Is Price The Most Important Thing?

I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve had a client insist that “Price is the most important thing to customers!” According to thousands of research projects, they are simply wrong. When you ask clients what matters most, eventually they’ll mention price, but it’s generally not their #1 priority.

  1. Quality and Reliability: This is usually at the top of people’s list. Buyers want products and services that consistently meet their standards and perform reliably over time.
  2. Customer Support and Service: Strong customer support, technical assistance, and after-sales service are incredibly valuable. Sometimes things shake out in a way that wasn’t planned, companies want a vendor who will be responsive and help resolve issues promptly.
  3. Fit to Needs: What you’re selling has to resolve some pain point for the customer, customization and flexibility often rank high, as there’s no service that applies 100% the same way to every client’s needs.
  4. Innovation and Technology: Companies look for vendors who provide innovative solutions that can give them a competitive edge or enhance their operations.
  5. Vendor’s Reputation and Credibility: A vendor’s track record, reputation, and references play a significant role in decision-making. People are less likely to hire a company with a poor track record, or none at all. The latter admittedly creates something of a catch-22, how do you build a positive reputation if no if no one will hire you?
  6. Total Cost of Ownership: Beyond the initial price, buyers assess the total cost of ownership, which includes maintenance, training, implementation, and potential operational savings.
  7. Long-Term Relationship: Buyers often prioritize vendors who demonstrate a willingness to build a long-term, collaborative relationship. Compatibility and alignment of values matter.
  8. Ease of Integration: Compatibility with existing systems and ease of integration into the buyer’s operations can heavily influence the decision. Which sounds more appealing: buying a new widget, or completely overhauling your systems? See point #3.
  9. Risk Management: B2B buyers are concerned with mitigating risks. Vendors who can demonstrate stability, continuity, and disaster recovery plans are appealing. See point #2.
  10. Environmental and Social Responsibility: Increasingly, companies consider vendors’ environmental and social practices as part of their decision-making process, both for their own values, and the positive optics that accompany it.

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