This ‘meeting inspiring people’ thing is turning out to be a lot of fun.
Two encounters this morning, two people doing something special.
Take Wim Kolb, for instance.
Builds bicycles, by hand – starting with hand-soldered frames (not welded – that would weaken the steel too much).
And my goodness, they are gorgeous!
I don’t need a bike, but after seeing these, I really really want one.
I might even join him for a week-long workshop, and build one myself.
But here’s the thing:
Just like so many artists, I believe Wim sells himself short.
Something so special, built by hand and fully customised, should earn him at least twice as much.
And that’s not greed – it’s common sense.
Bikes like that, they’re like the handmade suits I used to make.
They’re made to measure, fully adjusted to your own physique, and designed with all the bells and whistles on it that you want.
And that’s a high-end, high quality, luxury product.
Clearly not for people who shop for suits in bargain stores, or for people who buy cheap Asia-made throwaway bikes.
People who spend thousands on a suit, or a bike, or a kayak, or a work of art…
Those are affluent people.
They are the people who want the best there is, and price is not an issue.
That kind of buyer, they turn – no, they run – away when something isn’t priced high.
Because affluent buyers – the best kind there is – don’t look for a good deal.
Instead, they look for the best possible quality they can get – and they’re happy to pay for it.
Insist on high prices, in fact.
As the famous marketer-turned-artist Hugh MacLeod once told me over a beer in a London pub:
“Why do some people pay millions for a Ferrari? Because they can”.
So if you create high-end things, then you shouldn’t offer people a good deal.
Instead, you should offer them the best you can make, at a high price, with a (true, of course) story that belongs with the thing that you make.
Now obviously, you do need to find those people.
And don’t believe for a moment that ‘these days, people don’t pay high prices any longer’.
They do, affluent people are more abundant these days than ever before.
Your job as a business owner is to learn who they are, where you can find them, and do whatever you can to show up before them.
And when you do?
Then you too get to sell for prices that your work is worth.
Meaning: high prices.
Because if your quality is high and your heart is in it, it’s what you deserve.