You Wouldn't Buy The 2nd Best...

A play on the classic price objection handle. Normally following a wincing, dismissing, bellowing, “how much…?!” Answered in the form of;

“Well, would you buy from the cheapest brain surgeon?”

Meant to get over the indisputable fact that your price is set at its level for a reason. A good and valid reason.

I thought of this when hearing a 30sec radio ad. Strangely, for a car service garage. Without the aargh-ing, burny-sizzling or fizzling-out-then-exploding sound effects, the words broadcast were;

Nobody would choose the second-best parachute.

Or the second-best sunblock.

Or the second-best fire extinguisher.

You do wonder about these choices though.

Parachute, I get. By the way, who doesn’t admire the anecdote (myth?) told about the Soviet air force general who paid a surprise visit to the parachute making factory. There’d been tragic failures to open. He announced a treat for the sewing team. Today, they were all going to jump out of a plane. Using their own ‘chutes. Defects never occurred again after that.

Yet that is hardly a regular, commonly used item with spec familiarity.

As for sunblock and extinguisher, the former has plenty of variations which can reduce cost without jeopardising protection and the latter has become commoditised to such an extent vendors now try distinguish by all-round ‘solution’ with add-ons and service.

Then again, the brain surgery handle has its drawbacks too. Especially in the too-many countries that have a socialist, universal health system. Surgeon accountability shamefully neutered.

The concept remains moot. Who would buy ‘discount’ when you need, crave even, quality and assurance?

Here’s the ad’s next line;

Because when your safety is on the line, only the best should be good enough.

In our terms, how about the word safety swapped out for career?

And then (re)define the term best. As in most likely to work. Fit for purpose (from the quality brigade). The highest guarantee.

There is always someone prospectside who may insist they only ever purchase bargains. And have had a happy and unblemished record in so doing. This can, and should, be verified, with discreet enquiries about past procurements. For it is seldom (if ever) true.

For longer conversations, there is the enlightenment to be had around the common law of business balance. Which I wish I knew prior to 2007.

Note too that many are prone (say some observers) to deliberately gravitate towards the second-most expensive option.

Almost an entire industry has elbowed into view here. From having the ‘decoy’ sky-high price option of marketing pricing strategy fame, to understanding the behavioural science (entertainingly trying to reclaim the initials BS right now) framing of price signalling.

I’ve almost always been in environments where a cheaper alternative snaps voraciously nearby.

An adaptation of the above can work. As can the get-what-you-pay-for line. Justifying the premium. Separating Day One Costs from those Ongoing. Not forgetting the standard-bearer triangle of ‘quality, service, price; you can only ever choose two’.

Yet maybe the subjectivity of the label ‘best’ is also our friend in this sense.

Does your prospect want the best?

What do they mean by ‘best’, anyway?

And whichever way they lean, you can remix the radio ad’s final line;

…the best at putting your safety first.

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