Friday, May 06, 2005

Are you focusing too much on cost?

I dealt with a vendor earlier this week who wanted to sell me something I needed and focused his pitch on the cost. He didn't talk about convenience or need. He didn't talk about their quality. He only talked about cost. The tactic backfired and got me thinking about cost as a selling point.

It seems to me that vendors (service providers) need to talk about things like their quality, skills, customer focus, and flexibility before they mention cost. I can't justify a vendor's cost until I know the other components. I may find it beneficial to pay more for the quality I want. Yes, this seems obvious, but how many vendors have you talked to that pushed their cost first?

It also seems that when we request information from vendors, that we need to ask about cost last. We need to first ask about all those other things that we are concerned about and then ask about the price. Asking the price per page, for example, to have materials digitized is important, but it is also important to ask about their quality, handling procedures, turnaround times, etc. I suspect that we all would pay more (whatever that really means) if we're ensured of getting exactly what we need.

Yes, if everything is equal and cost is the only variable, focus on cost. But be sure that everything is equal. Ask the questions that you need to ask in order to put cost in its proper place.

1 comment:

Mitch said...

It's funny, because price is such a mixed bag, isn't it? When we market our services, we don't want to talk about price until we've gotten to talk about what we can do for someone, yet the person buying wants to talk price right up front. Put us on the other side, and we do the exact same thing most of the time. I say it that way because when I go to a restaurant, price is rarely my criteria in deciding what I'm going to eat, yet when I drive down the main street in my home town, price is definitely my main consideration in deciding where I'm stopping for gas. Funny.