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You don’t have to please all of the people all of the time…

There's a principle in pricing a product or service that if you're not turning off a third of your prospects by charging more than they want to pay, you're not charging enough. I happen to believe that the same principle applies right across the spectrum.

There’s a principle in pricing a product or service that if you’re not turning off a third of your prospects by charging more than they want to pay, you’re not charging enough. I happen to believe that the same principle applies right across the spectrum.

If you design a product to appeal to everyone’s needs then you’ll end up with something that meets no-one’s. Unless you produce the blandest, most characterless, most vanilla product possible, someone, somewhere, will NOT like it.

It also applies in how we deal with other people. ‘People pleasing’ is an easy trap to fall into. We’re programmed to be sociable, to fit in. The problem is, trying to do that for everyone can make you a pushover, someone who never says no. Corporate workplaces are full of people like that: many years ago I worked with a manager whose desk was permanently covered in small jobs that other people had asked him to "just take a look at when [you have] five minutes" and, of course, he’d said yes.

I worked with someone else who would spend hours checking his presentations to make sure he wasn’t going to say anything that might ‘put someone off’. The result was presentations that weren’t just inoffensive. They were, without exception, ineffective.

So here’s my challenge to you. For the next month, make sure that you say no to one request in three and make sure that your pitches and presentations are punchy enough that one in three of them causes someone in the audience to challenge you openly. Don’t be bland – make a stand!

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