How to attract higher paying customers to your business


You do damn fine work. You deserve to be well compensated for it.


You feel stuck. And frustrated. Because you struggle to attract the kind of customers who are both willing and able to pay what you’re worth.

How do you break through and reach the caliber of customer you merit?

Get A Feel For The Competition

Before you can charge higher prices, you need to know how you stack up against your competitors. Ideally, you’d employ a market researcher to conduct this analysis for you, but that can be cost-prohibitive. So do a little checking around.

Visit your competitors’ websites, go to their retail locations, and read online reviews. Get feedback from your customers. Maybe even have someone you know go mystery shopping. All with a focus on seeing where you stand in the marketplace in terms of quality, service, and price.

Understand That Value Is Subjective

“My competition is charging way more than me for an inferior product!”

This is an exasperating but not uncommon position to be in.

In a perfect world, prices would reflect the intrinsic value of the underlying product or service but we all know this isn’t the case. Some businesses get away with downright extortion while others seem ridiculously underpriced. What makes the difference?

The answer has more to do with psychology than economics.

Consider the Ala Moana shopping center here in Honolulu, Hawai’i. In one store, Neiman Marcus, you can drop $5,000 on a new dress. Or you can walk five minutes down the corridor to Target and buy a dress for under $20.

Is the Neiman Marcus dress better? Undoubtedly. Is it 250x better? That is entirely subjective.

Neiman Marcus can charge an order of magnitude more for products because their shoppers have an entirely different perspective on the value of those goods as compared to the Target shopper. That perspective is shaped by income, lifestyle, social influences, and in no small part the marketing, branding, and salesmanship of the retailer (more on this in a minute).

Get To Know Your Ideal Customers

The more you understand about your ideal customers, the more effective you’ll be at winning their business. In other words, if you want high-end customers, you have to know what they value in a product or service like yours.

While downmarket shoppers are typically motivated to find the lowest possible price, upmarket shoppers can be swayed by style, reputation, service, quality, and brand values like sustainability.

To better understand the factors that influence your upmarket customers create customer profiles that cover not just their income and demographics but lifestyle, culture, and social influences. You may find it helpful to interview your best customers when developing your customer profiles to get a deeper sense of why they chose you.

Develop A Compelling Brand Narrative

Now that you know what your customers care about you need to align your brand messaging with those values. Ask yourself, “What is it about my business that my ideal customer values?” Then use that to position yourself in the market.

For example, what comes to mind when you think of Tesla? Now, what comes to mind when you think of Volkswagen?

Tesla Volkswagen logo

Both of those images have been shaped and influenced by the automakers themselves. Everything from product design, to dealer layout, to the logo is purposefully chosen to leave you with a particular impression about the brand. And you can do the same thing.

When creating your marketing materials make sure to highlight what you offer that your ideal customer values the most.

Fish Where The Whales Are

Finally, you can have a great brand narrative that speaks to your ideal target audience, but it won’t do you any good if they never hear it.

When interviewing existing customers and building your ideal customer profile, make sure to learn what they pay attention to: What publications do they read? What social media do they use? What conferences do they attend? Then build a presence for yourself using advertising, networking, and content marketing in places where your ideal customer will see you.


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