Derek Sivers
from the book “Your Music and People”:

Emphasize meaning over price.


A musician named Griffin House used to sell CDs at his gigs for $15. He’d mention it once or twice from the stage, and sell about $300 per night on average.

One day his manager, Terry McBride, asked him to try a completely different approach. He said:

  1. Tell the audience, “It’s really important to us that you have our CD. We worked so hard on it and are so proud of it, that we want you to have it, no matter what. Pay what you want, but even if you have no money, please take one tonight.”
  2. Say this again before the end of the show. “Please, nobody leave here tonight without getting a copy of our CD. We’ve shared this great show together so it would mean a lot to us if you’d take one.”

It changes the request from a commercial pitch to an emotional connection. Allowing them to get a CD for no money just reinforces that.

As soon as Griffin made this change, he started selling about $1200 per night on average, even including those people who took it for free! The average selling price was about $10.

But the important part came next:

Because every person left each show with a CD, they were more likely to remember who they saw, tell friends about it, listen to it later, and become an even bigger fan afterwards.

Then, when the band returned to a town where they had insisted that everyone take a CD, attendance at those shows doubled! The people that took a CD became long-term fans and brought their friends to future shows.

So, whatever you’re selling, emphasize the meaning of it, not the price.