My competitor's got me beat on price, quality and delivery time
The choice is stark:
  • cut your margins and say goodbye to profit,
  • drop the quality – “stack ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap” – or
  • reposition yourself (strategy of the millennium for many companies).
When you know your opponent has had a better offer in all the concrete areas,
the only way forward is up the value chain.

Explore your opponent’s needs again. What else can you offer that might make it
easy for him to say yes? If you are very bold, you can even ask him: “If we
measure up so badly in all these areas, what is there about us or our offer that
keeps you talking to us?”

Show him you understand his needs, and explain clearly how strong you are in
those areas. Give concrete examples of others who have benefited.

Build the deal up a bit: “As well as the contract for cleaning the windows, we
could make a six-monthly visit to clean the carpets. A few pot plants might cheer
the place up, as well. You see, if we were providing a range of services, I would
naturally want to drop by once a month at your convenience to make sure the job
was being done properly…Shall I prepare you a quote?”

Don’t push too hard; you might have to accept defeat gracefully and keep the
door open for next time. “This is a judgment call; only you can decide…” Then
leave him free to make a wise decision.


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