How do you set prices? Do you put a markup on your direct costs? Do you estimate the tangible product benefit for your customers and price for a fair return? Or does your accountant keep an Ouija board under their desk? Successful companies focus on perceived value; which is defined as the premium a buyer is willing to pay for your product over that of a competitor’s comparable product. Understanding customer wants and needs with a precision that captures more profit than competitors is fundamental to sustainability. Thus, the best pricing insights are always on the other side of the office windows and managers of action crave facetime with their key customers. Here’s what you might see if a business is casting their gaze inward:
- Dialog with customers cannot get past bids, price, and transactions.
- Upper management is obsessed on the strength of products and services and does not search for customer opportunities.
- A company receives feedback it’s “too rigid” and difficult to do business with.
- Employees have little interest in the company’s success or the commercial and competitive aspects of the business
- Sales representatives don’t waste time understanding clients’ current and future needs and resign themselves to being the “lowest bid.”
With even a minimal attempt to explain a competitive strategy to their employees, active managers see an immediate jump in productivity. Active managers understand they need empathy and sincere appreciation of customer businesses to discover the real things customers want. Let’s take a quiz to help assess your value-building expertise. These are Yes/No questions and each “No” should be regarded as an opportunity to improve. Viewers that complete the questions will receive a gift from Accelerated Achievements.
- I have a written business plan that is available to my employees.
- I have direct feedback from key customers on the top two issues facing their organizations and have a plan for addressing their issues.
- Our leadership team convenes at least once per quarter to identify if new competition and technology may pose threats to our plans.
- I have secondary research that keeps me apprised on the size of my market and key changes.
- I have a plan to obtain the cash, capital, and employee skills to achieve my goals
- My leadership team has the interview and listening skills to discover the vital needs and issues from customers and suppliers.
- I actively measure customer satisfaction and take input on new product ideas.
If you answered yes to all the questions, you have the framework to offer superior value to your customers. Regardless of how you answered, you can download a white paper titled, “Measures and Improving Strategy Development.” Accelerated Achievements has helped all kinds of companies refine their business plans and sharpen skills to strengthen customer relationships. Contact us if you have questions or concerns about your assessment or would simply like to talk.