The $25000 question that forces you to innovate new products that you can sell

*Note: there’s some pretty bad language in this post. An f-bomb or two. So Mum, if you’re reading, know that I cleaned my mouth with soap.

I’m going to give you $25000 tomorrow and I want results. It’s as simple as that.

When you wake up, you’ll be $25000 richer and deposited into your bank account will be that exact amount.

I don’t care if you’ve never had a project this big before, I don’t care that you don’t know what I’m giving you the money for. I just know I have a budget of $25000 and I want your help. I’ve heard you’re good and that you can get my business results.

Ok. Let’s slow down a little and wind back. $25000 might sound like a lot, but it really isn’t. If you’re thinking that you eat $25000 projects for breakfast, then I’m giving you $250000, or $2.5 million.

What we’re doing is forcing ourselves to stop thinking “how much can I charge for this service or product?” and more “how much value and what can I deliver for this cost?”

Here’s why this question is so important.

I’m going to tell you a quick story. Back when I first starting selling, designing and building marketing funnels, I jumped the gun with a huge customer and talked myself into a £60 000 (roughly $100 000) contract.

I had literally never seen that type of money before, especially through my business. It turns out that the customer needed a marketing funnel designed, built and managed. I was someone who could do that.

The crazy part is that they asked ME if £60 000 was enough. Essentially that was their budget, they were reaching the end of the financial year and they wanted £60 000’s worth of results.

Gladly, I accepted the budget and said I’d get back to them with a proposal. Walking back to my car (sweating) I thought that TODAY is the day I’ll be told I’m a conman. Today is the day people see that I have no idea what I’m doing.

I got back to my office and immediately called up my business partner. I asked him “what the fuck am I going to do? What am I going to say I can do for sixty grand!?”

His answer was blindingly simple “well you’d better deliver them 60 G’s of value”.

That might sound overly simple, but I was trying to over complicate things. I simply made a list of things that I thought would be included in a sixty-thousand-pound project.

I forced myself to list off things that SOUNDED like they belonged in a project of that size.

  • A website
  • Email lead capture automation
  • Content ideas for traffic attraction
  • Lead magnet content ideas
  • Landing page copy
  • Email marketing copy
  • Marketing funnel design
  • Marketing automation trigger design (when to send an email and how often etc.)
  • Face to face consultation
  • Dedicated coaching every week

I then dug a little deeper and asked “If I had ANOTHER business approach me, for the same project, what would I offer to them? Would I offer the same stuff, or – because I can only be at one place at a time, would I change the offer slightly?”

So I started to list things that I could offer, inside the £60 000 package that wouldn’t need me.

  • Reporting automation (traffic, subscribers, conversions and sales)
  • Paid traffic opportunities and identification (I could pay a student to create new audience profiles on Facebook to explore new traffic opportunities)
  • Subscription product creation (creating recurring revenue for my customer)
  • Project management lists, sent to my customer’s staff so they knew what they were doing this month
  • Access to all notes, recordings and presentations for their and other customers coaching sessions.

Eventually, I had a big old list of stuff that I felt was worth £60 000.

“Then I saw a Facebook post that almost caused me to call the whole thing off.”

The same customer put the project out to tender and was asking around for other people to get in touch. I saw it both on their Facebook page and it was posted in a couple of digital marketing groups.

I knew it. I knew it was too good to be true. I let myself get attached to a girl that had no interest in being exclusive. They wanted to go to tender? They obviously thought I wasn’t up to the task.

I was angry (with hindsight, I now totally see that they pretty much HAD to go to tender AND I was foolish to get angry – but hey, I was younger…2 years younger). I was angry enough to make changes to the proposal mere hours before I was going to send it.

I was so sure that I knew wouldn’t get the project, I was going to NOT get the project on my terms.

As well as remove things, I started listing what they DON’T get in the project.

  • No website – I’ll just advise on what your current site needs to do. If you want a new site, that’s a new project.
  • I don’t build anything, I’m happy to design and give you those funnel designs and then teach your staff how to build, but I don’t build.
  • I don’t buy, pay for or manage the CRM and marketing automation system. That’s your technology and responsibility.
  • If you’re paying for traffic, that’s your budget.

All of a sudden, I started to feel that I could easily advise and consult this business to build and manage their own marketing automation funnels. I wouldn’t be supporting or building anything myself AND I could consistently improve and add value to the project by keeping myself up to date and educated.

Finally, I handed over the proposal and wouldn’t you know it (bearing in mind I was literally positive that I wouldn’t get it), they went for it.

“When can you start?”

“As soon as you pay the deposit and book out a week to start the coaching”

“Cool, the money should be with you by this afternoon”

After all that, they went for it. They wanted me to CONSULT and COACH. Not build and support. They were paying staff to do that. They needed someone to take ownership of the process and get it to work harder.

Great story Mike, but what exactly is the point?

My point (thank you for asking) is that I wouldn’t have ever come up with a monthly retainer product and service that cost £60 000 unless I was FORCED to.

Now, the first stage of my coaching and consultation is FORCING customers and businesses to dream of a product bigger than they’ve ever delivered before.

What would the customer get? What would you offer? How can you provide X value for Y investment?

Here’s where the question gets really interesting. After we’ve created a $25 000 or $250 000 or $2.5million product, we’ll cut it back to $10 000 or $1million or whatever and ask “what can we offer, of the same product, for THIS price? What do we keep and what do we throw away?”

Some of the most interesting, unique and innovative products have come from stripping away the larger investments and focusing on the core offers.

I ask you, think of what you could offer if someone FORCED you to take 2.5x or 6x more than your highest project. What would you offer? What WOULDN’T you offer? Could you easily scale that product and serve it to 10 people a day or would you need to be at every consultation?

Then strip back the price and ask again “what do I keep and what do I get rid of?” Think of the following pricing brackets.

  • $25 000
  • $10 000
  • $5000
  • $3000
  • $97 per month
  • One off $97
  • $19
  • $9

For example, I design and manage massive enterprise-level marketing funnels for roughly £30 000 a year. But for one-off payments of $97, people can buy the blueprint and architecture of a funnel to use on their own business (I even offer specific funnels for various businesses i.e. memberships, e-commerce, sports coaches etc.)


By thinking of products that cost more that we’re used to, we force ourselves to innovate new products. All the items I thought I might offer for a large contract have now become staple parts of what I sell.  Have a go yourself and think what you’d offer for $25000.  Also, I’ve noticed with businesses who sell and create WordPress websites, once you look at what a $25000 project looks like, increasing your fees doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.

Absolute bollocks? Or something worth thinking about? If you HAD to charge 6x more than you ever had in the past, what would you offer? Let me know in the comments below.

Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.