Let’s take a look behind the scenes.
In this special 100th podcast episode I’ve asked colleague and friend Pauliina Rasi to come on the show and interview me. It’s time for me to be the one in the hot seat and to answer your & her questions. It was exciting and a little daunting.
Looking back on my business journey. It’s been just over 5 years since I started the business. At first it had multiple personalities – pricing, communication and mindfulness. Seriously, I tried to do them all. I quickly realized it was confusing for clients and a lot of work for me. Pricing was clearly where I could make the biggest difference, so I rolled it all together. That’s right the mindfulness and communication elements are still there, they are tools that I use to help you improve your business and pricing. While I emphasize the Pricing elements and it’s why most people come to me, they quickly realize I’m helping them with so much more.
Reflecting upon the podcast, I realized I didn’t have a specific goal other than to bring you listeners great content. To help you improve your businesses through a better understanding of Pricing, it’s tactics and strategies and how to use them in your business. It’s been challenging at times for sure, I even thought of stopping once or twice. In the end, I knew it was best to continue. It’s all been part of the journey and it’s led me to where I am today. 100 episodes, 54 guests and thousands of downloads have led me to one conclusion – I’m in for the next 100. Are you?
I’ll continue to strive to bring you the great content you desire and seek. While also bringing in new topics, ideas and guests. I mean it when I say if you have an idea or a suggestion for the show, please share it with me. If there’s someone you’d like to see come on the show – share that too. That’s one way I will continue to build an even better experience for you.
In This Episode
In this episode, Pauliina and I discussed my path to becoming The Pricing Lady. I share some of the experiences I’ve had in my business (the challenges and milestones), some things I’ve learned from the show, my favorite episodes (ugh it’s so difficult to choose, as well as some of my ideas for the future.
Thanks for celebrating with me and enjoy the show!
Podcast Episode Highlights
- 0:00 Intro
- 4:57 Getting to Know Janene
- 10:17 Pricing and Engineering
- 11:30 First Steps as an Entrepreneur
- 17:30 Early Lessons Learned the Hard Way
- 20:20 Impact of Geography and Culture on Pricing Strategy
- 22:25 History of TPL The Podcast
- 29:49 Your Mindset is Everything
- 35:33 A Way of Being and Behaving
- 43:26 Janene’s Recos
- 45:54 Going Forward
- 48:33 Janene’s Dream Guest
- 49:45 Wrapping It Up
“Something that makes your Podcast different, even refreshing is that it’s focused on a topic that is often hard to find good information on at times. Maybe one reason people don’t know that people like you exist, is because we don’t talk openly about money and prices so much.” Pauliina
“Starting your own business, I thought it was a career journey. I thought it was about me and my career. What I didn’t realize when I started was that it’s actually a personal development journey more than anything else” Janene
How to Connect with Pauliina: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pauliinarasi-copywriter/
Link to CAVEMAN 2.UGH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZb3JCt1H3c&t=15s
Book Recommendation: Playing Big by Tara Mohr
Rate, Review and Follow the Show on Apple Podcasts
“I’ve just found my Pricing Resource!” … “A binge worthy podcast.” … “I learned so much about how to improve my profitability.”
If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing the pricing podcast. It helps me spread the word to more people and ultimately get more small businesses on the path to sustainable profitability and business success. Click right here, tap to rate with five stars, then select “Write a Review.” Last let me know what you loved most about the episode!
One more thing. If you don’t already, follow my pricing podcast. New episodes come out every couple of weeks, plus bonus episode. If you’re not following there’s a good chance you’ll miss something.
Reach Out, Connect and Book a Call with Janene
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Get started improving your business. Sometimes it’s difficult to know where to begin. I suggest you Download the the self assessment Pricing Scorecard. Get a view of what’s working and what’s not working when it comes to pricing in your business. Figure out where to start making improvements.
Get in touch with Janene. If you’ve got a question that needs answering, a challenge you’re facing or you have suggestions for future topics or guests, let me know. Your pricing questions and insights often become episodes. Share yours with me and let’s see where it goes. Contact Janene.
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Janene: Hello everyone, and welcome to Live with The Pricing Lady. I’m Janene Liston, your hostess. This is episode 100. Yay. We have been working our way towards episode 100 for the past two months, celebrating with retrosodes, and then last time we had a very special panel of previous guests and listeners, and today I’ve invited my colleague and friend Pauliina Rasi here to interview me.
We’re gonna be turning the tables and looking behind the scenes at both the podcast and the business. Now before we get started, if you have not listened to the show before, it is all about the topic of pricing. I work with small business owners, startups, and entrepreneurs to help them be more confident about what they charge because they understand the value of their offer and charge for it.
This helps them to be more sustainably, sustainably profitable, and be there for their clients, serving them well into the future. Welcome everyone and welcome to my interviewer.
Pauliina: I’m Pauliina. Thank you, Janene. Hi. And lovely to be on the show again in on this side of a table. Yes. Very exciting.
Janene: That’s right.
She’s been a guest. I’ll turn the tables to you, Pauliina. Before I do that, hello to everybody who’s listening. We are live streaming on LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube. As we go through reveal questions or comments be sure to share them with us. All right, Pauliina, the floor is yours. Pauliina: Thank you so much and warm welcome to everybody who is listening to us live. It’s a pleasure to have you here, and thank you again, Janene, for inviting me to interview you.
Rapid Fire Q’s for Janene
Pauliina: as you have such a great and entertaining show, I was thinking we could start off the same way you are starting with your guests with a few rapid fire questions to get us all warmed up and maybe show a little bit of a different side of you for your audience as well.
Yes. Where are you from Janene?
Janene: I am joining today from Basel, Switzerland. I’ve lived here for about 21 years. I grew up, however, in Sacramento, California.
Pauliina: Beautiful. What is your superpower?
Janene: I would say helping people have AHA moments. This comes in many different contexts, but I’ve always found that I’m able to explain either technical things or things that people find difficult in ways that they can relate to and understand very easily.
It’s the same when it comes to pricing. A lot of people come to me because they don’t know where to go and what to do and feel that it’s a very difficult topic. I can help make that topic more easily understandable and help them figure out how to use it.
Pauliina: That’s a superpower many of us could benefit from. But then how about you? What is one interesting thing that people don’t maybe know about you yet after having listened to you for 100 episodes? Well, 99 and a little bit over 100.
Janene: There’s so many different things. One of the things that a lot of people don’t know about me is that I make my own greeting cards. I’ve been doing this before I came to Switzerland, probably about 25 years at least. I use paper crafts, stamps, paints and different things to make my own greeting cards. In the past, I’ve always referred it to it as my girly hobby.
Getting to Know Janene
Pauliina: Nice way to balance out the more technical aspect of your work. Often when we look at other people and entrepreneurs, it’s always so easy to look at them and say she’s so good at pricing. She’s got it all figured out. When we look a little bit deeper or when we look behind the scenes, we often see that they built it up.
They grew into that. They weren’t born like that. You didn’t start with pricing I believe, did you? You started with something completely different.
Janene: That’s very true. I started my career as a structural engineer designing buildings, I studied that in university and then practiced for about three and a half years.
If you find yourself in Western Connecticut and the parts of New York, there’s several buildings around there that I designed. As far as I know, they’re all still standing, which is the main objective of a structural engineer.
Pauliina: Did you ever go there to just admire them?
Janene: From time to time, some of them. I still have a lot of friends over there, so when I go visit people over there then I drive by them, I was like, yeah, still standing.
Pauliina: It’s like your clients who’s pricing you help them fix so that they can spend to decades to come?
Janene: When it comes to my pricing clients, there is nothing more exciting for me than hearing about their success. Sometimes I see it through social media or hear from them directly, but it makes me feel so happy for them when I see that they’re able to. This is about that AHA moment. You kind of make that transformation from, I’m not sure how to do this, or I can’t, to being able to.
Changing of Careers
Pauliina: What happened? What made an engineer become a pricing expert?
Janene: Well, really it was sort of just a happenstance to some extent. When I left my engineering job, I didn’t know what I wanted to do and I was just trying to figure out, okay, how can I pay my bills and support myself while I figure this out. And I got a job with a company as a technical writer and an admin assistant, thinking that I would just be there for a year or so until I figured out what was next and move on. And low and behold, I ended up there, being there for eight years.
I worked my way into product management what we called applications engineering, and as the head of applications engineering and marketing. It’s also with that company that came to Switzerland. That was also my first then exposure to pricing. We had no formal pricing function in the company, relatively small company.
As a product manager, pricing was one of the responsibilities that I had. And many of you, if you’ve listened to episodes where I’ve been interviewed before, that one of the first things I did was hand me a price list, and it was 20 years old.
Pauliina: Oh wow.
Janene: Yeah, and I had, at the time, I had very little commercial background, but I knew enough to know that there was something wrong with that.
The first thing I did was actually restructure the pricing for my portfolio and then for other parts of the business as well. And that was really my first step into the topic. But it wasn’t until years later when I moved to Switzerland that I actually took a job as a pricing manager.
Was it Love at First Sight
Pauliina: When you started working on that pricing price list, that was 20 years old and started thinking about all the aspects that come with pricing, was it love at first sight?
Janene: In a way, yes, in a way, I’m not sure. My brain is hardwired to solve problems, hence the engineering. I don’t know if that was the first, if that was how I got into engineering or an outcome of studying engineering or both.
But I see a problem and it’s my instinct to try and find a solution for that. The problem that we were having was offers were not getting out the door as quickly as they could. Part of the problem was we were reinventing the wheel every time we priced something. We were working on large multimillion dollar systems, and there’s a lot between when you send the first offer out and when you close a deal and such things. The sooner you can get that first offer out the door, the sooner you can start the rest of the process. For me, taking 1-2 weeks to get the offer out the door was just silliness.
That’s one of the reasons that I started working on the pricing for my product line. We gotta speed this up so that we can get off the starting line quicker is basically what it was.
Pauliina: Being an entrepreneur myself, I can relate. I’m sure many of our listeners can because it’s a huge project to get an offer out the door. If you have a service-based business, you have many other things to do as well. You don’t wanna spend days and weeks on that. It’s very helpful to have that kind of clear structure and strategy behind that.
Pricing and Engineering
Pauliina: We have Megan listening to us, Megan listening. Congratulations. Thanks for following. Let us know if you have any questions you would like to ask Janene. This is the day and the place to do that.
Janene: Yes. Hi Megan. Hi Ramona. Hello, the rest of you?
Pauliina: Lovely to see the comments coming in. When I listen to you, I keep thinking that there are a lot of commonalities between pricing and engineering. Do you agree?
Janene: Good question. I mean, in some ways there are, because they’re both. There’s a structural element to both, if you will. When you asked me the question earlier with one of my talents, it’s relating things that seem to have no relationship. That’s another one. I can make a relationship between just about anything.
And what I see is that in your business, Pricing is a very structural element in that it kind of holds the building up to some context in some context from a profitability standpoint. And of course, and as a structural engineer, you’re trying to figure out how to make sure that the building doesn’t come down on people’s heads.
In that context, I would say they’re both very foundational things to what you’re trying to achieve at the time. And if you. take that out. If you don’t have the engineer, if you don’t have a good pricing strategy, then you’re kind of leaving things up to fate more than anything.
First Steps as an Entrepreneur
Pauliina: Absolutely. But how about then I’m curious to hear more about your first steps as an entrepreneur, because you said you came to the Switzerland when you, you had a job. You, you came with a company and you worked in pricing. But what make you take the plunge and start your own business?
Janene: Yeah, so when I, when I first got my certification as a certified pricing professional, I realized I had literally stumbled into something that not many people specialize in. I think I was one of the first 40 or 50 people worldwide to get the CPP designation.
To earn it, you do have to go through coursework and, and take a half a day exam, I think it was at the time. Yeah. , I think my, my study guide is still behind me here on the desk. I realized that I had stumbled into something that not many people specialize in. And that can bring enormous value to companies.
For me, very early on after getting that CPP designation, I had the thought, Oh, this could be a business. I’m sure lots of companies need pricing specialists and don’t have the resources to bring them in, as full time internal employees. There’s a space here for me. At the same time, I also knew that not a lot companies or people knew that people like me existed. There was a hurdle there as well. So that was when I was still working at Siemens at the time. And then an opportunity came up with a new company and it was a completely different industry than I’d ever worked for. And I thought, Well, let’s see if this pricing thing translates.
Suddenly I was in A Burnout Situation
Janene: In that time period before I left the one company and went to the next, I actually wrote a business plan because I had already kind of started thinking that I may do something down the road, but then I went on to this new job and started it and really enjoyed working there. With the team. I learned a lot from my colleagues there.
Unfortunately, I went through a burnout. I started in the job where I was traveling 70% of the time and it took its toll on me. One thing after another, all of a sudden, I was in this burnout situation. When I was in the process of healing from that, I thought to myself, what do I really wanna do?
I really wanted to help more people, I stood there for about a year and a half. I always talk about the cliff that I was stand toes over the edge, but not daring to step out as an entrepreneur myself. And there came a point in time where I either had to put that idea aside and just go get a job or step into it and give it my all.
Finally in August of 2017 I thought, Okay, let’s put your money where your mouth is Liston, and see what happens. Give it to try. So that was really, for me, it was a very scary decision from a financial perspective.
Pauliina: Absolutely. I’m sure many of us can relate also to those that wobbly feeling because it is a big decision from many points of view.
It’s been tremendously helpful in your work with your clients because you really understand what they are going through, especially solo entrepreneurs, small businesses, early-stage businesses.
Trial and Error
Pauliina: How has it impacted your work and the services you deliver.
Janene: When you’re an “Expert” in something, it doesn’t mean that you don’t make mistakes or that you even know everything. We like to think that doctors don’t make mistakes, but they’re human beings, they do as well. There’s always something new that we can learn.
For me, one of the things that I love about what I do, but puts me outside my comfort zone at times, is that I understand the tactics and strategies of pricing. Are there more that I can learn? Absolutely. But what I do is I help my clients understand how to utilize them in their business, in their industry.
And every business and every industry is a little bit different. That enables me to help them to see how to do it. Pricing, to a certain extent is also somewhat trial and error. You use the best information you have to come up with a set of prices or a strategy or a tactic you want to use, and then you put it out there.
Sometimes the assumptions that you make are not correct or they change in the meantime, or something happens and then it doesn’t work. You go back to the drawing board, you take what worked you move on with something new and you go forward. I’ve done that in my business also in my own pricing.
So I understand the discomfort that my clients have and feel in that context as well, because it feels like you should have a fixed answer. Like there should be a number there that solves all your problems, but every situation is so different. That it can’t be.
Early Lessons Learned the Hard Way
Janene: Actually, I made a post this week and it made me laugh when the idea came to me, because almost every question that I get asked about pricing, the answer starts with, well it depends on who your customer is.
Pauliina: Absolutely. I often start with, it’s not a one size fits all, but to give you some to give you some guidelines. I could imagine the same with pricing.
Janene: I had to adjust my prices and rethink things from time to time as well myself.
Pauliina: Are there some early lessons learned that you had to learn the hard way yourself when you were starting your own business or, Well, later along the way.
Janene: Yeah, I have a desire to understand things, so when I hire, like support or somebody to help me with something, I like to understand it first before I bring them in.
For example, with my own website the first version of it I did myself and I knew zero about building a website and I went with WordPress instead of something like Squarespace or something like that where it’s a little bit more templates and things.
It’s less customized. I think one of the lessons that I learned early on is I don’t have to understand everything to get good help. That I need to rely on their expertise and let them sit and do their thing.
I don’t have to understand all details and aspects of it. Do I regret doing what I did? No. Could I have gotten where I wanted to go faster if I had done it differently? Quite possibly. Yeah.
Why Do We Need an Expert
Pauliina: This indeed a situation with many early-stage businesses with their pricing as well, that maybe the way to get there faster is actually to set up a proper strategy from the beginning instead of taking all the possible and trying to understand every possible error of themselves.
Janene: Yeah. I think that no one says you have to work with a pricing expert. But what they can do is they can help you get there faster and I think maybe even a bigger benefit in some context is that they can help you understand what to, what elements to use as part of the decision making process.
So that you’re making the decisions you’re making with better information. That’s really important because it’s easy to just not consider something. A lot of my clients never really think about the value because they don’t really know how, and quite frankly, nobody ever taught them how.
Why would they? But if they do, then it changes their whole perspective on how they see their prices and what they can do with them.
Pauliina: Absolutely. And like we discussed little before we went live, that sometimes you just get so blind at your own stuff and things that are close to you, like your own business, that having somebody external to help you through that thinking process can be really helpful.
We actually have a question from Megan, if you don’t mind. How does pricing strategy differ according to geography and culture? Or does pricing transcend geography and culture? What are your thoughts on that?
Impact of Geography and Culture on Pricing Strategy
Janene: This is a great question.
Thank you for that, Megan. I think that yes, it can affect your pricing strategy because quite frankly in some cultures or in some geographies, you will have different behavior with pricing. For example in my corporate days, we did something very different with our pricing in a country like for our customer base and what we were offering.
Let me be clear, then we did in other parts of Europe, for example, and why. Well, in this industry there was always very high discounts granted. You have to change your approach. Let’s see. When I’ve worked in Asia, for example, sometimes there’s a lot of back and forth in negotiation and we often knew that as soon as you gave them the first price Then you would start negotiation and wherever you ended on that order, next time they ordered with you, that was the starting point for the negotiation of the next order.
Right? You take those kinds of things into the decision-making process around what you do and, and how you’re going to interact. One of the things that may surprise people is pricing is not just about setting the number. It’s about all of your behavior, how you communicate that number, how you respond when people challenge you on it or ask for a discount.
All those things play a part in it, and that’s why things like geography and culture can have such a huge impact on your pricing strategy.
Pauliina: Perfect. Thanks. Thanks for answering that. And thanks for the question, Megan. Now next I would like to dive a little bit deeper into the history of The Pricing Lady, The Podcast.
Yes. How did all that come about?
History of TPL The Podcast
Janene: About a year after I started the business, I was seeing that other people were being guests on podcast shows. I thought, well that sounds interesting. One of the things, when it comes to having your own business, you’re looking for ways, things where you can get the biggest bang for your buck, so to speak.
In this case, the buck being my time and energy. I thought podcast interviews are great. The preparation is limited. The things that you need to do before and after, depending on how you do it can be very effective. I signed up for a course profiting from podcasts by Steve Osher.
It’s a great program. But I only wanted to do the part where I was a guest, not where I had my own podcast. Then I attended his new media summit, which is also great program. I thought, well, maybe eventually I’ll have a podcast. But I was very afraid of the amount of time it was gonna take to edit things and promote things.
I started with what I jokingly call a Lazy Girls Podcast, but really I started with a YouTube live stream. For me that was, Sort of a compromise. It didn’t require me to do any editing, so I could use my time before and after more effectively, and I could still have a lot of content to reuse and repurpose.
Started off with a Bang
Janene: I did my first live stream ever. I was terribly nervous about it when I did it cause I just didn’t know what was gonna happen.
We live streamed on Facebook and YouTube at the time and partway through her camera video connection just stopped. We don’t know why, but for about two thirds of the interview you can only hear her. As we were live streaming and didn’t have a podcast version of course I had to put all kinds of notes here and there. We had a technical difficulty.
You’ll still hear her just fine, but you won’t be able to see her. So yeah, we started off with a bang.
Pauliina: Absolutely. Well, you were diving straight into the deep end, right?
Janene: We will. That’s part of my personality as well, is to just give it a whirl.
Pauliina: Absolutely. Well, now, 100 podcast later, 54 guests, over 3,500 episodes downloaded. Has it been like you imagined it to begin with?
Janene: It’s funny, I’m not sure did I have like an image of what it would look like and I’m not sure. I think that one of the things that I’ve gotten the most out of it has been the network between the people who’ve had on my show, but also guessing on other shows.
The whole podcasting community that has been brilliant. I really appreciate the time that my guests give to myself and my community. The candor, the authenticity that they have in sharing something that isn’t necessarily always so comfortable to share. I do pre-calls with people, not to rehearse the interview, but to make sure that people are comfortable speaking about a money topic because most people feel a little bit on edge talking about money.
What Makes The Podcast a bit Different
Pauliina: Absolutely. I can imagine it’s not always very easy on the production end of things necessarily, but that’s something that also makes your podcast a little bit different and so refreshing because it’s also a topic where it might be hard to find information at times. And maybe it’s also one reason why people don’t know that people like you exist because we don’t talk about money or prices so much or as much as maybe other aspects of business.
Things like marketing communications, business planning strategy. There’s a lot around that funding. When you talk about the other end of money things, prices and profitability, it’s maybe a little bit forgotten or not speaking or speaking about at least.
Janene: It’s one of those things that people feel. It’s a little bit taboo in some contexts. Definitely. Like I hear from a lot of my clients, they’re like, I can’t charge more. I don’t wanna be seen as greedy. There’s a lot of core beliefs and hangups around money especially. That makes it a little bit less It’s a topic that people feel less comfort speaking about publicly.
For a lot of the episodes, the ones that I think resonate with people the most when I have guests on, are the ones where people are very candid about experience and the mistakes that they made. The reason for that is because one, we can all identify with it.
We’ve all made mistakes in one way or another for sure. Hearing that other people have done that, it helps us to not feel so alone. But then also the second step, of course, is we can learn from what they did and or what they might have done differently.
Janene’s Fave Episode Guest
Pauliina: Exactly. That’s how we all benefit.
You really interviewed a wide range of experts and entrepreneurs from service-based businesses to applications, consultants product businesses. Has there been among all those people, has there been maybe one or two interviewees that have really stuck with you or that you think are fondly to this day?
Janene: Yeah. I hate to choose just one.
Pauliina: I’m sure we can, as a disclaimer, we can say that you’ve absolutely loved everybody, and I’m sure your listeners have as well yeah.
Janene: I’ve really enjoyed all of them. I think the one that I come back to quite often is my interview with Joy Foster from Tech Pixies.
In terms of like the stage of her business and the different stages that she’s gone through, I think she’s kind of had one of the bigger transitions in her business. I think her business is a multimillion dollar now, or pound, I’m not sure which. But she really started from the base up.
What resonated so much with me is this idea that your mindset is everything. She shared that, she just Looked at it all wrong. Then when she had to start making changes with things, she made the change. She realized, Okay, I did this first step.
Now I need to do the second step. She talked about how she was able to make each step and each step gave her the courage then to make the next one. A lot of my guests, not just Joy, but many of my guests have talked about their own mindset and how that has helped and hindered them along the way.
Your Mindset is Everything
Janene: When I talk that I think of Bob McIntosh, the interview with him. We talked a lot about mindset as well, I think that this is for not just in the context of pricing, but in the context of having your own business mindset is key, and there are times when you’re just. On mindset. You right. Just like, I don’t wanna have a good mindset, leave me alone,
Pauliina: I just wanna do the work. I’m so, yeah.
Janene: I’m tired of doing all this work on my mindset. But it’s valleys and hills, and I think I’ve said this before many times, but it bears repeating, starting your own business starting a podcast. Starting your own mentorship program, doing just about anything, but definitely starting your own business.
I thought it was a career journey. I thought it was about me and my career. What I didn’t realize when I started was that it’s actually a personal development journey more than anything else. Those are difficult .
Pauliina: Absolutely. That’s also that’s why it’s so great to open up these different sides of entrepreneurship.
Sometimes you look at others and it seems so glossy and perfect, but you just don’t know all the steps that they have taken on the background. That’s why it’s also so great to hear about your journey and all the steps on all the part that work that you put in.
Janene’s Fave Episode Topic
Pauliina: How about still on the topics of your interviews and your podcast? Has there maybe been an episode or a topic that taught a lot for you, that you taught, you learned something new about?
Either about pricing or something else in business?
Janene: Oh shoot. I’m having troubles coming up with one in my mind. Well, I think I’ve had a couple of branding experts on the show and It’s easy to forget the relationship between pricing and branding. But through the conversations with them, I came back to this and started to understand different aspects of branding and how it relate. To what you’re doing and how important it is to your pricing. What’s really important also in this context is right now there are a lot of businesses, I work with a lot of clients who have sustainability-based businesses.
When it comes to your pricing strategy, what you choose to do with your prices, you also need to make sure it’s aligned with your brand, including your mission. Your values. All those things must be alignment to get the most out of it. Having those conversations with them was kind of like an AHA for me and this is really important that people, especially in these sustainability businesses understand how their vision and mission and values, how those relate to what they need to do with your price, with their pricing.
For example, if one of your values is transparency, then you would wanna make sure that you carry that through in some context. You carry that through into your pricing strategy as well. And that’s really important. That was one thing that definitely comes to mind is the discussions I had with them.
Making Things Relate
Janene: I think collectively when I look back at, across all the different topics that we had, cuz when I first started the show I had three different kinds of guests, if “you will”. I had people who sharing their pricing journey. I had experts in topics related to pricing, and I had people who wanted to do some one-to-one coaching live, right?
We had three different things, but what was interesting to me is to see how the relationship between all of these different topics and pricing? I like making things relate. I think I said that before.
Pauliina: Absolutely. But, but the longer I speak with you, the more I learn about pricing, the clearer it gets that pricing is not an isolated part of business or anything, but it really impacts and is linked to every other aspect of your business from really the branding and the creative part to the product services themselves, to profit, to relationships.
Janene: To your body language, the way that you respond to things, the way you introduce yourself, it’s, it’s, there’s, there’s so many different aspects that influence it and that are influenced by it.
Janene: Yeah. It goes in both directions. And that’s one of the reasons why when I talk to people, especially do introductory. Pricing sessions with different groups of people. I always talk about how pricing is not an activity that you’re doing once or twice. It’s actually a way of being or behaving in your business because it’s actually a way of thinking.
Talent in Public Speaking
Pauliina: That’s super interesting. That actually leads me to my next question. I’ve been listening to your podcast for a while, and I enjoy your solocasts a lot as well in addition to the interviews. I’ve been admiring your talent in public speaking. Where does that come from and how much you actually, well think that pricing is affected and impacted by how you conduct yourself? And these kinds of technical things that I don’t, maybe you don’t think about when you think about pricing in the first place.
Janene: Oh, I love this question.
I’m not active right now, but I’ve been a Toastmaster, I think I started in 2005 with Toastmasters, for those of you who donated Toastmaster. It’s a club, if you will. Very large club, global club to help people develop communication and leadership skills. Here in Basel where I am, I think we have about eight or 10 clubs still.
It’s quite large. I think last time I’m not gonna come up with the numbers cuz it’s been a while since I looked, so I don’t know, but I think there were about two or 3000 Clubs worldwide? No, there must be more than that. So obviously I can’t remember the numbers, but it’s a very large organization and I had a not-so-great relationship in the past with public speaking having run off the stage and crying in front of a hundred people.
When I was in early Twentie, so I had done it after that, but never really enjoyed it. And I always envy those people who were up on stage and looked like they were having fun. When I joined Toastmasters, my Goal, my whole purpose for doing it was simply to enjoy public speaking, to have fun at it.
Janene: And I really leaned right into it. My first speech there, my icebreaker speech for those of you who dunno, two semesters, the icebreaker is the first speech, and you’re just supposed to introduce yourself. It’s five to six minutes long and I was so nervous I couldn’t control the pitch in my voice.
I sounded like a, a teenage boy. It just cracked. It went all over the place, but I just powered through and delivered. The title of the piece was who Intrepid, Who Me. I had asked friends and colleagues across the globe to send me one word they would use to describe me. And I used that as fodder for creating the speech.
Then I got three people in different parts of the world, wrote back with the word intrepid and I didn’t even know what it meant.. So intrepid is relentless in the pursuit of something. That was where I started. And then in 2012, I was the European humor speech champion. With my speech, Caveman 2.ugh, which you can still find today on YouTube.
We’ll put that in the share notes for you. So yes, I have a rich background in public speaking and I really love doing it. That was a long way to get to the point there. But I really enjoy doing it and it has absolutely helped me in my business. I think it also helps in, in your pricing.
There’s two aspects in the Toastmasters journey when it comes to the communication part. One is prepared speeches, and the other is impromptu speaking.
Impact of Communication
Janene: You can practice impromptu speaking. Having that skill of also being able to answer questions when people ask you questions that you’re not prepared for or even sometimes when you are prepared for them being able to speak in a coherent way and be able to get to the point and get your message across is a skill that’s helped me.
In my business, podcast, and in every aspect of life. When it comes to pricing, people underestimate the impact of their communication. The way in which you introduce yourself when you meet someone new, you’re at a networking event. Let’s say you’re an NLP coach.
Somebody asks you what you do, and you say, I’m just a coach. or you say, I’m an NLP coach and I do blah, blah. No. They list like a huge list of all the things that they do. Those things have a huge impact on the first perception that people have of you, and if you can elevate that perception that they have from the first moment you speak with them, then you’re already taking them down the path to potentially being someone that is a partner or a client or some other working with you.
Pauliina: Do you practice impromptu pricing questions with your clients?
Janene: No, I try to, but they’re not always excited to do it and I don’t understand why
Pauliina: That’s kinda practice you might need because often those questions will not necessarily about discounts or not only about discounts. They can come very quickly and if you’re not prepared, there’s a high risk that you’ll say something stupid like, of course I do all that extra stuff, or I can do this in two days, or whatever it is.
Janene: I encourage and use that with my clients when it comes to introducing themselves. I’m Janene what do you do, Pauliina? And you answer, and the first time we have a giggle, cuz you miss it up. Then I do it again and I do it again. Once you’re comfortable, Then I change and move to the next question, which throws you off your cane.
But that sort of preparation, whether it comes to stating your price with a customer, handling a pricing objection, just having the sales discussion being prepared in that way. Here’s what it does is when you get an unexpected question, it triggers most people into a fight, flight or freeze mode to varying degrees.
It can be very slight, but when that happens then a certain part of your brain, the cognitive part, is it functioning as well as it should. If you’ve practiced that, then you kind of have this instinct for a response. Whereas if you haven’t practiced it, then you’re trying to make something up on the fly.
We all know what happens when you make stuff up on the fly. It doesn’t usually go as well as it could. Right.. I encourage my clients constantly to, in some of these contexts, to practice things. I have a program on how to do customer insight. We do mock interviews as a part of that course.
It’s so important because then you can work out some of the kinks before you’re actually doing it with an actual potential client.
Pauliina: That’s really useful. That’s a good tip for everybody. We’ve covered a lot. We talk about the psychology of pricing, the engineering of, of pricing, as well as, as the confidence and practice.
Pauliina: Now that you look back at all the podcast episodes. Is there one that you would want everybody to listen to? If somebody’s listening for us for the first time now, what is the episode they should tune in to next?
Janene: Really depends on what they want, where their questions lie.
I think if mindset is your struggle Listen to Joy’s episode. Her episode is one that I recommend a lot because I think that she leads by great example. The solo cast episodes are really great because they’re a bit more educational. We focus on topics like your nasty little discounting habit.
Which a lot of people underestimate the impact discounting has on their business, the negative impact that it has on their business. Or cuz a lot of people that I work with are service-based businesses. Understanding the pros and cons of time-based pricing.
The episode is called Time is just the rapper, your services are delivered in. That’s a really good one. It really depends on what aspect of pricing that you’re struggling with the most that will help you. The last one I would recommend is I have one on value.
It was something along the lines. We’ll put these in the notes for everyone, so they have quick links to them. But there’s one on I know I should price based on value, but what does that mean?
Pauliina: That sounds like the best seller off the best.
Janene: Yeah, that’s probably one that covers a topic that most people miss when it comes to their pricing.
They don’t even realize that they should be thinking about it, but that’s like so important. Defining the right prices, especially for your small business.
Pauliina: Perfect. Thank you so much for sharing all those tips. It’s always okay to give it up here so there’s something for everybody.
How about going forward? When you look at the next 100 episodes of Live with the Pricing Lady, what are your thoughts? Where are you going next? Yeah,
Janene: I did have a plan for this year, but we didn’t quite get it off the ground as I want, and I’m looking at it again for next year, and that’s having say like a quarterly panel discussion.
I love the format of a panel discussion. It’s really engaging both for the people participating as well as listeners. Weirdly enough the reason it didn’t get off the ground was simply due to time zone issues. I had the panel set up, but we had one person in the UK, one person in the US, me here, and somebody in Australia.
It didn’t quite work out. But I’d like to bring that into the mix because then we could have, there’s lots of different ways to approach things in your business, including your pricing. Time based pricing, it works very well for some people. But for a lot of businesses is not the best way to do it, but it’s the easiest way to do it.
We could have more, and I don’t wanna say a debate, but we could have certainly a nice discussion about different strategies and tactics when we have people with different perspectives there.
Up to the Challenge
Janene: That’s one thing that has intrigued me and I’d like to try out, but of course, it’s hard enough getting one guest on this show, organizing a handful of them at one time is even a little bit trickier, but I’m up to the challenge.
There are two other things I’d like to mention. One is I’d like to get a little bit more diversity in some of the guests that I’ve had on the show. More product-based businesses. Maybe people who have bigger businesses where they have employees. We can talk about different aspects that influence pricing, things that are different than people with a business that has one or five or 10 people.
I think that would be very interesting and I’d like to get some more people like Joy who are further along in the journey or who have more experience in different areas of pricing in their business to come on the show and share those journeys with us. Yeah.
Pauliina: Yeah, it sounds like a great way to highlight the different aspects of pricing and how it changes and evolves with your business as well.
Janene’s Dream Guest
Pauliina: Is there a dream guest that you would have like to have on the show if you could pick anybody on Planet.
Janene: There’s so many. I mean, whenever somebody asks me, is there somebody that you would love to talk to? There’s always one person who comes to the top of the list, and that’s Oprah Winfrey because there’s just so much to love about her.
I’d be curious about her own pricing journey in some ways, but also from a mindset perspective. I think she has so much to share with everybody, but then there’s also, the icons in our industry, if you will. People like Marie Forleo or Amy Porterfield and how they really approached this topic in the very early stages of the business and what worked, what didn’t.
I’m sure people would love to hear those things and it would be my great pleasure to have people like that on the show as well.
Pauliina: Absolutely. I look forward to those episodes. And if Oprah, Amy, or Mary, you know where to find Janene.
Takeaway from Today’s Discussion
Pauliina: Well, I guess the time is coming to wrap up. And again, to honor your great podcast format on live show format, I would like to wrap up with some rapid fire questions again.
Okay. Which I’ve shamelessly stolen from you because you have such a good, such a good format. One thing that people should, or you would want people to take from this discussion about pricing, podcasting, and business.
Janene: Yeah, I think it’s important as we said at the beginning to remember that everybody’s journey is their own journey. What we see as a pillar of success most likely didn’t happen overnight. We can learn a lot from each other’s experiences both in the context of what to do and what not to do. Learning from podcasts, learning from other people in your industry is a very important part of any endeavor but certainly when you’re starting your own business.
Janene’s Fave Books and Tools
Pauliina: How about a favorite book or tool that you would like to share with others?
Janene: There’s so many.
I think one of my favorite books that I recommend all the time is a book by a lady named Tara Mohr. She wrote a book called Playing Big, and over the years I’ve run book groups on this book, and I still refer to it all the time. The book is geared towards women, but also totally suitable for men as well.
It’s about how women can play bigger. It’s suitable for men because they have some of the same challenges, of course, but also their support often that women need as well to achieve playing bigger in some context. There’s very personal and private parts to it about, say two different kinds of fear, Pachad and Yirah, which I love.
These two different images of fear we have. There’s also like a list of diminishing words, words that we use that diminish our vocabulary. Like the example before I’m just a coach, is much less powerful than saying I’m a coach. She has this lovely list of diminishing words.
Lovely, may not be quite, be the right term for school. Words that diminish our communication. It’s a book I highly recommend. I’ve also done Tara’s program’s. It’s excellent as well. Playing big by Tara Mohr, We’ll put that in the show notes.
My newest favorite tool is Tolstoy is for doing videos and they’re actually interactive kind of videos where you can have little buttons for people to communicate and leave you messages back, or you can send them to landing pages. It’s a really nice tool and a good way to communicate with people.
Check out the Tolstoy app.
Best Business Advice
Pauliina: Perfect. Thanks for sharing those. And finally, what is the best business advice that you’ve been given?
Janene: The best business advice I’ve been given is not to do it alone. Hands down. Use your community. Oh, I think the interesting part of that is also to remember that I think we’ve all probably heard this from time to time, that when you start your own business that you know, and it’s nothing against people who don’t have businesses, right?
But they think differently. You have to find your community and the people who you support and they support you. And quite often it’s a different community than maybe you’ve spent time with before. It’s very important not to try and do it.
Pauliina: That’s very true. Yeah. From your community, you can find best tips for well service providers, podcasts, anything that you need
Janene: Thursday virtual co-working with the pricing link.
We just rebrand it to Get sh*t done Thursdays.
Pauliina: That’s not bad. I might join that.
Wrapping it Up
Pauliina: Perfect. Thank you so much Janene, for answering all my questions. I know there were plenty. I, I studied journalism and I attended to say that I have a master’s degree in asking stupid questions, so that’s why it was really fun to have a full hour to do that today.
Thank you so much for playing along and thank you. Everybody who was listening and sending questions as well, and I’m hand back to Janene to wrap up.
Janene: Yes. Well, thank you Pauliina. I really appreciate you agreeing to come on the show and turn the tables on me. And you were the first person I have when, when the opportunity came up.
Thank you very much and thank you to all of you who have been following me for the past three years who have been watching the show and will continue to in the future. And for those of you who were here with us live today, thank you very much for joining us for your support and your questions. Now, if any of you have more questions about pricing in your business, you can always find me at thepricinglady.com and if you go to book a call there, you’ll be able to book a call with me and we can talk more about what’s going on in your world. Thank you so much everyone. I wish you all the best. We’ll keep bringing you more and more episodes in the future, but until then, enjoy pricing everyone.