36. Selling Service-Value to Price Buyers

What’s your competitive edge? Maybe it’s something like: “Service value from our good people and our reps’ customer relationships.” Really?

  • Can you measurably prove these hopes?
  • Do service metrics vary for each customer niche?

If not, are your reps happy to get “last-look” to meet competitive prices?

What to do? Here’s an answer: Check out my Syllabus below to find ways to boost sales and pre-tax return on total assets (ROTA) by 2–4 times.


The first section of the syllabus will tell you how to:

  • Zero in on your historically most-profitable niche(s) of customers
  • Define the service metrics for each niche
  • Tune fill-rates for each target niche


Assume you magically achieve measured, in-your-face, guaranteed service excellence. Can your reps sell it as their answer to: “That’s nice, but your prices are too high.”

Or, what do you say to a customer or contractor who is killing you with every day, job-specific, small-orders at your counter? He’s obsessed with, “not having any inventory”. He doesn’t see, measure or care about hidden paperwork or downtime costs that hurt customer service value and retention.

Few folks understand the term “system optimization”. We all get excited about price savings and less inventory, but how can we get myopic, one-metric buyers to wise up and buy based on best total value?


I did a quick survey of six contractors: Two who killed me with small orders at my counter, two who were superstar businesses (and quite net profitable for us) and two who were in the middle. I asked each to take their total billed hours each week and divide it by total payroll hours. For every eight hours of payroll, the counter guys averaged 3.5 billed hours; the middles 4.0; and the best 5.5 hours.

What are the upside possibilities for laggards?

  • Pay a guy $30/hour and bill him at $80/hour
  • Retune replenishment systems to bill one more hour per day per guy
  • Split the extra $80 with the guy and company profits
  • The guy, and his friends, all want to work for you
  • More uptime also improves on time, making happier customers
  • They use your firm next time and recommend you to their friends



Learn how retuning your service and replenishment system can improve any customer’s downtime costs, uptime, on-time and customer retention economics and benefits.

So, skim the syllabus, create more wealth for all, and be a hero.


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