Having the confidence to charge what your product is really worth

Food entrepreneur Damian Clarkson explains why your best price should be non-negotiable.

Something that is dear to my heart is understanding the true value of the product and services that my company offers.

A few weeks ago we were approached by a top end business based in Mayfair to carry out some catering for one of their launch events. It’s great work, it’s what we do day in and day out and we have worked for them before. As usual, our contracts manager quoted for the work as per the specification we had been given. A few hours later we were contacted by the client who asked if that was our ‘best price’ and could we look at ‘discounting’ at all.

For a minute I thought I had been transported into a parallel universe where I was in fact a market trader selling my wares from a suitcase as opposed to a premium event caterer. I was perplexed and angered to be honest.

Needless to say that we returned the call with the message that we always give our best price but we would be happy to reduce the size of the order to fit budget if required.

I have always valued what my company produces. We work hard to create top quality products at value-for-money prices. With us, the presentation, customer service and the after-sales follow up is all part of the overall customer experience as well as great-tasting food. We believe totally that our product is worth every penny of the prices that we charge and we would rather turn customers away than chase turnover by discounting the cost of our service.

The question is, do you value what you offer? Do you believe that your product is worth the level that you charge? In the service industry, this is particularly interesting, as nothing is straightforward. My advice is to continually look at how you can make your customer’s experience the best it can possibly be. That means looking at each contract that your perform or each item or service that you provide and giving it an audit. How would you rate the success of the business transaction? What was the customer feedback? Was there anything you could do to better your delivery?

By ticking all of the boxes you can have faith that what you have provided is the best and of real value. But I would suggest that the questions need to be asked consistently, contract after contract.

Perception of value is always a tricky thing but when you reach the right level for you, you will know it. You will feel it as you confidently announce your price for pieces of work that you just know is value for the client. You will feel even more confident the first time that you turn work away when someone tries to knock your price down.

Something I always like to think about: the quality of a Rolls Royce is always remembered long after the price is forgotten.

Also see: Luxury quality and accessible pricing: Mutually exclusive?

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Customer Experience

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