You get what you pay for - The Value of a trusted business relationship

Posted on 02/28/2018

One of the best, most succinct marketing ads I ever saw said simply:

"We Fix $10 Haircuts"

We all know that old adage "you get what you pay for", yet we still yearn for the "deal" - a special discount that tells us that we "beat the system". However, far too often that "deal" is just the sharp end of the hook, and the system ends up beating us.

As Red Adair, the famous oil well fire fighter, once said "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur". Basically, we should pay well to do something once, or pay twice to fix it when it all goes south.

A commodity is a good or services that has useful value, but is most often bought or sold simply based on price point alone. You don’t want your business, or the services of other business that you partner with, to be sold as a commodity.

Good Customer service is not a commodity. It is not just a number, statistic or SLA. It is a state of mind - a consistently applied attitude, a condition and expression of comradery, an understanding and respect in a business relationship. It is the Human component of your business.

Value proposition is a hard concept to sell, unless the buyer has already bitten that hook. Those customer's who've already cut their teeth (pun intended) will be the those who have the wherewithal to seek out and find the real best deal - the value of a good business relationship.


Relationships are built on trust. We are all human and we all make mistakes. And things happen that are often out of our control. But good customer service, like integrity, is what we do when things go south - during that time when it is easier NOT to rise to the challenge, but we do anyway - because we care. How do we treat the customer? How do we handle the problem? In a good customer service relationship, you should be able to trust that your vendor has your best interested at heart and will resolve the problem to your liking as quickly as possible.

I have a friend that has a service based business. But he doesn’t just sell. He builds relationships first. When he goes to close a deal, he's often asked what it will cost. His reply is "Does it matter? You know I will treat you well and charge you fairly."

Granted, that approach may not work for many companies. His answer relies upon having a flexible margin service and a pre-existing level of trust with the prospect; But it positions him as a boutique resource, rather than a commodity.


So next time you area shopping, look closely at the relationship, and not so much at the price tag. While we all have budgets and cost may certainly be important, the overall value proposition and business relationship is what you are really buying.

Guest post
- Manny Jhargen

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