How to handle the “why are your products so expensive?” question

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What do you say when someone asks you, “Why are your farm product so expensive? Welcome to Small Farm Nation Academy where we’re gonna try to teach you everything you need to know about how to market your farm products.

When you get that question, you’re talking to someone who doesn’t get what your value proposition is all about. So you’ve gotta decide whether or not you wanna expend the energy to convert them and convince them into what your mission, your vision, your values, your expenses and all that stuff is.

Or if you don’t wanna spend the time to do that often, you’re gonna get that question at a farmer’s market, which I don’t like going to or you’re gonna get in on a farm store, on your farm location on a tour, which is a great opportunity to showcase why your products cost, what they cost.

But think about products that you buy some of the more expensive… Sometimes we go through and we buy products based on price. Why is that? It’s because in our minds, we commoditized that product, and we think about it as well. There’s nothing unique here or different about this product than a competing alternative.

What that means is that we have to convince people and get them to see the value of our differentiation, whatever that element of differentiation may be, before they talk to us. Ideally, this happens on your website and your marketing materials on your signage. Maybe it’s a tagline on your logo.

Ideally, people come to us already aware of what our uniqueness is just like they are aware of the uniqueness of a Nike running shoe, or an Apple iPhone or whatever it may be, they don’t go into those businesses and say, “Hey why is your phone so expensive? I’m not gonna buy it.

Consumers understand the difference.

Now, in your marketing on your website, you need to convey this difference. And often in the farming world that difference is gonna be trust. It’s gonna be because they know you as the farmer.

You see most of the people that I’ve sold to in my life in the farming world, they were buying products that were pastured meats they were buying artisan farmstead cheese. They may have even been buying an agrarian event, like a farm tour, or a farm-stay or form dinner or whatever, but they’re really buying that experience and that trust with the farmer. That’s generally what you’re selling, as your number one asset.

It doesn’t mean your products don’t have to be good, they do. It doesn’t mean they don’t have to be safe, they do. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have to overcome the convenience barrier,you do have to do those kind of things. But you don’t wanna get down into the discussion of this is why our products cost more, particularly the discussion I’ve seen many times in the farming world which is, “Well, you need to understand the real cost of food, because over here it’s subsidized by the government and this is the true cost of animal welfare and health and blah, blah, blah.” It’s all true stuff. Do you really think that consumer you’re talking to cares about that?

Maybe a little… Maybe that will help him or her to rationalize their purchasing decision but I’m guessing that effect does that’s gonna be a one-time purchase.

What you’re after for your business is repeat loyal customers the way you get repeat loyal customers as you get people who believe in your ’cause of what you’re doing, they share your values, why are you doing what you’re doing?

And maybe your value is soil fertility, or you want to restore health to the soil. You’re into regenerative agriculture, and do a good job of this and you get people around you who coalesced share that value they’ll support you. They wanna ask so much about prices, they may limit what they purchased it may purchase less but they won’t complain about the prices.

Or maybe you’re into animal husbandry or maybe you’re into organic or maybe you’re into craftsmanship or heritage breed, or whatever you’ve gotta share that through your mission and values that come through on your social posts and your blog. You’re about page…

I know what you’re about, and then they don’t talk about price when you get that straight person who talks about price, you’re not talking about somebody who’s in your tribe, you gotta make an immediate decision.

Can I get that person over or can I not ensure energy building that tribe of customers that will support your mission, and vision, and don’t spend as much energy trying to convince everybody to buy from you because you’re never gonna win that battle, with… This is why my product is so expensive. The minute you say those words you’re admitting your product is expensive, and it’s not… You are pursuing a vision and a mission, and it costs what it costs.

Hey, if you want the equivalent of an MBA in farm marketing, head over to Small Farm Nation Academy where you will you learn about how to build your brand, how to build your email list, how to do email marketing, how to get public relations and media exposure and everything else is gonna help you to not talk about farm prices but instead to attract the tribe of loyal customers.