How often do your sales people come to you and ask if they can discount in order to win an order? Let’s face it, it’s an easy thing to do and sometimes it might well win that order but what message is it sending out about you and your products?
If you have built your reputation on high quality produce or services then why would you sell them at a lower price? You have to get customers (and your sales people) thinking ‘value’ and not just ‘cost’.
For example, in a car showroom, a potential customer is looking around a top of the range model, but they say they are some way short of being able to afford it. Of course you can discount and perhaps make the sale, but surely a better course of action would be to understand exactly what the customer needs and then find a model that fits their requirements and budget. It’s amazing how often when customers are offered slightly less spec they suddenly find the extra funds to go top of the range – or actually, they realise they don’t need top of the range and a mid-range model will do.
This is not just about products. You should value your time in exactly the same way. If a potential client can’t afford your initial proposal then can you do less time and take out some activities that perhaps are not essential?
As the old adage goes, the race to the bottom is not a race you want to win!
Terry Hayward – TAB Stockport Peak