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‘Tale Means Business: Not Getting Paid What You’re Worth? Here Are 5 Possible Reasons for This



'Tale AlimiA few years ago, I went to check out a multi-brand fashion retail store for a client who was planning to create a diffusion line and we were exploring retail channels. As I browsed through the rack to get feel of the type of brands they stock and their price points, I overhead a conversation between the store manager and another designer.

The store manager commented that her products were not moving well and the designer complained that it was because people were not willing to pay what her designs were worth . She vehemently refused to reduce the prices.

I have also heard several business owners expressing their dismay that customers are not willing to pay for their products and services. Some of them even complain that customers haggle over the price the products, like they are negotiating the value of tomatoes in the market.

This is a serious concern for a lot of business owners, and if you face this dilemma, here are 5 reasons why your customers might not want to pay you what you are worth:

They don’t believe you are worth it
As direct as this sounds, it is the plain truth. Your customers might have come to this conclusion because they have looked at what your competition is offering, or they just don’t see value in what you are offering.

You are not confident
Your lack of confidence actually shows up more in your non-verbal communication. A few things like your willingness to quickly offer a discount, having a discouraged disposition at the first sign of rejection or literarily begging for the sale, are some signals that could be interpreted as desperation or a lack of self-confidence.

Your brand contradicts your pricing
Your brand does not align with the product or service you are selling. You say you are selling high end clothing, but you are in a low end location. That already signals that there is something wrong. Sometimes, it could be that your overall packaging or appearance doesn’t just sit well with the pricing you are putting forward. Customers can smell cheap a mile away.

 You have not properly positioned your business in the industry
This is quite similar to the last point. You have to be clear what your business positioning is. Are you high end, mid-point or mass market? Are you serving a niche customer base or are you targeting the masses? Sometimes when your business positioning is not clear, customers don’t know how to value what you are offering.

You are not properly communicating your value proposition
You might have ticked all the other boxes, but you are not communicating your value proposition well. This is one mistake I see a lot of business owners making; they expect their prospective customers to just ‘get it’. It is not always that easy, unless you are already a well-known brand that they have become very familiar with. I

f you are a small business, you have to spend time communicating your value over and over until it sticks and resonates with them.

If you want to attract what you believe you are worth, spend time creating the right product, the right business positioning and the right marketing communication. Do it consistently until you see the results you desire.

Does this resonate with you? I’d like to hear your own experience about getting your customer to pay what you are worth.

My regular virtual business growth boot camp Accelerate will open soon and we cover some of these topics. You can see details and get on the waiting list here.

'Tale Alimi is the Co-founder and current CEO of Owoafara, a fund matching and business support platform for African MSME's. She is also the Lead strategist of Tale Alimi Global; a strategy consulting boutique focused on working with visionary and forward thinking SME's to take their business from small to scale. She is the author of Uplevel and her latest book Small to Scale. She has a Masters in Business Administration from Lagos business school, a certificate in personal coaching from the coaching academy UK. She is a social innovation fellow with the startingbloc institute in the United States. When she is not thinking about innovative business models, she is an avid fitness enthusiast. Learn more about her new startup Owoafara:( Get daily business inspiration when you follow her on twitter ( and get an insight into her life on Instagram (


  1. Omoté

    July 29, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Thank you soooo much! Just tot I’d look through and gbammmm! There it was! Number 2 resonates strongly with me! I’m always half afraid people won’t be willing to pay so I always attach a price slash or free delivery. Going to work on all the others as well!

    • 'Tale Alimi

      July 29, 2016 at 4:41 pm

      You are welcome Omotè. I am glad it resonated with you.

  2. Emenike Emmanuel

    July 29, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this useful content. When I discovered that my decision to speedily slash down my price made my customers to say no, I stopped. No wonder they say, “I will call you” but never calls back again.

    • 'Tale Alimi

      July 30, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      I am glad you found it insightful Emmanuel. Slashing your prices indiscriminately could be taken as a signal that you are not confident in your product offering. Thank you for commenting.

  3. Onyi

    July 30, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Many times the designs are not worth the amount. Lets be honest

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