How to Understand, Create and Deliver outstanding customer value – and get paid for it! By Mike Wilkinson of Axia Value Solutions If you’re anything like me, you will be familiar with the discount default. Whenever there’s any downward pressure on pricing the first thing that is done is to discount. Down goes your price…
“You have no chance of beating our current price!” So said the buyer to one of our clients’ sales team. Taking a look at the price they were paying, he could only agree. The price was significantly – very significantly – lower than anything he could get close to. “Not only can’t I get close to the price you’re paying right now, I really wouldn’t want to. What I would like to do though, is to take a look at how you’re using the product and see if there is any way we might be able to help”.
About 15 or 16 years ago we were living in an old farmhouse in the middle of the beautiful Suffolk countryside. Around the farm was a hedge, probably around 2 or 300 yards in total, which clearly hadn’t seen a cut in some time. As a result the whole place looked a little untidy. Time for action, I was told. The following day I happened to be in the local village when I saw a van drive past with “Garden Maintenance, Hedge Cutting” on the side. Perfect I thought, making a note of the phone number.
Later that day I gave them a call and asked them to visit to give me a price. After wandering around and looking at the hedge the guy who came to see me said he’d get back with a quote.
Are you really interested in your customers and their business or just interested in the little bit of their business that buys your product? The distinction is an important one, especially if you are looking to be seen as a key supplier. Customers increasingly expect partnership suppliers to not just understand their little bit of the business but to have a broad understanding of the customers’ business in totality.