I came across two depressingly familiar stories simultaneously in Cape Town recently. They expose the hypocrisy of buyers. I’m always happy to do this.
The first concerned a global magazine brand. They wanted catering for a swanky 150-person event. They battered the caterer down so much that they didn’t make money in the end. Penny-pinching throughout and taking things out, never putting them in.
The second is with a large upmarket architects. They wanted a specific building revamp. Originally for joint space and adjacent area, then when baulking at the price, only the main space. With that done, they now wanted the extra piece also done. And expected it at the initial price. Despite the first quote’s full amount being based on the obvious labour and time economy of scale which could no longer apply, else the supplier would lose money, the client still expected that deal.
These are fairly typical purchasing stories, of course. In both cases, the buyer threw their toys out the cot, moaned about ‘service’ and threw in bullying empty promises about future business.
Yet what also applies in these cases, is that the client is the premium product in their market places.
They expect people to be grateful to pay the extra that they themselves charge.
There is a clear disconnect between the product they sell, and how they buy.
The fact that buyers fail to appreciate a quality premium must be exposed.
In my experience, I follow the maxim, ‘idiots pre-sale, idiots post-sale’. I am able to pass up on business if I sense this. It is always the right choice. There’s nothing worse than working with people not on your wavelength. Not sharing genuinely similar goals. They suck energy, respect and margin right out your company. Avoid them.
Thankfully, you can get to the nub of their mindset. Simply remind them of how they sell. There is a reason they charge ‘more’. And there’s a reason that you too, have clients happy to pay ‘more’. When they ‘get’ this (often with a smile I might add) then stay in. If not… run.