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The “50% Extra Free” Trick

It’s an inescapable truth that “50% extra free” means exactly the same thing as “discounted 33%”. 

Equally inescapable is the fact that the former feels like a better deal than the latter to 99.5% of the Earth’s population.

That feeling is of course entirely wrong, but its power to influence buying decisions is not really affected by that fact. As I mentioned many times before, human nature habitually trumps objective facts.

And people

So when you know from experience that nine times out of ten any project scope you set is likely to be inflated during the course of work, is it really such a bad idea to count on it happening?

When setting the price, if you simply “price in” the extra 50% work from the beginning, and then promise a “up to 50% extra work for free” guarantee, you can do that while knowing that even if a competitor undercuts your price 30%, your deal is more likely to be viewed as more favorable.

Of course, they could undercut you even more, but discounts larger than 30% run the risk of signaling that something is very wrong with the offer. Think about it – you might buy a chicken or a haircut that is 15% off, but a 45% discount – that would probably make you stop and think twice about it, right?

What is it that the seller is not telling you? If it was any good, why would they sell it at such a price?

So far, I found very few better tricks to try than “50% extra free”.

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