“That was a very precise demand, the beggar over there had“, said my husband, as we were walking home from the little Arabic supermarket in our local area in Haifa.
“What?” As usual, I'd heard nothing. My father had very bad hearing, and I think I'd inherited it. To him, it was probably a blessing, since my mother was very talkative.
“He asked for 4 shekel”, my husband continued. Luckily, he's used to being my ears.
“Oh, that's great”, I answered. “He'll probably make a lot of money that way.”
In Israel, we have 1, 2 and 5 shekel coins. By asking for the exact amount of 4 shekel that beggar was doing a very smart thing.
Like everywhere else, when shopping in stores people would pay with either check or credit card. Only when buying food in the shuk (market) you have to pay cash. So chances are that people have a very few coins in their purse. 1 or 2 shekel, yes, maybe, but not 4. Rather a 5 shekel coin. And who would ask a beggar for changes?
“What kind of country are we living in“, said my husband, “that even beggars are doing marketing?” He laughed.
Well, my answer was that if he wanted to survive as a beggar here, he'd better be smart about his business.
How are you asking for money?
No, I don't mean that you should be begging for money. Asking for donations are okay for some. I once learnt a smart thing to do to obtain donations, and it worked, too. That scared me, so I removed it again.
I don't want to receive money from people that way. If you buy my products that's fine with me. You will learn something and get something in return. But just giving me money? No, thank you, that scares me.
What I meant was: How are you asking for money for your products?
You cannot use the 4 shekel trick, because people are paying virtual money, either through PayPal or with their credit cards.
There are, however, other things you could do.
Numbers ending in 7 have been proved to work. Ask for $7, $17, $47 etc.
Or make the price so low that people will not think twice about purchasing, like $4.95.
The best trick, though, is this:
Are people gaining some kind of value from your product?
Hopefully, you're answering “yes” to the above question. Compare that value to your price. Even better: Compare both that value to your price, and your price to something that doesn't give the client any positive value, like a packet of cigarettes, a hamburger, etc.
You will make your prospect feel good about investing in your stuff. Think of the alternative? Now they don't have to get that extra smoke or the extra fat on their stommach. On the contrary. They'll get something valuable that will improve their lives.
Great! Now as a token of your gratitude, please send me 4 shekel. LOL