My neighbor two doors down runs a landscaping service. He does a really good job, and he makes you pay for it, too. So while I appreciate the work he has done on my yard up this point, I did have one major problem with it:
He charges me $21 every time he mows my measly little yard.
Now, let me get you up to speed on the size of my yard. We could barely fit a kiddie pool into it if we wanted to. About 10 steps gets you from the front of the front to the back of the back. It probably takes 15 minutes to mow and weed the whole thing.
So, I wasn’t gonna do it. We just moved into the house last August, and I haven’t bought a mower yet, so I’ve bit the bullet and had him mow it up this point. But I was pretty adamant on taking care of it myself this spring. I mean, in Texas, you easily have to mow once a week – that’s $84 a month I’m gonna pay for this. Plus, I’m a man – I can take care of my own yard.
Then I started to think about what was really at stake. For one, I don’t always get around to stuff I plan to get around to. Great at planning the work; not so good at working the plan. In the case of a yard, I could easily see that leading to lots of weeds and a shoddy sidewalk. And that means an irritable and ashamed me, an irritated wife, and an ugly yard in a pretty well-kept neighborhood.
Then I remembered how hot it gets in Texas during the summer (and by that I mean April – September).
Then I remembered how much I’ll have to spend to buy a mower and weedeater and all that.
So I realized that I’m not really paying my neighbor to mow my small yard; I’m paying him to keep me in a good mood, out of the heat, out of the lawn equipment business and, probably most importantly, to keep my wife happy. And that’s worth a lot more than $84 a month.
So here’s the point: what are your customers and prospects really buying? Cuz it’s rarely what you think you’re selling. More times than not, it’s an experience, not just the product or service.