Are You a Quality or Quantity Business?

Have you ever taken time to analyze whether you're a "quality" or "quantity" business? There's nothing particularly wrong with either. Just realize that you can't be both.

Let's say you bake wedding cakes. When someone calls the shop and the first thing they ask is, "How much," do you cringe or simply give them a price?

If you give them a price, you're likely a "quantity" business. You don't want to spend time trying to upsell or woo the customer. Keep it simple and quick and sell more cake than your competitor. Again, there's nothing wrong with that approach. 

If you cringe at the price question, then wish they'd ask about the ingredients in your icing, or how quickly your fresh product goes from the oven to the table at the wedding reception, you're a "quality" business.

That's OK, too. But it takes a different and often riskier sales approach. Your potential customers can be "trained" by steering them in a direction beyond price. Respond to their question with your own question. Maybe the dialogue would go something like this:

Potential customer: How much do you charge for a three-tier wedding cake?

Baker: Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Some couples want a cake that tastes so good that their friends talk about it the next day. Others are more interested in something that just looks good. At the last few weddings you attended, which cakes made more of an impression on you? I'm trying to get an idea of what you want so I can get you the best possible price. 

Potential customer: You can't just give me a price?

Baker: Our prices range from $xxx to $xxx, and our average price is $xxx. How about we set up a tasting appointment so you can both see AND taste the difference between the cakes?

See how the baker asked a few questions of his own to get at least a glimpse of the potential customer's preferences? If the conversation turned into an actual appointment, the baker will be all the more prepared to offer the right product at the right price.

According to customer service expert Alan Berg, don't shy away from the price question. Often, that's the only thing the couples know to ask. Help them see that there are more questions to ask than just the cost. 

Again, this "quality" approach takes more time and effort. Only you the business owner can determine whether it's a worthwhile investment.