How Did You Allow Yourself to Become a Commodity?
If that’s your question, here’s the snarky answer: Because you allowed it. An even more indicting answer might be because you encouraged it.
So what is commoditization? It’s the process that your buyers followed to reduce their buying decision to the lowest common denominator, price.
It happens because you have not found consistently effective ways to connect your unique value to the client’s business and personal emotions.
It’s exacerbated by distributors that are becoming practitioners of commoditization themselves. I hear from too many distributors that spend extra hours looking for another supplier that will sell them something for a nickel cheaper.
Irony of ironies, these are the distributors we often hear bemoaning the “disloyal” client that shopped them and gave the business to someone else to save a nickel.
Here are my two suggestions:
First, quit being a commodity buyer yourself. Develop true partnerships with your best suppliers, and demonstrate the loyalty that you want to receive from your clients.
Second, always put yourself in your client’s shoes. Think like them. Speak in terms of their needs, their wants and their highest aspirations. Make them feel smart, professional, safe, secure and understood.
Instead of joining in the race to the bottom and playing the “how low can you go” game, focus on reinventing yourself. Differentiate. Specialize. Deliver something that the client can’t easily get elsewhere. That may require extra learning, extra research and extra work on your part, but instead of spending your time looking for a cheaper supplier, spend that time figuring out how you can become an invaluable part of your client’s team.