The Helicopter Option

Sent by Jonathan Stark on September 26th, 2016

Regrettably, it’s not uncommon for me to be faced with a particular problem:

“How should I get home from Boston?”

When I travel, I almost always fly out of my local airport in Providence but - air travel being what it is - every once in a while I end up returning to the Boston airport which is about 50 miles north of where I live.

When this happens, I need to figure out how to get home. The range of possible options that come to mind are the following:

So why don’t I just walk home? It’s the cheapest option, right?

Because it would suck, that’s why.

Each of these options provide a completely different experience, with different pros and cons, and prices that range from $0 to $2500.

For example:

My final choice in any given situation will depend on:

What I’m getting at here is this:

Price is just one of many factors a buyer considers when making a buying decision.

All else being equal, a buyer will choose the option with the lowest price - but all else is never equal.

Software development is a high-touch, service oriented profession. We’re not exactly selling sneakers to the mass market.

There are dozens of factors that can come into play in a given professional relationship: experience, speed, quality, attitude, personality, communication style, world-view, and believe it or not, sometimes even race, religion, and politics.

Expose your clients to what makes you unique. This could be expertise in a particular skill, or it could be a background with a particular audience, or it could be your mission in life.

Whatever it is, let them know about it and you’ll start to attract ideal buyers who aren’t making a buying decision solely on price.

Yours,

—J

P.S. Have I mentioned that hourly billing is nuts lately? ;-)


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