How you structure your price and the order it’s presented matters.




Jujitsu is the martial art form of using leverage, momentum and the opponent’s inertia to defeat a possibly much stronger opponent.  


Did you know you can use the same theory when pricing your services and products?


The research comes from the book Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini.  This book is filled with research and examples on how our mind works.  It’s a must for anybody wishing to understand not only marketing but why people react the way they do in all kinds of situations.


Research shows the contrast principle works in all kinds of different scenarios.  If you lift a very heavy object and then a light object, it will feel much lighter due to the contrast.  


Research has pointed out that if people are talking to very attractive individual at a party and then talk to an unattractive individual, the second one will seem less attractive than they actually are.  Just as a cool pool feels downright freezing after sitting in a hot tub, so does the contrast principle work for pricing.


Common sense says that you would start with the lower price object and work your way up to the more expensive object.  


This is usually done on restaurant menus and wine lists.  But it should be done exactly opposite.


Although there are restaurants that do price their items using this principle whether by accident or on purpose.  If on their wine list, a restaurant had a couple of their most expensive wines listed first and then middle of the road pricing, they would seem much more reasonable due to the contrast.


An example of this;

Blanco de Blanco $200

Fruity Wine $45

El Chepo Wine $30


Wise salesmen know how to use this principle to their advantage.  When negotiating the final price of a car, adding several options of an extra warranty or navigation system seem tiny when compared to initial price of 25-30 thousand dollars.  


Or the electronic salesman who first asks if you want a $70 3-year warranty on a $200 camera.  When you say no he then offers a 1 year warranty for a small fee of $25.  This seems minuscule compared to the $70.  


A much higher percentage of people take up the offer than would have had they been offered the warranty in the pricing from low to high.


Use the power of contrast and price your items to your advantage.  Let the power of psychology work to your benefit.

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