If you’re a nut afficionado, you’ll know that cashews are usually the most expensive nut on the shelf.  They are usually the most coveted in the “mixed nuts” offerings, and command a premium when sold on their own.  I never really considered why.

Then I received a mailing from Heifer International, a charity that empowers people around the world to earn a living through farming or livestock and then to pay it forward and help others.  One of my recent donations helped a Vietnamese family set up a business cleaning cashews.  “You’ve probably never seen a cashew that wasn’t shelled,” the letter read.  “Cashew shells and oil are quite toxic and require gloves and very high heat to avoid sickness.”  Who knew?

And because of the extensive process to extract them, cashews cost more in the end.  It makes perfect sense.

Do you have a process that requires extra attention or labor, resulting in an increase in price on the back end?  Maybe you think it is obvious to your clients why there is a surcharge, but it may not be.  

Helping your customers understand your rationale may make them more rational about accepting it.  They might not be nuts about it, but at least they won’t go nuts either.

— beth triplett

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