The cheaper the better – they say

price-qualityToday we often promote buying everything on sale. Get it cheaper. Buy in bulk and save. Go to the discount store and get a better price than buying at full retail.

To compete, retailers have always promoted sales and better prices. Yet if you have worked in retail management, you know that there have always been things like "lost leaders" and other incentives to lure buyers to the store. Hopefully your marketing teams, buying teams, and planogram teams have done enough of a good job to get your customers picking up the sale items AND many other high margin items.

And that works for both retail shopper and retailer. A win-win. The problem is that we have perpetuated the myth that cheaper is always better for the buyer. And, to compete, “it all boils down to price”.

Yet, the reality is that works only for commodities. Only when you are buying like products does the cheaper is better hold true. Anyone who has bought a steak from a top end butcher and an off the shelf one from the grocery store can attest to the difference.

Take that one step further - there is a significant difference between a fast food meal and one from your favourite fine dining restaurant. Yet people will knowingly pay more for that fine dining experience even though both are just meals. And yet what is the difference? Quality, presentation and client experience.

Then why, when people shop for a professional service, do they immediately compare prices of their suppliers? The simple answer is, we compare it to a retail experience and believe that everyone providing the service is qualified/certified, therefore everyone is the same.

Yet, that could not be farther from the truth.
Ever had an insurance claim and not been able to get it resolved easily, while your neighbour had the same claim and had their concern fixed quickly? Of course we have, because not everyone works on a top service model.

Many provide a cheap service and low service, although have you ever found anyone marketing "we provide poor service at a great price-check us out”.

No you have not. That would scare too many clients away. So we promote "same service" models at unbeatable rates. And at the time of delivery when there is a complaint? “Oh well, you get what you paid for”.

So, what am I saying?
Budget is always important.
Being fiscally responsible is smart business.

But, when buying services of any type, and especially important services like legal, accounting, real estate, and more, there is more to the bottom line than just price. The delivery and experience will make a difference. And, it may mean a huge difference in the bigger picture to get services that are full-service as opposed to going to the discount store of service offerings.

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