Change Leadership — Secret # 72
Maintain High Value
The most interesting thing about a postage stamp is the persistence with which it sticks to its job. —Napoleon Hill
What I Need to Know
Establish high value and stick to it. Do not deliver high value and then discount its price.
Establishing high value requires a tremendous amount of discipline and self-control—primarily the discipline not to take shortcuts. If you do not have that level of discipline, it is unlikely you will have created high value to begin with. But once you have gone to all the effort to create high value, the last thing you want to do is throw it all away by reducing the price.
When you have successfully helped the customer make an important change, then he will be sincerely grateful. He will feel indebted to you beyond the money that exchanges hands.
It is not only fair for you to share in the value you create, your survival depends on it. The decision to pursue the strategy of creating and obtaining high value is irrevocable because creating high value requires a completely different set of business practices and a much higher cost structure than, say, transactional selling at the other end of the spectrum.
Rather than trying to speed along an order with a price reduction, what about taking the opposite approach? You could say, “These changes are significant and will take time to execute correctly. If you want to accelerate them, it will increase the cost. But the sooner the changes are initiated, the more we’ll be able to manage those costs. Would you like to go ahead and get started today?”
What I Need to Do
If the customer’s organization employs professional purchasing agents who are paid to reduce your price, rather than maximize their company’s value, do the following:
- Do not expend any of your company’s resources until you have a firm contract in place. You do not want to be at the mercy of a purchasing agent after you have delivered all the value and exhausted your resources.
- Confidently tell the customer you are in the business of creating value—and that you stay in business by sharing in the value you create.
- Ask your grateful customer to intervene on your behalf. Remind your customer of all you are doing for her.
- Build a solid, irrefutable case for the value you are delivering and do not back down from it.
Creating high value requires maintaining high value, starting long before your first customer meeting. Continually ask yourself, “Is the task I am performing right now maintaining high value?”