What ever happened to Pay What You Want?

December 17th, 2009

Some of you will remember my Pay What You Want Marketing experiment at the start of the year РI have done a bit of a detox over at the NZHerald.  Give it a read (there will be a bwagy blog about it in the near future) and be keen on your thoughts.

What would you think is the best industry for a pay what you want model?

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One Response to “What ever happened to Pay What You Want?”

  1. Robyn Pearce Says:

    Ben, I read your Herald overview of this ‘experiment’ with interest.

    “Americans always paid, without a doubt, and interestingly a range of prices.

    “From my point of view it really demonstrated that they paid what they thought it was worth. Neat – I was stoked.

    “On the flipside, though, Kiwis never ever paid! All that came through was a raft of excuses (if they said anything), some offered to pay later, others didn’t even indicate towards paying. I didn’t terribly mind but thought it was quite interesting.”

    Ben, your experience reflects mine.

    Marc Le Blanc CSP and a past President of the US National Speakers Association had shared with me his ‘Pay What You Think It’s Been Worth To You’ method of running 2-day business coaching seminars in the States. He’s found it very successful indeed, with many people making much higher contributions than if he’d put a price on the training.

    I tried the same concept for a 2-day event here in New Zealand which I called ‘Take Time’ – focused on giving busy people a relaxing space to reflect on the way they use time, as well as heaps of really practical information on time management and productivity. (It was of very high value – I’ve been specialising in this field of time management for years, including internationally, and am a multi-title author.)

    Some people thought there was a catch and therefore didn’t come (I’d made it clear that they got to choose what they felt was appropriate to pay); others came who wanted the information but weren’t in a position to pay anything (in some cases that was ok, but in one case I felt the person was taking advantage); and only a few paid anything close to a commercial rate. And yet every attendee said they’d had wonderful value.

    I did it as an experiment and because I’m committed to making a worthwhile contribution to people. Both those objectives were met. However, at a higher level, if we feel taken for granted or taken advantage of, the exchange is unequal and the energy flow is blocked. Let’s just say, based on my Kiwi experience, I’m not rushing to repeat the experiment!

    Oh dear, are we Kiwis mean or unappreciative?! I’d like to think that’s not the case! Or is it just our Scottish ancestry we blame? (Now I’ll upset the Scots too! Hey, I’m one of them as well)

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