Thursday, May 26, 2011

There's Always A Right Price

Are your products or services priced correctly?

If your sales are slower than you expect, it could be that the price is too high. People will resist prices that they perceive to be too high, sometimes without even knowing it.

Movie theaters can sit empty. Used car lots can sit full. Inventories can create mountains as expectations whither in the wind, products obsolete themselves, and customers take new options.

But is there a price that people will buy?

My son Juan and I went to the movies this week to see the 4th Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It's an entertaining movie, but having seen the first three and considered the last just a little over-the-top, I could easily have skipped number four. But the theater we attended has a Tuesday night special ticket price of just $5. For a movie, that's good. We'd seen "Thor" a few days earlier and paid a whopping $13 a ticket (it was in 3D). For that showing of "Thor" there were maybe 12 people in the audience. I have to believe the theater lost money that night. But for "Pirates" and its $5 seats the theater was almost full. It looked profitable that night for me, and it was so much more fun to be in a larger audience.

Last week Amazon sold the latest Lady Gaga album for just .99. People who might never have bought her music cheerfully downloaded the music. So many, that it crashed the system for a while. While crashing the system is not what leaders are looking for, sales and creating new customers is.

Are your products or services priced correctly? What price point would optimize your number of customers AND profit margins?

-- Douglas Brent Smith



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Problem Solving Other People's Problems

Have you ever tried to solve someone else's problem? Not a shared problem between you and the other person, but a problem that is truly their own.

How does that work?


Now matter how effective, how creative, how robust your solution is, it's still not your problem. It's still up to that other person to solve. They might even resist your ideas. They might even resent your ideas. The harder you try, the less effective it seems.

It's troubling, disturbing, disappointing. Why put yourself thru that?


It's so hard to solve other people's problems that we're better off helping them learn how to solve them.

They'll be better off, because now they have an improved skill they can use again and again. You'll be better off because the frustration will be many times less or gone completely.

We all need to learn how to solve our problems.

We all need to learn how to effectively help others as well.

What can you do today to learn more about solving your own problems?

-- Douglas Brent Smith


(Photograph by Stephen Downes)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Problem Solving and Tomorrow's Problems

How do you get ready for problems to come?

Is there a way that we can prepare ourselves so that when future problems arrive we can solve them quickly and effectively?

We prepare by solving the problems right in front of us.

Solving today's problems is good practice for the problems yet to come.

Because if we can be sure of anything, it's that there will always be more problems to solve.

What can you do to solve a problem today?

-- Douglas Brent Smith


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Problem Solving and the Root Cause

How much time do you spent identifying the root cause of a problem?

It's a risk to assume that we know the real problem, that the root cause is obvious. Sometimes it takes a harder look.

Sometimes understanding the root causes of a problem is more important than solving it.

Options open. Possibilities abound. Chances emerge. Perspective clears.

Solving a problem? Get a good look at that root cause!

-- Douglas Brent Smith