmart, and Target have lower prices…they have market power. Because of their sales and mass distribution, they can accept smaller margins, they can squeeze distributors, and with all of that cash in the bank they can outlast any small retailer.
Of course Amazon, Walmart, and Target have cheaper shipping. They ship so much, that they’ve gotten much better deals from UPS, FedEx, or in Amazon’s case by building their own distribution fleet.
Local independent merchants don’t get to have those same luxuries. If we buy it for less from those who can afford to sell it for less, more and more independent retailers will close their doors and we will have less and less choice. We may find ourselves in a position where our only relationship to our transactions will be a buy now button. Our local communities will have less owners and more warehouse employees.
Local businesses cannot compete with the sheer market power of these Goliath entities. As consumers, we will always be able to get a lower price from the big box, or direct from the warehouse.
We can continue to pay a little less or we can pay a little more, else we will continue to get a little less.
Also published on Medium.