With the economy going through a rough patch, some companies in the IT sector are scrambling to make up for lost market share. Consumers and corporations alike have tightened their proverbial purse strings, and many firms have been forced into the position of doing anything and everything they can to boost their appeal.
In times like these, slashing prices can be a tempting proposition, especially in sectors where there may be little else to differentiate your firm from its competitors. But according to a number of leading IT sales gurus, you should consider trying to boost your firm’s perceived value before you resort the last-ditch effort of cutting your rates and fees.
What is perceived value? Well, it’s an informal analysis that aggregates price, ROI, benefit, overall impact, and numerous other factors that customers use to determine whether they’re getting the most bang for their buck when they shop or contract with your firm. In some ways, perceived value is a subjective measure, so by changing the optics of the situation a bit, you can boost your perceived value without actually cutting prices. Here are a few tricks to help shine the spotlight on your firm’s unique value proposition.
Develop a marketing strategy that highlights your firm’s unique value. Take a long, hard look at your business model and compare it with your competitors. Where do you shine? On which measures do you soar ahead with flying colors? Once you’ve identified your firm’s key value points, devise a marketing campaign that puts these winning features front and center.
Use quantifiable metrics to demonstrate value and ROI. When it comes to boosting your firm’s perceived value to customers, nothing’s as effective as hard facts and figures. If you’ve increased efficiencies, improved sales, or eliminated redundancies for past clients and you’ve got the data to back it up, try to express these accomplishments in numerical or percentage form whenever possible.
Streamline and refine your operations. If you can save some money behind the scenes, you may be able to pass a measure of savings onto your customers without actually dropping your rates or prices. Turn a critical eye toward the way day-to-day operations are handled in your firm and see if there is any redundancy or waste you can eliminate.
Look for creative ways to increase value for your customers. Value isn’t all about price, so look to the long-term to figure out ways that you can increase ROI for your clients. Things like extended warranties, service contracts, installation and delivery charges, and repeat orders can all add up in the long run, so if you reduce your going rates in these areas, you might be able to boost value while protecting your current price points.
Consider price drops only as a last resort. If worse comes to worst and you find yourself in a position where slashing prices looks like the only option, try to cut your rates in a smart, targeted, highly selective manner. Consider implementing a temporary price drop under the guise of a sale, or lure in new customers with an exclusive rate cut. Try to avoid an across-the-board drop in prices if it’s at all possible.
How have you emphasized your firm’s value to your customers? Have you considered dropping your prices? Tell us what you think in the comments.