Move the Battlefield Away from Price
“Talk to me about price,” Zoot said, trying to steer the conversation to the bottom line.
“Over the long run, price is rarely the true motivator driving purchase decisions,” Marka started. “Do buyers scramble for their professional lives when they award jobs to reliable companies? Companies that deliver a quality product on time?”
“Of course not,” replied Zoot. “That’s what you call a good night’s sleep, right?”
“Hey, for a sales guy, you’re not bad at this stuff,” Marka said playfully. “So do companies panic when they lose customers because of poor service, bad manufacturing quality or constantly serving up an outdated product line?”
“Of course,” Zoot scoffed. “Even though most consumers and B2B buyers of fire pay a lot of lip service to low prices, their security depends on reliability, quality and expertise—not price.”
“Brilliant, Zoot! And if we can position our company as the safe choice, we will move the battlefield away from price, earn a better margin and develop greater customer loyalty,” Marka said. “Think of it this way: What’s the cost of a hearth going cold? What if there are children in the household?”
“Cold toes at night,” Zoot started. “Cold breakfast? No light at night for kids to do their homework?”
“There are consequences beyond inconvenience,” Marka continued. “Cold hearths lead to children catching colds, which can lead to more serious illnesses. We can easily say warm hearths contribute to the better health of an entire family!”
“And how can you put a price on your family’s health!” Zoot shouted, banging his knuckles on the knotty oak tabletop.
Marka relaxed a bit. This marketing stuff is going to work.
* * *
FIRE! In Action
Procter and Gamble raises prices and profits
Last year, Procter and Gamble responded to a hike in oil by raising prices and rolling out a high-end skin care line. Evidently consumers were willing to pay more for the name-brand products, as P&G saw an 11% increase in annual profits. (http://bit.ly/bGWhir)