Clients Don't Buy Gasoline

August 18, 2020

“People actually do not buy gasoline. They cannot see it, taste it, feel it, appreciate it, or really test it. What they buy is the right to continue driving their cars.”

Clients buy solutions to their problems, wants, needs, and hopes. They’re not concerned about the details which lie between their current day concerns and the solution they crave. They don’t care how the gasoline gets made and delivered. Your service is simply a means to an end they crave:  a solution.

It was true in 1960, when Theodore Levitt dissected the navel-gazing oil industry in his classic Harvard Business Review essay, "Marketing Myopia." It’s true today. It will be true as long as clients buy.

If you’re a CPA, for example, clients aren’t buying your ability to get a tax return prepared properly. That’s assumed. What they yearn for are better results for their business. They are purchasing a less stressful retirement. They are buying the peace of mind knowing that if they are audited, they’ll have an experienced professional holding their hand.

Yes, there are a minority of clients who are perfectly happy with a tax return being prepared at the lowest cost.

But most clients are oriented toward the value they’ll receive from the solutions you provide. Sure, different customers have varying notions of what they will pay for that value, but they are value-focused nonetheless.

If your focus is on client solutions, a lot of questions you might be struggling with get answered. How do you market your services? How and whether should you pivot? What service options do you offer? How do you price?

The best answer to all these questions starts with perspective:  understanding what clients are buying when they come to you.

They aren’t buying gasoline.


Image Credit:  JumpStory

©Ray Business Advisors, LLC and John Ray


About me:  I’m enthusiastic about how changes in pricing strategy can significantly change profitability for a business and enhance life choices for business owners. I live this passion through Ray Business Advisors, my outside CFO and business advisory practice, in which my pricing is exclusively value-based, not hourly. I work with business owners on how they can change their pricing not just to increase their profits, but better serve the wants of their customers. Click here to learn more or call me at 404-287-2627.



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