Bottom Fisher

Or Is He?

I was out networking a few weeks ago and discussing loyalty factors with a vendor. He proudly proclaimed that his customers, myself included, all buy from him in response to his unique value. He, on the other hand, always goes for the lowest possible price.

Intrigued, I asked him to give me some examples and he immediately cited a reseller he buys from. He checks every so often to keep the seller honest, but he has found over time that this particular supplier always gives him the lowest price of any facility he patronizes.

And there’s no other reason he buys from this vendor? No, he said, absolutely not. He knows what he wants and he wants it for the lowest price. Period.

And so, I asked, why doesn’t he simply source his items on the Internet, where he is certain to find a price lower than the bricks-and-mortar vendor can provide? If he orders a 15A when he should have ordered a 15B, my friend answered, he knows he can call the reseller to get the order corrected quickly.

And so, he only thinks he is looking for the lowest price. In fact, he is willing to pay something extra for some type of service. He doesn’t recognize it, apparently, but that shouldn’t be a surprise. Many customers will describe their behavior in ways that is not completely accurate.

There’s often a divergence between what we do and what we think we do. The same goes for our customers. We could build substantial loyalty and profitability over time if we only knew the difference.