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When All Else is Equal, the Lowest Price Wins!

By: Dave Brock

 

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When the customer perceives little difference between alternative solutions from vendors, the lowest price wins! And that’s how it should be, it would be insane for the customer to do anything else.

 
Now before you start leaping to conclusions thinking that I’m promoting rampant discounting to win business, let me clarify things.
 
Too often, we fail to differentiate our solutions and value in meaningful ways. As the customer compares both our offerings and their buying experience with other alternatives, it’s difficult for them to find any meaningful differentiation. As a result, the only substantive differentiation is pricing. So when the customer perceives everything as being equal, then the lowest price will always win.
 
So how are we to compete in this environment?
 
It’s pretty simple, it’s our job as sales people to make things unequal—and biased to our offerings.
 
Too often, however, sales people look in the wrong places to tip the scales. They get into endless checklists of features and functions—”We have 10 more features and 3 more critical functions than the competition!”
 
Sometimes, rarely in my experience, you may win on this—but product based differentiation is seldom enough and never sustainable over time.
 
 
We make things unequal—dramatically so—when we focus on the customer and their business. When we focus on how we can improve their business, help them more effectively achieve their goals/dreams. While our competitors are focused on their products and solutions, we focus on what they mean to the customer and their impact on the business.
 
We make things unequal by facilitating the customer buying process. By helping them in the difficult tasks of organizing themselves to buy, align disparate agendas, goals, and priorities in their own teams.
 
We make things unequal by getting the customer to think differently. By challenging them, by getting them to say, “I’d never considered that before. That’s a very interesting idea.”
 
We make things unequal by collaborating with the customer, co-creating value, doing things we couldn’t do individually, but together can have great impact on our organizations.
 
It’s our jobs as sales professionals to make things unequal—to become the standard the customer evaluates everything else against, but making it impossible for competition to match.
 
What are you doing to tilt things in your and your customers’ favors? What are you doing to make things unequal?
 
This article was originally published by Partners in Excellence
Published: January 12, 2015
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Dave Brock

Dave Brock is the founder of Partners in EXCELLENCE, a consulting and services company helping to improve the effectiveness of business professionals with strategy development, organizational planning, and implementation. Dave has spent his career working for and with high performance organizations, ranging from the Fortune 25 to startups, including companies such as IBM, HP, Nokia, AT&T, Microsoft, General Electric, and many, many more. The work Dave does with business strategies is closely tied to personal effectiveness of the people in the organization. As a result, Dave is deeply involved in the development of a number of training and coaching programs.

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