Back in the early days of my business career, I used to prepare insurance proposals. Of course, we always wanted to know what price and coverages we were quoting against — it was natural to want to beat both so we would be in a good position to get the order for the policy. There were a few times when we couldn’t quite beat the price the client was paying elsewhere, and as I reviewed some of these proposals with the brokerage owner, I would ask if I should try to sharpen it further somehow. Sometimes we would try, but if the rates already looked reasonable to us, he’d say, “No–if you get it on price, you’ll lose it on price.”
Whenever you sell a product or service, you want to look for some point of differentiation… it’s the easiest one in the book. After all, you have to answer the question, “Why should I buy from you?” whether it’s actually been asked or not. And you want to choose your point of differentiation carefully… because if it’s too run-of-the-mill, there will always be someone who can do that point better than you. And with regard to price, “there’s always a greater fool” willing to cut the price below what’s reasonable. Clients you gain based on price are being trained already to know when to jump ship and go someplace else. You told them on the way in that it was all about price, and you can bet they’ll leave for the same reason when the time comes. You told them to.