Whenever my clients are hesitant about raising their prices I like to ask, "What would happen if you charged ten times more?" It serves a couple of purposes: first, it gets you out of the myopic view of your current situation and second, it encourages you to think bigger.

You don't need to actually start charging 1000 percent higher than you are today after completing this exercise (I would not usually recommend that). The value to your business lies in the conversation with yourself and your team.

When we look at our own prices, we tend to get absorbed into the details--far beyond what any customer would notice or care about. Let's say you are considering raising the price of cans of soup from $1.00 to $1.10 and it feels like something insurmountable that everyone will ask about. When you step back and really think through how you might increase your prices tenfold, coming back to the smaller increase you were debating becomes easier to manage.

Setting the anchor

This is a trick of anchoring and adjustment. The same concept that gets people to buy more items that are labeled as "10 for $10" instead of "$1 each" can work to your advantage with the reframed question. 

In the old scenario, where you are only looking at how much you will increase, it becomes a very myopic conversation. Going from $1.00 to $1.10 has the extra dime as your high anchor. Without anything more than that, you are only looking at what currently exists and shifting everyone up to this new price relative to where you are now.

Instead asking, "Why would someone pay $10 for a can of soup at the grocery store instead of $1?" gives you get a chance to think bigger.

It could be better ingredients or premium branding. Perhaps a celebrity endorsement or a chance to win a once in a lifetime experience. It doesn't really matter what you come up with. It can all help you determine if now is a good way to differentiate your brand and if one of these tactics could work better for you than a 10 cent increase per can with no value-add to the customer.

Your brain may rebel at first and say, "No one would ever pay that much for soup." Tell that to Serendipity 3 -- the New York Restaurant with a $214 grilled cheese sandwich (with a side of soup). It isn't the only thing they sell and not everyone orders it, but they do sell them. That is how you turn something ordinary into an experience worth bragging about.

To continue to shake things up you can also ask yourself, "How would Steve Jobs have positioned this?" Or "What would Starbucks do?"

The goal is to get out of your own way so you can come back to the question at hand with some perspective.

Maybe you decide to increase the soup to $1.25 with a tweak to the messaging, or keep prices the same for now while you work on your $5.00 can of soup campaign. Whatever you decide, you will be coming at the solution from a more confident spot.

So, I ask you again, what would make someone happy to pay 10 times more for what you're selling?