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“How Your Staff Feels About Your Pricing Affects The Nonprofit Bottom Line.”

By Ron Evans

I had a layover in the Phoenix airport recently, and noticed that the pricing on food there is inexpensive for an airport. I looked it up, and the local newspaper said that customers at PHX pay on average only 10% more than what they would on the street. Nice. No $8 bottles of water (I’m looking at you, ONT).

Also, the people working food and beverage seem significantly happier. I watched vendors compliment customers on their apparel, warmly welcome those who were scoping out the options, and thank people for coming. “I’m here for another beautiful day!” chirped a barista, when a customer asked how he was doing. When was the last time you heard friendly exchanges like that at an airport?

My gut feeling is that the two are connected. At airports with overpriced food, workers constantly see people’s reactions as they scowl at the pricing. They know they are ripping people off. That’s some major mental baggage to face at work each day.

For me, it was a reminder that the pricing we set influences the emotions of people on both side of the transaction.

Time for you to implement. It’s Ron’s Monday Mission™:

How do the people who sell your products and services feel about how things are priced compared to value received? Have you ever asked them? How do their attitudes influence their actions? What language are they using? Are they telling people that your offerings are “cheap”? Are they dragging their feet because they think your offerings are too expensive, and feel guilty suggesting them? (I also see this with people who hate fundraising.)

It’s always a good idea for you to set the record straight, and demonstrate the value people receive for what they are paying for. So, get your team together and have an open-ended discussion. Use these two questions to get started:

  1. “What value do our customers receive from us?” (Tangible, intangible, physical, emotional, etc.)
  2. “In your opinion, does our pricing accurately reflect that value?”

The answers you hear will be enlightening, and will power additional internal conversations.

Have a great week,


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