See past CSC Edge issues here!
"Buyer Beware" is a phrase that has been used for many years and simply describes the fact that some business concerns out there will take advantage of a situation and perform substandard work that leaves the customer out some money and still in need of finding someone to actually do the job the right way. In my sales days we always had to remember that the customer’s job is to try and get a Cadillac for the price of an entry level compact car. That might not be possible, but many still search for a supplier with that philosophy in mind. So how do companies go about helping the customer understand what they really need and what is not necessarily just the lowest price, but rather the fairest price for the product or service that they really need. The answer to that question is to educate them and develop their trust.
Education is a key in separating the qualified from the fly-by-night operation. Two companies are competing for the same job and must educate the prospect on why one company is a better choice that actually can and will provide the expected level of service for the customer. There are many things that the customer must learn about each company and the best way to get them that information is by placing it right in front of them as often as possible. Methods to provide that important information are the company website, business cards, the actual proposal, the salesperson, company vehicles and office fronts just to name a few. Never assume that the customer will do the research necessary because amazingly many will not take the time to check out a prospective business partner.
The second factor in helping any customer define their needs and make the right purchasing decision is, Trust. This starts with the salesperson or the individual they get on the phone and continues with everyone they are exposed to in your company. Factors such as specific details discussed in the proposal, recognition of special concerns that were discussed about the job including photos, detailed customer references, qualifications of management and service personnel, length of time that the company has been in business, recognitions received by the company, and of course proof of insurance. Once again this should be in every major proposal and also highlighted through the same marketing tools noted under education making it easy for everyone to see every day. Make it very simple for the customer to do the research on your company.
Here is my checklist to every potential customer out there that will help them find the best service companies. Again, make it easy for them to find this information.
That's a long list for every proposal but a lot of this information can and should be available through all the company promotion tools out there every day. Help your customer make an educated and correct decision the first time and turn "Buyer Beware" into "Buyer Informed"!!
Rostra Precision Controls
Night Owl Optics