Business Management

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How much can you spend on a bottle of booze at Costco? Costco, a big box disrupter, that has captured, kidnapped or stolen our hearts. This is due to their ability to engineer a very high-quality experience.

Next time you belly up to a bar, dive or not, check out the “top shelf”. The array of liquor that you’ll see will most likely be the best they offer. For those articulate enough to discern a Jack Daniels from a Blanton Select, more power to you.

The same would go for a Laphroaig versus a Scoresby, the verbiage for the Laphroaig going something like this:

“Incredible nose with amazing rich floral notes followed by smoke, rich barley, licorice, aged peat and then a wave of sea spray.” Is that their way of saying that it just stinks?

Many times, the rationale for spending more on something that will within a couple hours leave your body and perhaps a slight headache is hard to define. Why does someone pay sometimes an exorbitant sum?

Think of Pappy Van Winkle, 1942 Tequila, Dom Perignon, and many more like that. Kind of like owning a prestige auto, you really can’t watch yourself drive by.

To explore the complexities of choices of quality and luxury that people make.

In the days before Howard Stern became syndicated and was only slightly known, a cassette tape of him somehow made it’s way to Barry Scocval, Sterns guest was Leslie West, of the band Mountain.

His song Mississippi Queen may just be the best 2 minutes 47 seconds ever laid down on vinyl.

But Mr. West, Between the constant beeps of his profanity he said something the sticks with us to this day.

“You buy cheap, you buy twice”.

I’m pretty sure he didn’t make this up himself, but the message is clear, and honestly can be hard to achieve. What rationale can you give yourself to spend up front substantially more, for seemingly “the same” thing?

Even people of means really think twice about that, they didn’t get rich being stupid.

Screwdrivers, contemplate Harbor Freight tools vs. Klein. Many in our industry worship at the altar of “life is too short to buy cheap tools”.

In many instances we got to that church the hard way, through personal experience, marring or defacing gear due to a rounded off Phillips' head, and the quality brands have a much more ridged forging process that distinctively hardens the head of the driver in measurable ways.

Several audio and video manufacturers include in the box of their new component, a pair of white gloves. The connotation is to treat this with the utmost care, not letting your greasy mitts mar the beauty of this fine piece of equipment. They are reserved with the finest of the fine. And heck, gloves can be an inexpensive way to cast the aspersion of quality on anything, almost.

Just like lipstick on a pig.

We can all surmise why someone buys something off the top shelf, it’s inherent quality and builds, it’s warranty, it’s design, sound and video quality, and the way it makes you feel. And your friends envy your good taste.

When you as a business owner select products to present to your prospective new customer or as a manufacturer creating the next great “thing”, spend a few introspective minutes outlining the chat deepening your story. Ask yourself how this new product or service is different from what you are currently offering.

What benefit exists for you and your customers? Or is it just “time for a new model”.

We hope not. Change just for the sake of change makes little sense. If the outcome has improvements, go for it, but work on your top shelf story.

Everybody likes to sell better, we all benefit. More profit, happier customers, more referrals, less Friday night calls saying this crap don’t work, and the like. Spend a minute or so sharing with your new or existing client, a bit of time letting them know the process that your company goes through to select new and better products. It lets them into your world a bit and makes you less mysterious. Or you could begin your pitch with...

“Y’know, you buy cheap, you buy twice!” Of course, you might just cruise down to Costco and pick up a few bottles of aged Macallen…. If it’s in the budget.

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