“Over?” Did You Say “Over?”

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

Our review of the 35-question quiz on Price, Value, Hydronics and Customers may be “over,” but the conversation will never really end.

I think Chris Rea puts it quite well in this 1978 classic…

“Fool If You Think It’s Over,” a medley of Rea’s hit, from an album with the single greatest title of the 70’s, Whatever Happened to Benny Santini?

A couple of post-mortems from the discussion (which started here; review the archives, starting in April, on the right of your screen):

1. Great point from Tim Rethlake of Heat ‘N Glo in the post “Vinyl Records.” He says the best thing you can ever hear from your customer is “Well, you’re still X% higher than my other bids, but I’m still going with you because…”

Tim says this phrase is especially sweet  because you’ll only hear it after they’ve tried to beat you up on price and you didn’t crack. And whatever reason they give for hiring you at that higher price should be built in to your sales presentation.

“I know we’re higher priced, Mrs. Johnson, but our customers are happy to pay us these prices because…(fill in the blanks here!)”

2. Interesting point by Charlie from WMass on the “gift of gab” in “Everybody’s Talkin’” I’ve always felt the gift of gab was more curse than gift, but Charlie says those with the real gift of gab do more listening than talking.  The true gift is making your customer comfortable so they’ll tell you what they want and need, and share with you’re their biggest concerns.  Makes sense, no?

3. Gerry Gill commented in “Price, Value & Going Broke” that it’s tough getting folks to understand that prices go up in a recession, instead of down, since cost is distributed over fewer widgets sold.  Folks tend to think they should be getting “deals,” and that it’s a “buyer’s market” when it comes to the trades.  Of course, folks thinking they have to offer deals, or feel they have to cave on price (everything costs less during a recession, right?) reinforce that mindset.  You cut your price at your own peril and, as Larry Steinmetz says, price-cutting is a self-inflicted wound!

4. Finally, this from Alex Smith, in response to “The Next 5.”

“You stepped on my toes real good.  I really needed that.  I am (have been, I hope) your ultimate IDIOT.  Everyone compliments me on my great work, but I can’t support my family on my work.  This whole series of answers finally opened my eyes.”

That was in reference to Question #7, which stated “I’d rather compete with an idiot than a crook.” The answer, of course, is false.  The crook isn’t going to bother with low prices.  If they’re going to steal, they’re going to steal big, and crooks make you look better by comparison.

The idiot (and for the record, Alex is definitely NOT an idiot!) doesn’t feel he deserves to charge higher prices, doesn’t know how to figure his real cost of doing business, doesn’t think real business practices work “around here, because people won’t pay for it,” or somehow thinks charging low prices is his ticket to heaven.

He’s wrong on all counts.

Ya gotta understand that despite the economic climate and despite the “uniqueness” of your market, there’s no substitute for knowing your true cost of doing business and charging accordingly. The “competition” doesn’t make that go away.

If you’re looking for a quick primer on figuring out how much you need to charge, check out Taco’s latest online FloPro University Program featuring Ellen Rohr.  It’s called, appropriately enough, “How Much Should I Charge?” You’ll find it here (FloPro Team registration required. Don’t worry, it’s free!).

Over? No, this discussion will never end, but I appreciate your input and participation.  We’ll continue to weave this theme into the blog, along with technical topics, just to spice things up.  After all, according to Bluto, nothing is over until we decide it is…

Bluto’s right.  Psychotic, but absolutely right!



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