Remind Customers of Your Value

As Benjamin Franklin said, “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” In today’s world of competitive alternative virtual purchasing channels, it’s important to remind your customers that price isn’t everything. Learn to justify your price.

At the beginning of my career, I worked for an international atmospheric gas and welding company as a territory sales engineer. There were eight independent distributors in Texas who were my customers. Floyd was the sales manager for one of those Fort Worth distributors.

He allowed me to listen to a return call to one of his top 10 accounts. The customer was leaving them for lower pricing. Floyd reminded the buyer of the special inventory his company had stocked for them and the added services they provided. Then, he thanked the buyer for their years of business. After the call, Floyd told me the customer would be back within 6 months. He was right. Lastly, Floyd has successfully justified his pricing.

New Pricing Pressures

Today sales calls are a world apart from my experience with Floyd in the 70s. With a multitude of alternative channels available to the buyer, we face very different competitive pricing pressures. Some basic sales principles never change, however. Consider these suggestions when faced with lower pricing pressure.

The fear of the unknown – Remember the last time you bought something online and received a product you didn’t expect? What was it like to return it? It probably was an ordeal you would rather not repeat. As an independent distributor, your customer knows he/she can count on you to resolve issues without a hassle. Remind them of this value that you offer. The fear of the unknown often outweighs the gain of a cheap price.

The total cost of business – In our distributorship, we recorded all customer interactions in call reports. In annual review meetings with our top customers, we would share the list of the added-value services provided and included in the price. Those services included deliveries per month, technical assistance, order fill rate, face-to-face rep calls, vendor joint calls, and eCommerce order rates. By making our customers aware of the cost associated with delivering added values, they perceived our price as justifiable.

Understanding True Value

As Steven Tyler once said, “You’d be surprised how expensive it is to look this cheap.” Justify your price.  Make the case that price isn’t everything by letting your customers know the true value of your business relationship.

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