How to Add Value – Learn from a Professional Equestrian

The other day I met someone with a career I hadn’t heard of before, a professional equestrian.

Caitlin Lighthouse does some things you could guess.  She teaches riding lessons and trains horses. However, as an olympic caliber equestrian she does one thing that I found amazing, she adds value to horses.  Below are two examples in her own words.

“My first horse was Limerick Lad. My grandmother bought him for me when I was 12 at $7,000 from Limerick, Ireland. Importing him cost another 1,000. He was only 5 years old, which is equivalent maturity wise to about an 8 year old child. I kept him for about 16 months before we realized he could only compete at the lower levels and I was progressing beyond that. We sold him about 18 months after we bought him for over for $25,000. He was a fantastic horse as long as the jumps were not over 3’3 so we sold him to an amateur woman that had no desire to jump very high. She still has him to this day. You never forget your first horse. Together we achieved our first few wins and I still have those ribbons.”

Wow, a 12 year old girl adding $17,000 of value to a horse by training and showing him.  This next story started when a 3rd party horse owner was unable to sell his horse.  He was asking $25,000 but nobody bought.  He hired Caitlin to ride and compete with him.

“I rode Matador for one week before I took him to a two week horse show. In those two weeks we won two 2nd places, one 3rd, two 4ths and a 6th. He was the most ADD horse I have ever ridden and was more interested in looking at the crowd than where he was going. He was sold the last day of that show. This was the first time Matador had ever placed at a show and the owner was able to sell him for $32K.”

In 3 weeks Caitlin took a horse that couldn’t sell at $25K and added at least $7K of value.

I loved talking with her.  She adds value to horses by riding them and winning with them.  Her added value can be directly measured by the price of the horse.

How do you add value?  How does your company add value?  Often it isn’t as obvious as a professional equestrian, but if you can’t specifically describe the value you add, you probably aren’t being paid as much as possible.

Today’s lesson:  Focus on adding value first.  Then you can use pricing techniques to capture that value.

 

Mark Stiving, Ph.D. – Pricing Expert, Speaker, Author

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