no hidden costsAs a small business owner, you have often had customers tell you that supplier XYZ is offering them a a better price. More often than you realize, the customer may not be telling you the true price – but you know it is a bad idea to challenge their statements. Challenging a customer regarding what they are being offered by a competitor will only get their back against the wall – and may cost you a sale or the potential loss of that customer.

Playing the price game is not only bad for your bottom line, it sends a message to customers and your competitors that you have overvalued the true worth of your product or service. Allowing your price to be shaped by your competition also shows that you will allow them to set your prices – and potentially price you out of business.

Instead of trying to compete with a price that your competitor may or may not have offered your customer, try to compete on other grounds – such as gained trust, value and perhaps even easier access to your products and services. If you have worked for some time with that customer and they are happy with your product, try to compete on the quality of your product and the excellent ongoing customer service that you provide. If he or she is a new customer, offer them a better guarantee or better terms in exchange for their business.

Small business owners are often faced with the challenges of pricing points of larger competitors, but it is also the job of a small business owner to educate customers of the short-term gains of receiving under-priced good and services. When a product is under-priced, at some time the price does have to go back up. Additionally, when a service is under-priced, at some point the quality of the service will likely go down.

The consumer of a product or service that has been deeply discounted in order to get the deal, may also wonder what hidden costs they will incur and when the price will go up when the deal period is over. If you were leasing office space for rent at a great price for 6 months, do you know what the price will be for the remainder of the term of the lease? These are important things to point out to customers when they tell you they are being offered a great deal by your competition.