Being the best will get you the best prices. You have to be better than everyone else.
You have to be better than everyone else to win the business; not only win it, but keep it. If you are good, very good, you can be good enough to get past the price issue. If your products and your services are better than everyone else’s you can get by the price issue. If your treatment of your customers is so special that they feel they cannot live without you, you can get by the price issue.
Now, I’m not claiming that it is going to be easy nor am I saying that it will happen every time but what I can tell you is that if you are the best in class you will more often than not get your price.
“But, how,” you ask, “can you be better than everyone else? What will that take and in the end is it worth it?” Good questions. I can start off by saying yes, it is worth it. Let me ask you in return, is it worth it keeping customers for life? Is it worth it making a profit? Is it worth it running the best performing company in the industry? Because you see, to be so good that your customers will pay you a better price than they pay anyone else is also being so good that you are performing at the top of your game. You are delivering all of your products on time and you are as close to zero defects as possible.
The road to great customer service is also the road to being a great company, they go hand in hand. And, if you can do everything better than everyone else then you will become a great company.
To be a great company you have to be valuable to your customers. You have to be so valuable that when their nasty bean counter, you know the guy with the green visor and sleeve garters complains that their company is spending five or even ten percent more on your products and services than they pay for your competitors; the people in the company using your boards will yell at him to, “shut up!” Your fans and yes they will be fans will be so in love with your products that they will point out all of the benefits they get from using your products, benefits so far superior to the products they get from you competitors that they refuse, yes they refuse to live without your products and services.
Look, in the real world this is not going to happen in every case. There are still the cheap so and so’s out there who only care about price. You know who they are the ones who know the price of everything and the value of nothing; the ones who claim they are building the best products in the world…by building them with the very cheapest parts that money can buy. You are never going to change those people so why try.
But those customers, the ones who understand Quality; the ones who understand what a good product is; the ones who appreciate great service and most importantly the ones who appreciate all of the little extras you do for them. The help with engineering, the flexible delivery dates, the manufacturability advice, the ship to stock and just in time services you provide, the special way you package the boards the immaculate always perfect documentation you include with the products, the constant availability of your management team, the way you drop everything to help them solve their problems (even if those problems come from your competitors cheap products), the way you look out for them and act s their personal experts and consultants when it comes to your industry, the way you are always looking out for them and yes, the way you put their interests first making sure that they have everything from you that they need to be successful. Those customers are the ones you invest in. They are the ones you target, win, service, and then keep for life.
And you know what? These are the companies who will make you better. These companies, the customers who appreciate and value what you do to the point where they are willing to pay your for what you do well. These are the companies who succeed in business because they treat their suppliers like thy want to be treated and most importantly they are making the truly best products in their market today because they are building them from the best parts money can buy from the best vendors they can find. And that’s because they are buying from you…the best supplier on the market today. It’s only common sense.