The Price that High-Quality Work Deserves

The Price that High-Quality Work Deserves


The work we do is complicated. And many buyers don’t know any different. They ask me for a lower price. When I decline, they hire someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. I see a lot of bad work out there. I’m in it for the quality of the work, and not to lower my standards. How do I help buyers understand they get what they pay for?

Thoughts of the Day: Make sure your high-quality work is what you think it is. Teach your clients about what they’re getting from your company. Make sure your employees understand your standards and clients as well. Build a community of satisfaction. Use customer retention as a competitive weapon. Make sure you’re looking for the right customers.

Is high-quality work worth the cost?

Before you launch on your soapbox about how your services are better, do some research to make sure you’re right. Go back and visit jobs done in the past couple years to see how they’re holding up. Find out if the customers are fully satisfied. Look for any errors your team might have made. Make sure your company is walking the talk.

Assuming your company’s work quality is as high as you think, talk to your clients after the fact. Make sure they understand why they’re satisfied, and it wasn’t just an accident their job was installed well. Show them the little details that add up to a measurable difference.

Make sure every employee understands how important it is to solve your clients’ problems by doing it right the first time. Take time to educate new employees before they go out on jobs about how to talk to clients, how to spot problems, and what to do if they have questions or concerns. No matter how busy you are, don’t let a new employee out into the field until you’re sure they get it, and then make sure they have supervision until they’ve been fully tested out.

Meet or exceed expectations

Make a list of questions to ask customers – before, during, and after a job. What are you looking to accomplish? Do you have any special concerns? While the work is going on, ask, Is there anything else you’d like us to attend to? How well are we doing in your book? When finished ask, Are you 110% satisfied with the work? Would you be willing to give us a gold star? Can we do anything additional for you?

Become a thought leader. Talk and write about what it takes to do your work. Write articles about work you’ve had to correct, showing examples of work done poorly. Show how it has cost more to repair the problems than it would have to do the job right the first time.

Feature jobs you’ve done well. Use them as success examples. Get customers to promote you. Ask for quotes about how your company has helped them succeed by helping them avoid time and money problems.

High-quality work means better results

Once you get a contract to fix a problem, write up a case study explaining what was done improperly and how it was fixed. Ask the new prospect if they’d be interested in a discount if they’ll let you feature them in an ad. Ask the prospect if they’d be willing to be a reference – since they now know the difference between bad work and what your company can do.

Not all customers are created equal. Some want what you have, but just can’t afford it. Some can afford it but don’t care. And some are just right – want what your company provides and can pay for it. Those are the customers to focus on.

Don’t try to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse by barking up the wrong tree. It’s much easier to sell quality to someone who gets that quality is worth paying for. Early in the selling process, ask prospects to give examples of when they’ve had to choose between cost and quality. Pay attention to the story they tell. Just make sure the ones that are left have the budget necessary to close the deal.

Looking for a good book? Marketing Services: Competing Through Quality, Leonard L. Berry and A. Parasuraman.