How can we prove our quality?
I’ve recently lost a number of contracts because I’ve been undercut by competitors. I’m reluctant to go down the same route because I feel our price reflects the quality service we provide. How do I convince clients we’re worth the additional costs?
A. Tony Caldeira of Caldeira Ltd writes:
The first thing you need to do is find out your clients’ priorities. If price is more significant than quality, the chances are you’re going to lose more contracts. You should expand your market research to determine who has “the quality service you provide” as their top priority. Focus the sales team in this direction to attempt to regain the market share you are losing.
Convincing clients you are worth the additional cost often takes time. This is normally done by creating and promoting a brand, or investing in a marketing campaign. In the campaign explain why the service is superior and offers good value for money, even though it’s more expensive than others.
If you believe your competitors will cut corners and not provide the service your clients require, your sales team will need to get this across in a subtle, positive way. Perhaps, they could highlight cases where a client has ‘defected’ to a cheaper competitor, but has since brought the contract back to you. When losing contracts, don’t burn bridges and be bitter, leave the door open to clients who leave. If your competitors are cutting corners the business may return to you, so it’s essential that your sales team keep open the relationship just in case.
Finally, examine your business. You may think your prices reflect the quality service you provide, but the clients you are losing do not. There’s a chance you may be wrong and they are right.