"Too expensive" and "Doesn't provide enough value" are the same thing

I recently came across a one-question service from a service provider (I think it was some kind of online software…) that asked why I had discontinued my subscription to their service. Among the choices were “Too expensive” and “didn’t provide enough value.”

I had to read it three times to make sure I was reading it right.

Because those are the same things, stated two different ways. If something doesn’t provide enough value, even if it’s only a couple cents, it’s “too expensive” by definition.

I’m raising this issue because I’ve been part of too many discussions with association executives who have said “we’re not getting enough members because our dues are too high” when what they’re really saying is “We’re not providing enough value for the price we’re charging.”

So before you rush to cut prices, stop and ask yourself what value you’re providing for that price. What is the value of your membership? It’s possible your prices ARE too high. But lowering them may not get you anywhere if you’re not providing any value at all.

About Wes Trochlil

For a quarter century, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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