Why Do Prices End in 99? Not (just) what you think

Why do prices end in 99?  It would seem logical to just round them up to the next dollar.  Yet so many businesses forego rounding and price their products to end in 99.  So why is this done?  The answer is not what you think - at least, not only what you think.  

The reason why prices end in 99 is often attributed to

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Hotel Innovation: Hacking the Do Not Disturb

The hotel industry is one that I would probably never want to be in.  With the intense competition today, just one upset person on Yelp can deter potential guests.  This means that if a hotel is doing something differently than other hotels, it can be perceived as being a problem.  For this reason, it seems that most hotels operate in a very similar manner.  Best practices and customer services are often safer than hotel innovation.  

Great customer service and certain industry best practices are expected by guests, so these best practices often become the norm for most hotels: free wifi, a continental breakfast, flat screen TV’s, loyalty rewards, and consistent housekeeping.  But every now and then a hotel is able to hack this model - they provide a hotel innovation that stands out.  I recently spoke in Whitefish, Montana and stayed at the Grouse Mountain Lodge.  To my surprise, they hacked a standard hotel best practice that really made my day.  

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Hacking the Dental Referral

My wife has found a dentist she loves.  She doesn’t appreciate him because he makes her teeth whiter or takes away her pain when she has neglected her teeth.  She loves her dentist because he has given her $150 in gift certificates.

When she first walked into Dr. Painter’s dental office, she was told about a dental referral program offered by the practice.  For every person she referred to the dental office, she would receive a $25 gift card to the merchant of her choice.  Having a family of 5, she quickly got her first $100 in gift certificates.  Add in her parents, and she was up to $150 with very little work.

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How to Create a Sales Process; Workflow in the Service Industry

Every business should have a sales process.  A sales process is a formalized plan to evolve a prospect client into an ideal customer; it is an intentional strategy designed to systemize sales so that each potential client is given an equal opportunity to become an ideal customer.  Without a clearly defined process of how a customer will evolve over time, the lifetime value of a customer will not be as effective as it could be.  In my recent post on How to Design a Sales Process in 3 Steps, I discussed general methods on what should be done to develop such a process.  In this post, however, I am going to specifically focus on designing a sales funnel for a service-based business. 

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