Recently I read this quote from business icon and philanthropist Warren Buffett:
“It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”
Great advice. How often do we look for the “deal” only to discover that after the initial euphoria of feeling like we got a bargain, we are left with a product or service that is well, just not quite what we hoped it would be. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to negotiate and feel I saved myself some money. But negotiating to get a lower price on exactly the product or service that you want, is not the same thing as compromising what you want to get a lower price.
As I look back over my life, I realize the “things” I treasure most are the ones of the highest value. Probably 25 years ago, I needed a briefcase. I really wanted a Hartman Bag. To me, their style, color and quality was everything I wanted. I just couldn’t bring myself to spend what a Hartman bag cost which was 5-10 times more than similarly styled bags I could find at a discount or department store. I eventually found a Hartman Outlet up in Maine, and bought a discontinued model. I paid half of what the bag cost retail but even then, it was still more than what I could have spent on a knock-off. But to this day, I still have that bag, and I still love it. I bought a wonderful product at a fair price.
The same goes for my acoustic guitar. It’s a Taylor and while it was not cheap, it was exactly what I wanted and is likely the last guitar I will ever own. Every time I play it, I smile.
My point is, whether you are providing a product or service or buying one, go for the quality you want, then, negotiate your best price rather than going for the best price and pressing for higher quality. Things just work better that way.
I don’t know how it is in your business, but invariably when our team tries to cut corners to get a price down to meet a client’s budget, it almost always backfires. The client usually ends up pressing for the higher level of quality they wanted in the first place (they win, we lose) OR, we stick to the terms we agreed to, but the client doesn’t get quite what they wanted. (we win, they lose).
The Win-Win space we both want is to establish the level of quality they really need and want, and then work to deliver that at the best possible price for the client.
May your words and your actions today be both wonderful and fair!