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There was a company that had a very elaborate air conditioning system running throughout it’s factory. The system was essential for the effective running of the whole operation. It had cost a million pounds to install. After some time, a problem with the system occurred that created serious issues for the organisation. The system gave inconsistent temperature control and made horrible noise.


The organisation contracted with various service companies and engineers to fix the problem, but none could. Eventually a man appeared in the office and said “I can fix the system. It will cost you £100,000.00”. At first the company was hesitant to pay such a large sum, but having exhausted other avenues, they felt that they had no choice but to do a deal with the man. They agreed that if he fixed the problem, the organisation would pay him the £100,000.00.


The man set to work. Chaperoned by officials form the organisation, he walked along the miles of corridors of the building, shining his torch up at the mass of metal tubing suspended from the ceiling above. Eventually the man stopped at a particular place, stepped on to a ladder and gently laid his hand against the metal above. He smiled knowingly to himself, took out a small hammer from his bag and gave the metal a gentle tap. Immediately the horrible noice stopped.


“There you go” said the man, “all fixed”.


The officials looked at the man incredulously and said, “You want £100,000.00 for tapping a pipe with a hammer?”. “No”, said the man calmly, “it’s £1.00 for tapping the pipe with the hammer, and £99,999.00 for knowing where and how to tap”.


I have remembered this metaphor well this since it was told to me many years ago. I remember it vividly because it resonated with other things I had been told when it came to business, principally that people buy based on value, not price. The sale price of an item is largely based on what the market is prepared to pay. Generally the more readily available something is, the less people are prepared to pay for it. This goes for knowledge as well as physical products.




“Price is what you pay, value is what you get” – Warren Buffet



When someone buys an online course, they are paying for knowledge. When someone buys a live training course, they are paying for knowledge. Similarly, when someone hires a coach or a consultant, they are also paying for knowledge.


What makes someone buy the knowledge that you have to offer? One of the most useful question in sales is, “how much would it be worth for you not to have X (problem) anymore?” or “what would it be worth to you for you to have X (solution)?”. Then you can match your ‘unique’ solution to the problem.


When it comes to what you offer as a coach or consultant, what is it that means you know where to tap when others do not? What is it that makes you special, that makes you stand out? What is it that means someone will be prepared to offer you what you want to charge, and leave them feeling that they have received great value for money?


It makes great sense to not only acquire great skills, but then package those skills in a way that sets you apart from the rest.


Make sure that you learn ‘where’ and ‘how’ to tap.


Please do leave your comments in the box below. Thank you in advance.