PP 600: What Your Pricing Says About You with Janene Liston
“Pay attention to what your prices are actually communicating towards people. Your prices speak with your customers, and they stir behavior, they can either be stirring them in a direction that is beneficial for both of you, or in the wrong direction.” –Janene Liston
Your pricing isn’t just about determining the right monetary value; it’s your identity. Leveraging your biz requires a profound consideration on how you place your prices. You will encounter countless struggles and challenges along your journey especially on pricing matters. You will come across various customer types that will challenge your resolve. This podcast reveals pricing strategies that premium entrepreneurs follow. It’s not about how high or how low you set them. Rather, it is how you put value primarily, to yourself and next to your target customers.
02:19 The Pricing Lady
09:27 Pricing Challenges
14:07 Brands and Prices
21:12 Your Focus Group
25:32 Worthy of Your Business
32:23 3 Mindset Areas in Pricing
36:08 When Your Customers Say: “That’s Too Expensive!”
42:21 What Your Prices Say
“We all have the right to have a certain financial freedom in life.” –Janene Liston
“It’s not about where you live… it’s about the value that you provide and what people are willing to pay for it.” –Kim Sutton
“What you charge should really be born out of an understanding of who you’re targeting.” –Janene Liston
“Brand is part of the image. It’s part of the perception around the value that’s delivered.” –Janene Liston
“If you’re not delivering the value, and you’re charging not in alignment with the value that’s being delivered, it’s not sustainable.” –Janene Liston
“It’s a big struggle that people have with price setting is that they’re trying to sell everything to anyone.” –Janene Liston
“When we decided to start a business, we have to shift our thinking.” –Janene Liston
“focus on understanding your customer.” –Janene Liston
““Pay attention to what your prices are actually communicating towards people. Your prices speak with your customers, and they stir behavior. They can either be stirring them in a direction that is beneficial for both of you, or in the wrong direction.” –Janene Liston
Known as “The Pricing Lady”, Janene Liston has spent decades mastering product marketing and pricing. She has earned a certification as a Pricing Professional and became Europe’s Most Trusted Pricing Expert for small businesses. Janene was a native of California before moving in to Switzerland where she established her own practice, Janene Liston Coaching and Consulting in Basel Area. Her goal is to help entrepreneurs realize their “right to have a certain financial freedom in life” and manage pricing that truly communicates their value.
“Pay attention to what your prices are actually communicating towards people. Your prices speak with your customers, and they steer behavior. They can either be steering them in a direction that is beneficial for both of you, or in the wrong direction, and so be aware of that and pay attention to it.”
Kim Sutton: Welcome back to another episode of positive productivity. This is your host Kim satin and today I am thrilled to be bringing on somebody who I’ve had many, many, many conversations with Janene Liston, the Pricing Lady, and I got to tell you before we even jump in, while I got to ask you actually, how many times have you surveyed your people, your community, your perspective clients, your perspective customers, about how much they would actually be willing to pay for the products that you are offering? And I’ll tell you that I have done it exactly zero times, which Janene is horrible, isn’t it? But anyway, without further ado, I want to introduce you to Janene Liston, the Pricing Lady. Janene, I’m so happy too, I feel like I should be saying, finally having you on the show.
Janene Liston: Thank you so much Kim, I’m really thrilled to be here with you
Kim Sutton: And listeners, you got to know, it’s not finally Janene’s fault. I’m not even going to say it’s finally my fault, but Janene and I have been working together on her fabulous funnel, which I have to say with your design background, you’d make things look fabulous, but it’s really important to me that when people come on the show that they can offer something. Not, that sounds horrible, doesn’t it? Positive Productivity where I put my foot in my mouth, but you know, what’s the point of being a guest on a podcast if, I mean, that you can share content. Okay, long-winded. Janene, I’m just going to throw the mic over to you. Would you mind introducing yourself a little bit better sharing with the listeners where you came from and all that great stuff?
Janene Liston: Oh sure, no problem. So yeah, my name is Janene Liston, and I’m the Pricing Lady. I’m really thrilled to be here with Kim and all of you listeners today. I actually grew up in California, in the Northern part. After university I moved to the East Coast of the US, where I lived in Connecticut. And now I live in Switzerland, I’ve been here for about 18 years now, and love living in. I live in Basel, which is in the Northwest quarter, right on the border of Germany and France. So it’s a really lovely, lovely part of the world.
Kim Sutton: I did not know that you grew up in Connecticut or in and then moved to Connecticut.
Janene Liston: Yeah.
Kim Sutton: I just never even thought to ask where you came from in the States before going over there. But would you mind sharing, because I already know what you went to school for? And how you made the transition?
Janene Liston: Yeah, so I actually, in university I studied structural engineering. So actually the program was called architectural engineering at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo , ao go Mustangs. And after university, I thought it would be really cool to live on the East Coast of the US for no other reason than I thought it would be cool. And so, I got a job in a small engineering firm in Ridgefield, Connecticut. And that was how I first started out my career.Was designing buildings, churches, schools, houses, strip malls, university, all different kinds of things. But after a few years I realized it wasn’t social enough for me. So I switched into marketing, more on the product management side for a high voltage test and measurement company, which is not terribly sexy, but it was actually really interesting, and it’s the job that led me to Switzerland. And then when I decided to stay in Switzerland, I got a job as a global pricing manager, and both the company and I were not totally clear on what that was. So it gave me the possibility to be able to create what that position was, and go out and get a certification as a pricing specialist. So that I could even be a more value to the organization.
Kim Sutton: It’s so funny that, I mean you would get hired in that spot and there would be no defined role, but I want to go back to what you said about it wasn’t social enough.
Janene Liston: Yeah.
Kim Sutton: When I was an interior architect it was almost too social for me. There was so much interaction going on that it was hard to get my work done, and that wasn’t because of the fact that I talk a lot, and especially when I moved to Ohio, I was designing schools which have a glove. I know this is not what you do now, but schools was not my favorite. I mean, there’s only so many ways that you can arrange VCT tile. I mean, some people would argue with me Kim, it’s infinite, yes, but when they want to stick with the primary colors, come on. Anyway, driving all around the state to meet with the clients, and figure out their color schemes, and then I didn’t have the backup support that I needed to actually get the drawings done. So there were times, one time in particular that I can remember where I was working on a finished schedule. Listeners, just think of an Excel spreadsheet where you have each room on a row and then there’s columns for, like, ceiling color, wall color. I’m going to stop there because that’s what my example is. I accidentally put the wall color on the ceilings Janene, and the ceiling color white on the walls. So this school district had red and blue ceilings in some rooms, and white walls. That was the beginning of the end. I’m very thankful though because had I not lost that job, we wouldn’t be here.
Janene Liston: Yeah.
Kim Sutton: But what was your favorite thing to design? Like? Favorite type of structure? And least favorite?
Janene Liston: Ooh, interesting, I don’t know if I had a favorite. There are really four main materials that we would make buildings out of wood, concrete block or brick, concrete itself, or steel. And I think I enjoyed working with steel the most, but maybe because the buildings were quite large in that context. I found concrete the hardest to work with because it’s less forgiving in many ways when it comes to how it’s designed, whatever.
Kim Sutton: Yeah. Maybe I should have been a structural engineer because I’m thinking about how I talked to my team members now about, when I bring a new team member on and we’re talking about WordPress websites, which I know you have, and they want to know, what’s WordPress? Number one. And don’t ask me, I never have a short answer. And what’s a theme? What does it mean? So I always go to a reference of, well WordPress is like the steel frame of a building, and then the theme is the cladding that goes on top. I can never come up with an interior design related metaphor, but okay. So you go into pricing and you’re working there. When did you go out on your own, and why?
Janene Liston: Yeah, so I worked as a global pricing manager, pricing lead for two different large multinational corporations. And in the second one, I actually went through a burnout when I was working there, and when I was sort of recovering, not sort of when I was recovering during that recovery period, I was doing some soul searching, is pricing really what I want to do? Do I still want to stay in the corporate world? Do I want to do something completely different? Or just change the environment? And I realized that I really, I really love the topic of pricing. It brings so much value to companies and it’s rather unique, and it’s something I really, there’s something odd about me. If anybody out there knows StrengthsFinder, then I’m an individualization. So I like to do things that are individual, and I like, like I can’t come back from somewhere the same that way that I went drives me batty. But I, you know, I liked those things about it. I like the way that I can contribute. I like that it’s both logical and more soft skills, I liked all these things about it. What I realized was, I didn’t like the environment very much, I kind of had enough of that. And I wanted to go out, and I wanted to help lots of people, and I wanted to help small business owners specifically. I mean, as many of your listeners will know, having a small business is not the easiest endeavor that one will take on in their lives. And I think that it’s important that everybody out there, whether you have a job, or a business, or however your paying the bills, you know, we all have the right to have a certain financial freedom in life, and this is my way of being able to help small business owners achieve that.
Kim Sutton: What do you see as being some of the biggest struggles that small business owners have one set in their pricing?
Janene Liston: Well, I think the first thing is that generally, unless you’ve been to business school, and then not even always then, but we’re not taught how to do this. It’s not something they have a module on when we’re in school. Maybe if you go to business school, they might teach you something about it these days. But even in earlier times, you know, it wasn’t a subject that people covered. It was just something that people assumed either you know how, or they knew how to do, and so it was just done. So I think the first thing is, kind of, feeling that we should know how to do it but not actually ever having been taught, right? So then we put some pressure on ourselves. I would say that that’s kind of the first thing is reconciling that, Oh this is something that I actually need to learn, and there are people out there who have experience in that and can help me learn it. And the second thing I think that I see is that, people need to know how to do it. So there’s a knowledge piece, what is it? And how do I do it? There is a skills piece, which is, you know, some of the activities around pricing, especially when it comes to pricing discussions. There’s a skill to learn and develop there, and to learn it in a way that aligns with your values of your business. And then there’s the strategies that you can use in pricing, and how to utilize those strategies most effectively in your business. Aligned with who your target customers are, and the industry that you’re in.
Kim Sutton: Janene, when I started my business in 2012, I was a virtual assistant. I was doing it on Elance, which listeners, if you’re not familiar, is now Upwork. And I was a virtual assistant, but I was looking at my competitors, quote competitors. I don’t really see them as competitors anymore, but a lot of them were overseas, and charging a dollar 50 to $3 an hour. So I thought I needed to stay competitive. Well, there’s no way living in the States that I can charge $3. But given that my alternative, if I were to go get a third shift job, cause I already had a full time day job, was to work in a gas station for $9 an hour. I charged eight, I figured, why not? You know, I’ll do it. Well, I’m looking around. I remember back in those early days, I’m looking around at virtual assistance websites, and I remember specifically saying to my husband: “Oh my gosh, this lady’s charging $40 an hour” How the heck can she justify that? And I wish I had more confidence in myself back then. I know we need to ditch the shitters. But I went, I believe the first year, almost a full first year charging $8 an hour, and it was painful. And then I raised it, and I raised it, and I raise it some more. But even when I became Infusionsoft certified, I remember standing in the room down in Chandler, Arizona, and hearing people talking about pricing, and the rates, and everything. And a lot of them are talking about 250 an hour. And I remember having a discussion with my husband that night when I called home, I said: “These people are charging 250 an hour. I don’t need to charge that much. Were living in Ohio, not San Diego, not near a city.” So at that point, I started positioning my price based upon my geographic location. And now looking back at that, kick my butt some more. It’s like, no, it’s not about where you live Kim, it’s about the value that you provide, and what people are willing to pay for it.
Janene Liston: Yeah, absolutely. It’s absolutely true and this is why I’m, you know, people who listened to me on different podcasts or on my own live show, they probably get tired of me saying it, but I am gonna say it again because I can’t say it enough. You know what you charge should really be born out of an understanding of who you’re targeting, and the more that you can align what you’re selling, with what your pricing, to who it is you’re targeting, the easier it’s going to be to find a price that is right for you and them.
Kim Sutton: Okay. This could be a controversial question.
Janene Liston: That’s okay.
Kim Sutton: And you can say I plead the fifth, but with all these different business coaches out there who are charging their own rates. Inevitably at some point, we’ll probably see the likes of Brendon Burchard or Tony Robbins who are charging, you know, $100,000 to spend the day with them. At what point do you think the price becomes attached to the brand? I mean, do you think there’s a difference necessarily in value? You can plead the fifth.
Janene Liston: Yes. The brand is part of the image, it’s part of the perception around the value that’s delivered. If that weren’t the case, why would people pay so much more for, and I’m not a coffee drinker, so if I get this wrong, I apologize. So much more for an espresso coffee than they would for Folgers Crystals, right? So yeah, the flavors probably different, but part of it is also the branding. In the end it is just coffee ,or for water. You know, you can buy the generic brand of bottled water for what? 49 cents a bottle or something. And you can also buy something like Pellegrino, which has a super high markup on it for however much a bottle. In the end it’s still water. And it surveying, or solving the same problem. I’m thirsty, I’m going to have a glass of water, right? So part of the value is derived from the branding.
Kim Sutton: Maybe, I should put a plea out to, you know, Starbucks or some expensive coffee company. I’ll do a taste test for you because I’m right there with Janene. I mean, yes, I do drink coffee, but I am drinking the generic, and I have to say the same for wine.
Janene Liston: Yep.
Kim Sutton: Okay. I don’t know if you’re, if you drink wine, I do, but yeah, usually it’s the single digit dollar, you know, bottle that’s on sale at the store and it has a cool label. That’s how I buy my wine. So it’s the same there. I have no idea why one bottle is $5, and another is 1,000, 10,000, or more.
Janene Liston: And you know, some of it is branding and perception, and some of it is, you know, the people who say that this wine is better than that. They’ve said it with the authority that people believe, and sometimes, you know, a company tries to position themselves in that place. Now what happens if the value isn’t there, and they’ve positioned themselves there. And that value isn’t delivered, then of course over time, either the brand will suffer, or they’ll have to adjust what they’re producing, or they have to adjust their prices. But if you’re not delivering the value and you’re charging, not in alignment with the value that’s being delivered, i’s not sustainable.
Kim Sutton: That’s such an interesting point though in full disclosure. Listeners, you can go back and listen to previous episodes. I mean, I have fully admitted that I have taken on too much, said yes to too many people, and done things the wrong way in my business, but I have learned from all those mistakes and I’m turning around. But I mean, Janene, there’s that risk of saying yes to too much, having a good price, but when you say yes too much because your prices are too low, then you’re not going to be able to provide the value that would allow you to Mark up your price, and get the better, or not necessarily better clients, but the clients who can afford more.
Janene Liston: Yeah. I often have this discussion. One of the discussions that I have quite early on with clients is, what I call the overall pricing strategy, and this is a very high level. There’s two ends of the spectrum. There’s people, or businesses, or brands who are going to be price takers. So they tend to be at the lower end price levels and they’re willing to take what prices the market is going to give them. And then you have other businesses and brands at the other end of the spectrum who are what we call price makers. So they’re setting the standard. So you think of like, Apple would be one, you know, they’re kind of like, this is our price and if you don’t like it, go elsewhere, okay. You know, this is kind of the attitude there. Now, some would, whether or not the value is there, very often the value is even in the eye of the beholder. But if you’re clear about where you lie on that spectrum, and it’s not necessarily specific point, but am I more on one end or the other, or I’m more in the middle, then you can align everything else around that. But quite often what I find is people saying: “Well, I offer a premium service, and then they’re asking me how they can continue to discount.” They’re asking for discount strategies, and they’re trying to price 10% below the competition or whatever it is. Which means that, what they’re saying, which is premium is not aligned with the prices and the way that they’re behaving with their prices in the market. And then you have conflict or confusion, and confused customers, they don’t buy.
Kim Sutton: That’s so fascinating. I mean, I’m thinking, are you Goodwill, or are you Gucci, or do you lie somewhere in between. But there’s so many people who are trying to sell Gucci, and I’m just using that name, but not really, but they’re trying to sell Gucci, but they’re throwing in seven more bonuses to get somebody to buy.
Janene Liston: And I mean there’s, you see that quite often in service based businesses. They’re like, Oh, when you get this, Oh, and you get that, Oh and you get this. And it’s a strategy, it’s a tactic actually. It’s a tactic that you can use, right? Because there are a certain type, customer types out there. I have a friend of mine, she goes, I shop based on how much I save. She’s like, I don’t need to know the price, I just need to know how much money I’m saving. And if that’s the type of target customer group that you’re going after, those are the kinds of tactics that you want to use, okay. Because they’re saving a lot because all of these bonuses are there and they’re valued us so much. If you’re targeting somebody who wants to feel prestige because they paid so much for something, then such a strategy is not nearly as effective with them, or it may even backfire.
Kim Sutton: I never thought about that before. You’ve got me thinking about those TV shows where people are cutting coupons and going through the stores just, they’re buying the stuff not even because they need it, just because they have a coupon that will allow them to get it for zero.
Janene Liston: Well, I think many of us have done, you know, okay. I can’t confess to being a big coupon clipper, but you know, have bought stuff because if I bought more of it, I saved. But we’ve also seen how that has backfired in many ways. Last week, I was in an event that was all about sustainable fashion, and so they were 9 or 10 different startups there who were talking about how they were contributing to developing clothing in a more sustainable way, and it was actually really interesting. And they said something like, the average Swiss women has a 160 articles of clothing in her closet, not including underwear and socks.
Kim Sutton: Wow.
Janene Liston: And somebody asked me, they said: “So, what about you?” And I said: “Well, probably more than the average Swiss women, but less than the average American woman (laughs).”
Kim Sutton: You’ve got me thinking about my own closet right now. I’m just trying to think about how many t-shirts I have (laughs).
Janene Liston: Because this is where Marie Kondo helped a lot of people out, as well, and not to get off topic, but it’s more, you know, it’s a big struggle that people have with price setting is that, they’re trying to sell everything to anyone. And if I put 10 people in a room and give them, put a croissant on the table in front of them, and ask them to write down on a piece of paper how much they’re willing to pay for that croissant, the likelihood is, I will get 10 different answers.
Kim Sutton: Right.
Janene Liston: And so, it’s all very much based on you understanding, you know, am I targeting number two? Or number seven? What’s really, what I’m trying to target? And also, I tell people that it’s important to start with one group and be really focused on achieving your goals with that group. And then you can always capture the other target groups later. But then you can be more specific and targeted, not just with your pricing but with your marketing, and with your message, and with your sales, and you know, all the other pieces that you need to have in your business.
Kim Sutton: This is such a fascinating discussion because when I launched, I can’t even say when I launched, when I first conceptualize the Positive Productivity Pod, which is my group mentorship program, I thought I was going to charge 197 a month, 197, and then, I don’t even remember who, but thank you to whoever you are, asked me: “Who are you targeting? Who do you want? Who is this going to benefit? And who are you really trying to serve in this?” And right away I knew it was broke, broken, and burnt out. Business owners who need the systems and support in their business to turn it all around. And that person said: “Do they have a 197 a month?” And all I had to do was go back a few years and be like, Oh my gosh. At that point in my business when that was me, I was lucky if a $47 a month charge would clear my account.
Janene Liston: Right.
Kim Sutton: It’s like, no. And I realized at that point that, if I was going to serve as many people as I wanted to serve doing that, then I needed to be aligned with what those people could afford.
Janene Liston: And of course the tradeoff in that is, that if you are charging lower prices, you have to figure out how to leverage that, which is why you do programs, or you have to figure out how to increase the volume of people that you work with.
Kim Sutton: Right. And if I’m going to model that in my own business, getting out of broke, broken, and burned out doesn’t involve serving more on a one to one basis. So yeah, and I think that’s what a lot of entrepreneurs often forget. And I see this a lot when I’m building funnels and all I ask: “What is your big picture? What do you want the bottom of the funnel to be?” And a lot of them are like: “Well, high, high dollar, VIP one-on-one packages.” And I’ll just pause for a second: “Is that really what you want to do?” And often I’ll get: “What do you mean?” Like, Do you really want to be filling your week with high dollar one on one? Or could you maybe half the price, and do one call a week with a group? And be like, Oh, I love that.
Janene Liston: Yeah.
Kim Sutton: That’s a realization, I needed to make on my own too.
Janene Liston: Yeah.
Kim Sutton: What is your dream in your business? Like, what would make it all worth it for you?
Janene Liston: Yeah, so one of the reasons that I decided to start my own business was because, I also wanted to be able to have more time to do volunteer work, and I felt that with a corporate job, I didn’t have the flexibility to be able to do that in the same way. So one of the real reasons to shift was to be able to build that into my business model. And so part of it is, yes, helping out businesses who can pay. The other part is going out there, and helping out businesses in parts of the world that could really benefit from the experience that I have, or that we’ve had over here, but who are say, you know, maybe not. Well, they’ve gone through the industrialized revolution, but who are, you know, in a different part of the journey. So for example, in a couple of months I’ll go to Sri Lanka, and be running an entrepreneurship boot camp there on a volunteer basis, and so part of it was to do that. So it’s really these two things, and it’s about giving the opportunity to build their own financial freedom as well as helping them to, and they know a lot of what I do actually is with small businesses is also, and I would say new businesses is helping them shift their relationship to money in the context of what they need to do differently in order to have a business. So I’m guess that wasn’t a very clear answer (laughs).
Kim Sutton: It’s a Positive Productivity Podcast, that’s totally okay. And Positive Productivity is–
Janene Liston: And if I go back to what you were saying before, I have an online program and part of this whole business model that I have in mind is, being able to work from different parts of the world, and not necessarily always geography dependent, or location dependent. And so for me it is a mixture of online group programs and a limited number of one to one clients.
Kim Sutton: I had to tell the listeners that you are walking, talking your talk, walking your walk, whatever, however that expression goes. I mean, just last week I got an email from you: “Kim, I was on the train and I was watching those videos.” I’m like: “Oh, that’s awesome.” I’m like, okay, where’s the nearest Amtrak I need to try out that because that week it wasn’t working for me, in my house is like, okay, maybe that’s what I need to do. Just hop on Amtrak, go back and forth to Florida and get some work done (laughs).
Janene Liston: But I, yeah, I have troubles with motion sickness so I, there’s not much I can do when I’m traveling on trains, but I can listen to podcasts, and I really wanted to listen to this, and I actually started implementing this stuff last week. So most of it I did.
Kim Sutton: About that? What can you say to entrepreneurs about learning versus implementing?
Janene Liston: Yeah, it’s, I think it’s very easy, and I totally, it’s totally true for me. I get so caught up, and I love to learn things so, I get real, I can get really caught up in the learning and it can also be a real time sec. I can use it as a procrastination tool very effectively. At the same time, most of us, when we decided to start a business, we have to shift our thinking. It’s probably one of the biggest realizations I had this year so far was that, starting my own business is actually a personal development journey more than anything else. And I’m probably, I’m pairing to fairly share, people had said something along those lines to me at the very beginning, but because I didn’t really understand what it meant, I was kind, like, yeah, yeah, whatever as one does. But really it is a personal development journey, and there are so many things that I needed to learn and still have to learn to do in my business. And it is in many ways it’s never ending. And it’s one of the things I enjoy about it, but it’s also one of the things that I have to learn how to manage. And so, what I’ve tried to do, or what I’m still working on shifting all the time and being aware of myself is that, I’m not learning just for the sake of learning, but I’m learning with a purpose. So when I listened to this module on the train last week, it was really because I wanted to implement what this thing was about. And so, I listened to it and then realized I should have taken notes. So then I listened to it again at double speed (laughs) because it was a two hour video, or a bio. So then I listened to it at double speed and took notes, and was building the thing as I was listening to it the second time. But it was really, I was very intentional, intentional about listening to it with the intention of actually doing the stuff rather than just for the sake of listening
Kim Sutton: So I’m not gonna say the name of the program either, but I’m going through the same one, and Oh, my gosh, that’s why this is the biggest program I’ve ever seen ever. And I’m not even a 20th of the way through because that’s the one thing I’ve learned. I mean, I’ve bought enough courses, I’m not buying any more until I get through this one, and it’s gonna take me another 20 years, full disclosure. It’s going to take me another 20 years because I am taking notes. I should have shared those with you by the way, but I am taking notes and I’m implementing some of it. The one that Janene’s talking about. I haven’t implemented yet, but I will be, shortly. But if we’re going to spend money on things we should be implementing. Actually, I want to just jump back to what you said about mindset earlier because I loved when you told me about that when we were talking months ago that, you know, that’s another one of your specialties. But that’s been a huge journey for me in 2019, and just in the last couple of weeks I had Dr. Josh Wagner on the podcast. I don’t know if his episode is going to be out yet when this episode goes out, but he wrote the book, You Deserve It. And while there is the importance of, you know, making sure that our mindset is right, we also have to know, and this is part of mindset, but know that we deserve what we want.
Janene Liston: Yeah.
Kim Sutton: And it never occurred to me until that point that I knew I could, but did I know that I deserved what I want?
Janene Liston: Yeah. So really when it comes to pricing, there are three major mindset areas that get in people’s way. Money, which is the obvious one, success and worthiness. And I find it infinitely fascinating the creative ways that our brains have to protect us because all of these beliefs that we have that, you know, we talk about core beliefs that get in the way, or things that we’re telling ourselves. They were usually put there as a means of protecting ourselves at some point in time, and in some contexts they served us. But in the context that we’re living in today, they maybe don’t serve us as well anymore, or at all. I can think of one client recently who said something, it’s not the first time that I’ve heard it, but she said something along the lines of: “Oh, I don’t really care.” She was calling me to get help with their pricing range. “Oh, I don’t really care. I just want to make sure my prices are fair. I really care about my customer.” So, and it was such an aha moment once again for me, because what we know when we broke it down, what we realized, she was basically saying that if I care about the pricing, or the profitability of my business, then on some level it means I don’t care about my clients, which is wow. You’re like, whoa, okay. So that could certainly be holding you back in your business.
Kim Sutton: That kicked my butt earlier this year because I was using that same mentality and you can go broke.
Janene Liston: Yeah.
Kim Sutton: You can go broker than broke. You can see a lot of red when you go about it in that way.
Janene Liston: Yeah. For me, after the, you know, after post burnout, I had this conflicting belief that if I’m successful I can’t be healthy. Because when I was very successful in the corporate job, my health took a nosedive, and so, I had decided that it could only be one or the other, not both. And there is no real reason for me to do that. It was just my body’s way of trying to protect me. So we’re very creative at, you gotta give the body credit where it’s the brain that’s, you know, it really got great things in place to help protect us. Sometimes we have to question them and make sure that they’re actually acting in our own best interest.
Kim Sutton: I was working on some Instagram captions this morning, and I was talking about self care and success, and I don’t know if I’ve shared with you Janene before, but I think I’ve shared on that on the podcast. In 2018, I was in the hospital four times. I mean, my boundaries were none nonexistent, and my self care because I had no boundaries, was nonexistent. My mindset was poop, let me just say it like that. But this year, it’s shifted around starting with mindset, then working the boundaries in, and I slept 12 hours this past weekend one night. I haven’t done that since, actually last year when I had a horrible kidney infection, but it was not because I was sick. I turned off the alarm, and I got to sleep, and I haven’t been to the ER or the hospital once. I mean, for a mom of five, that’s a win because I haven’t just not been there for me, I haven’t been there for any of my kids either. Knock on wood.
Janene Liston: Yeah.
Kim Sutton: There’s still four more months. But the business, I mean, that has a business faced struggles this year? Yes. But that’s where the boundaries came from. So, I know that if I continue doing this, it’s going to go up and up.
Janene Liston: Yeah. I mean we hear this story all the time, and it’s true. You know, if you don’t take care of yourself, you’re not there for your family. You can’t be there for your friends, you can’t be there for your clients. I mean all of it, you know, centers around you being capable in terms of having the not skills in terms of ability, but the energy and the capacity to be able to be there, to support other people and that self care component I learned the hard way is extremely, extremely important.
Kim Sutton: Well, I know you, you’re an active speaker, and I just finished reading Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis, and I have to say that she has completely inspired a new project I’m working on. I’m not disclosing the new project yet. I made FRD short shared with you listeners, you’re just have to stay tuned. But she was talking about the self care and the preparation that goes in for her personally. I’m not even talking about professionally before her multi-day events, because in order to be up there on the stage for three days straight requires so much energy that you have to prepare your body, I had a time. And she actually was sick during one of the ones this year, but she credits the fact that she hadn’t been taking care of herself beforehand for the fact that she was still able to get up on stage and push through. Was she exhausted? Yes, but I’ve heard the same thing from Brendon Burchard. I haven’t heard it from Tony, but honestly I haven’t been tuning in there, but an Brendon Burchard’s has the same thing. He wouldn’t be able to get up on siege for three days and run his events the way that he does if he was not taking care of himself before, during and after the event.
Janene Liston: Yeah. I’m not sure I could do three days. I would have to seriously work my way up towards that, and learn, and learn that. I just recently ran my first half day workshop in German and that was exhausting, and just, you know, having to figure out how to say everything in a different language also requires different capacity of energy management. And I think when I went through the burnout, one of the biggest lessons I learned was how to pay attention to my own energy levels and what to do. So, I personally tend to use food as a crutch for refilling my energy levels, but even when my body wasn’t really needing food, and now I’m learning other ways to do that. And so yeah, I think I can only imagine how intense doing some of these three day programs that people do, how intense that is, and how much energy it must take.
Kim Sutton: I get nervous enough getting up on stage for two minutes and I’m having to prepare it now for a 45 minute. And I’m like, Oh my gosh, yeah. Two months left, and my slides haven’t even been started, but two months left. I’m just reminded myself, two months left. What are you most excited about right now?
Janene Liston: Oh, I think two things. So one is, just boot camp in Sri Lanka. I’m really looking forward to that because it’s something that’s so dear to my heart in terms of, you know, being able to go out there, and help other groups of people. So there’s something about that that’s really special for me, and maybe even there being an opportunity to do it, you know, on a yearly basis. So then I can see the growth and the evolution that comes along with that. So that’s, that’s part of it. I think the other part (laughs), I think you’ll laugh at this, I’m really excited about having my sales funnel out there.
Kim Sutton: I get it.
Janene Liston: Oh, labor of love. And having that out there, I think that there comes a point in your business where the automation becomes quite important in terms of bringing everything together. And so, you know, this is a big step forward in that process for me. So on my side, the automation, but from my client’s side, you know, feeling more cared after in the process of, you know, getting to know me and figuring out for them, you know, what it would be like to work with me, and if that’s something that is a good fit for them. And so, I find that very exciting.
Kim Sutton: Now this is a full blown plug for Janene, but you all gotta go sign up. There will be a link in the show notes, but I don’t normally go about it like this in the podcast, Janene. But tell people where they start off in what that first level gift is. Because I know how valuable it is to me,. and they have no doubt that there are so many listeners who could use it for themselves too.
Janene Liston: Right. So one of the biggest questions that I get from people is always, what do I do when my customers say that’s too expensive? And so, that’s the opt-in that I have is a video series and checklist for what to do when your customer says, that’s too expensive. It’s probably something almost every business owner has heard at least once in their life.
Kim Sutton: I have to tell you all I’ve already implemented one of the lessons, at least one of the lessons is the big, and I’m not going to tell you which one, so that you’re just going to have to go and find out, but I guess it would have to do with me not telling you which one. So again that will be in the show notes. Janene, where else can listeners find you online, connect, get to know more about you?
Janene Liston: Yeah, probably the best place is to join or follow me on Facebook. If you just type in the Pricing Lady, you will find me there. And there’s a lot of content and information about pricing on there, and the other places. My website, thepricinglady.com.
Kim Sutton: Awesome. Thank you so much for joining me today. This has been amazing as our conversations always are. Do you have a parting piece of advice or a golden nugget that you can offer to listeners?
Janene Liston: Yeah, I think there are two things. One I already mentioned, which is focused on understanding your customer. So I repeat it, but that’s not my golden nugget for now. So my second golden nugget would be to pay attention to what your prices are actually communicating towards people. Your prices speak with your customers, and they steer behavior. They can either be steering them in a direction that is beneficial for both of you, or in the wrong direction, and so be aware of that and pay attention to it.