Six Things That Are More Important Than Price
With so many companies serving the Built World, how do customers actually choose what products to buy? How do they even narrow down the dozens of options available to them?
If you ask a lot of people who work in the Built World, they’ll give you a simple, one-word answer: price. Specifically, low prices. The lowest price the customer can find.
That’s the answer that feels right on an intuitive level. No one wants to pay more than they have to for anything, including building materials. Every company is looking for ways to lower costs.
Price is a big deal, but it’s far from the only thing a customer cares about. In fact, it’s almost never at the top of the list.
Customers are looking for a competitive price, not the lowest price. When focused on the lowest price there frequently are problems that they don’t need.
Most customers aren’t actually looking for the product/service with the lowest price. What they’are looking for is the product with the greatest value.
Value and price might sound like the same thing, but they’re not. And knowing the difference is critical to understanding what even your price-conscious customers want from you.
Price is just the number on the tag. A good value is more than that. It’s getting a great product and superior service at a competitive price, even if there are cheaper options.
So if price isn’t the customer’s top priority, what is? Well, it depends on the individual buyer. But to give you a better idea of what it might be, let’s go over six of the most important things that factor in a builder’s purchasing decisions.
Everyone hates delays because delays equal costs. Going late is one of the easiest ways for a project to go over budget.
That’s why many of customers will do anything in their power to make sure projects are completed on time. They’ll make meticulous plans long before any starting any project. They’ll make smart hiring decisions and provide their workers extensive training. They’ll thoroughly vet contractors before brining them on board.
And they’ll buy from a Built World company they can trust.
Providing quality products and services is one way to minimize unexpected problems and delays. When a product is well-designed, properly manufactured and quality controlled, customers can rest assured that every installation will go smoothly and predictably.
Built World companies are highly aware that cutting costs by choosing a lower-quality product is a foolish bargain. Cheap products are cheap for a reason, and the problems they cause won’t be worth the money they saved upfront.
It’s more than just the product, however. It’s also the company. Your customers are willing to pay a little more for their products or services if that extra cost comes with good customer service, knowledgeable reps and a guarantee that someone will be abl eot help them troubhleshoot any issue that comes up.
Built World companies are far more likely to buy from you if they know your product and company are reliable, even if that comes at a premium.
Speaking of delays, can you get your product delivered to the customer on time?
This is not about shorter lead times, this is about being dependable. Can your customer rely on you to do what you say?
Being able to do that has always been a competitive advantage. Now that we’re dealing with a lot of supply chain uncertainty, it’s become even more imprtant. If your sourcing is solid and you’re rarely late with shipments, that alone is enough to make more customers want to buy from you.
Some fo this will be outside of your control. You can’t be batting 1,000 when there are so many factors that can put a kink in the supply chain. But if you can make sure that late deliveries and depleted stocks are rare and handled well, you’re far more likely to become the supplier of choice.
If you’re selling very simple products, it can be difficult to stand out. There won’t be a big difference between your product an dyour competitors. When that’s the case, product design barely factors into the customer’s final decision.
If you’re selling more complicated materials, however, design features can push the customer to choose you and even pay more.
Good products save on labor and overall project costs. That’s the kind of real value most customers are looking for.
There are small product details that will cost you sales in the long run. That’s because they cause all sorts of hassles that customers simply don’t want to deal with.