Selling a product to a prospective client, the client has some concerns. The first and common element that the corporate purchasing manager desires is a better price for a product they purchase. Therefore, most sales people sell to price.
Quality is also important to the purchasing manager. This is why purchasing manager always wants to see examples of the prospective vendor, so they can review the quality of the products. Some companies demand the vendor produce a first article of their product so as the assess product quality.
The third issue of a vendors worth to a client is service. How does the client weight the vendor’s ability to give attention to service? This is not as easy to measure, because the criteria is as varied because of the expectations of each client is different. Some clients do not consider service important, because price is the over whelming factor; the lowest prices get the order.
What is service and what does it look like? Another word for service is relationship. If an issue arises in the business relationship the vendors response to an issue is predicated on the type of relationship they have with the client.
An example would be a case history of a business relationship I had with a company. The company I interview with so I could supply their entire label and printing needs was a fan manufacture Casablanca Fan Co. In the interview, I gave them samples of our quality and basic pricing. The purchasing manager’s most pressing concern was not only price, but was service. I assured her that I would commit to servicing her needs and concerns to meet her expectations. Therefore, I landed Casablanca Fan as a new client.
The point of this story is what happened after we had been supply product for a couple of years. The purchasing manager’s boss came to her and demanded that she stop doing business with my company. His reason was that this vendor being a print broker could not give Casablanca Fan the lowest price. He wanted her to purchase from a manufacture. She declined to do so and told him this story.
Before I used this print broker, I was using a printing manufacture and was getting the lowest price. When I would call the manufacture because of product problems or late shipments, it took three days for them to respond. Therefore, I changed vendors because of the promise of better responsiveness.
She continued with the story using my name. When the printing broker Doug recently went on vacation to Hawaii, he gave me his number in Hawaii and said if anything comes up please call so he could take care of it. (This was before cell phones.)
The day that Doug left for Hawaii, I had a product need I had run out of a certain label. If Casablanca Fan did not receive this label, the next day our production line would have shut down.
Therefore, I called Doug as he arrived in his condominium, told him of the problem, and he said he would take care of it. The next day I had the labels our line did not shut down, and she said this is only one story of his company’s stellar service. Then she reiterated that she would not pull the business from Doug’s company and the reason was the relationship. Her boss accepted this and said good job and even he understood that price is not always the best way to purchase product. We continued to manufacture Casablanca’s printed products until Hunter Fan purchased them in the late 1990’s.
Therefore, if price is the bases for a business relationship, that is what the client will receive, a good price passable quality, with very little responsiveness to customer concerns.You cannot have high quality, with the lowest price and phenomenal service. Usually the lowest price is at the expense of high quality or a responsive vendor.
When we were first attracted to our wife’s truly physical looks did play a large role. We all do know that physical beauty does not make a good marriage, or a lifelong commitment. The relationship is what keeps a man and woman together over the long haul. In a business relationship price is as looks in a marriage, it may win the bride, but good looks will not keep the bride, as a good price will not keep the client only a good relationship will.