What to DO to GET Referrals: Quality

Referral Trigger for the week of June 6
Topic: Leadership
Conversation led by the Buckhead Team (100% responses achieved)

….. The cliché is: “price, service, quality; pick any two.”

  • Where does quality fit in your business?
  • Is it at the top, with a commensurate cost?
  • Or do clients come to you assured of the lowest possible price?
  • And how does your service affect price and quality?
  • Do you charge extra for more service, or limit service to the basics because your clients are self-sufficient?

Share your perspective in comments.

30 Responses to What to DO to GET Referrals: Quality
  1. David Jennings
    June 3, 2016 | 10:01 am

    A just price supports great service and quality. Clients are smart enough to know that you get what you pay for. And vendors should model the ethics and professionalism they demand from other vendors. The cliche of “…pick any two” is fallacy. You get the quality and service available at whatever price you choose to pay.

  2. Mark Thomas
    June 3, 2016 | 10:53 am

    In my business, injury lawyer, to steal an old ad campaign, “Quality is Job One.” I am not the cheapest contingency fee lawyer in town, but I believe that my clients get what they pay for. Each case I take gets the same amount of responsiveness and communication; regardless of size. I don’t have a widget to sell; just me. The price is what it is, but service and quality is where I set myself apart from the lawyers on the side of the bus.

  3. Kevin Ames
    June 3, 2016 | 11:19 am

    A picture is worth a thousand words…
    A professional photograph must stand taller than all of the rest of the ones taken today. Believe me that’s a big ask.
    How big? Consider that this year alone, 1 trillion photographs will be taken. That’s 142 photos for every person on the planet. That’s a lot of noise for a competitive business get above visually. That’s my job and passion.
    Professionally made photographs are vastly different than almost 100% of those trillion images. Professional photographs are deliberate, planned, styled and lit storytelling machines. Each of these qualities costs money.
    A photograph that tells the story of a company’s product or service is a powerful part of the marketing and sales message because it makes it memorable. It inspires. It is worth the price paid.
    An effective photograph is priceless!
    I make effective photographs.

  4. Joe Gottlieb
    June 3, 2016 | 1:54 pm

    Without question, clients expect their attorney to perform to the highest standard and that is always my foremost concern. I do, however reject the notion that price, service and quality cannot all be provided to the client. My practice is referral based, therefore price is not a primary concern of my clients. Service must always be independent of price. I always strive to work to a high standard, never “down” to the fee charged.

  5. Susan Powell
    June 6, 2016 | 6:00 pm

    There are plenty of places that people can go to get a low priced massage. I am not one of those places.

    I have 16 years experience, expertise on the body and years of developing intuition to support my client’s needs.

    I emphasize the quality of the work, and the quality of my presence with my clients (which is what I consider ‘service’), over a low rate.

    I promise, the difference between what I offer and what you can get a groupon for is significant.

  6. Carrie Hodges
    June 7, 2016 | 10:58 am

    In order for individuals to truly get the best possible outcome when planning for their healthcare its important for them to find an unbiased expert who can help them navigate the complexity of health insurance. For a one time flat fee, clients get to work with Bernard Health and our team of noncommissioned advisors. This means we have no financial incentive to sell something they don’t need, or to recommend one health insurance company or plan over another. In addition to that, we offer phone, email and face-to-face support throughout the entire process. If you have any questions we are here to answer them. Finally, we are licensed and appointed to consider all of the major health insurance companies in your area, and we have access to evaluate all of your options, including government plans. Bernard Health has a track record of saving our clients on average $2,000 per year on healthcare cost, and with that being said the flat fee pays for itself.

  7. Russell Earnest
    June 7, 2016 | 11:11 am

    I guess I’m kinda an odd duck. Because I am a solo entrepreneur, I have very low overhead. I do not have a consulting agency to support. This allows me to intentionally charge half of what major technology consultants do while providing the same quality professional services.

    More important to me, I can offer my services to much smaller businesses and other solo entrepreneurs, 64% of whom know they need to be making better use of technology but think it’s affordable.

    Also, because it’s just me, I can usually bill only for agreed upon deliverables and not for simply running out the clock. This make my costs totally predictable. Additionally, I can afford to stand by my customers with a 90-day support package included at no additional charge as a way to insure full quality is also received.

  8. Jesse Long
    June 7, 2016 | 11:12 am

    Milner is an independent dealer of office technology, meaning that I can recommend several manufacturers of multifunction printers to my clients. We only work with the best brands in the industry, to eliminate headaches for our customers (and our technicians). Service is a given- my clients have my cell phone number and I answer it all the time unless I’m in a meeting. If I cannot solve the problem, I have a service department of more than 50 factory trained technicians that can. Our prices are fair- I am not the low cost provider in my industry but I keep my clients’ budget and goals at the forefront of our processes to deliver the best solution for their organization.

  9. Ginger Arnold
    June 7, 2016 | 1:00 pm

    Quality is always my #1 priority because if the estate planning documents are not prepared properly, a court could reject them. My price does not fluctuate based on quality of service; all my clients receive the same high standard of service no matter if they are just getting a power of attorney or a complete estate planning package. I strive to provide great service at a reasonable price with the best quality to all my clients.

  10. Gene Summers
    June 7, 2016 | 1:04 pm

    Many businesses view their Security Companies as providing a commodity offering. And as such, the buying decisions are often price driven. But there is a reason the well known saying “You get what you pay for” was coined.
    At Spearhead Security, we have made the business decision to differentiate based on the training and compensation we provide our guards. Because of these decisions, we are usually not the low-cost provider… but we feel we offer the best VALUE. We have won a number of contracts after the low-cost option “under performed” against the job requirements.

  11. Chantel Cohen
    June 7, 2016 | 2:25 pm

    Quality is extremely important when working with couples. As a trained Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist we receive years of training, therefore the cost is in line with the level of training and expertise. The 70% efficacy rates are as a result of the level of training and the quality of the therapeutic experience.

  12. Zhewei (Joy) Fan Gregory
    June 7, 2016 | 2:37 pm

    When it comes to the language industry, there is no overlap of good quality, low price and fast speed. Quality is definitely the priority for my translation business. That’s also the reason we hire only highly professional translators, interpreters, editors and localization experts with an M.A. or even Ph.D. degree in translation or linguistics. Strict quality control is the standard process of our project workflow, from analyzing the source text, selecting the translators, building terminology database, setting up translation memory to proofreading, editing the target text and desktop publishing. When we explain the whole workflow to the clients, it is obvious to them that excellent and consistent quality beats the low price.

  13. Heather Riggs
    June 8, 2016 | 6:40 am

    We are right in the middle of the price spectrum, between our two biggest competitors – large legal marketing companies (the high end) and large non-industry-specific marketing companies (the low end). What makes the content I produce quality is: 1) it’s original and custom tailored to the client every time, 2) Google analytics keyword data influences topics, and 3) the client owns the content, not me. Contrary to many businesses, I’m providing the best service to my clients when they don’t hear from me at all. Thier content appears on their website or social platforms as if by magic. They’re most happy when they don’t have to give it a second thought.

  14. Nancy Bour
    June 8, 2016 | 8:44 am

    Throughout my professional career quality has always been my watchword and guiding principle. It has proven to be the most enduring and effective generator of business. In the home care industry we are involved in some of the most intimate and private activities with our clients and their families. It requires our dedication to find compassionate and skilled caregivers who can care for a loved one. It requires our office staff and owners to be responsive 24/7 as many of our prospects, clients, and families are under significant duress. Metro Atlanta is a highly competitive market for home care with over 400 providers. Our pricing falls within the middle range. We do not compete on price but on the quality of our care, our caregivers, and owner involvement.

  15. Gregory Golden
    June 8, 2016 | 9:43 am

    For my family law practice, the quality of my representation is an absolute priority. Good results do not just happen. It takes preparation, preparation, and more preparation. For the most part, my clients only have one opportunity to present their case to the Judge; it is important that it is the best possible presentation, from preparing the client how to testify to pre-marking exhibits to providing the Judge with copies of statutes or cases that support my clients’ positions.

    There are many attorneys that charge less than me. However, my knowledge of the law, expertise with Superior Court Judges, and accessibility that my clients have to me characterizes the quality of my representation.

    I do not charge a fee for an initial consultation, so that I can understand the issues that the person is facing and explain what I can (and cannot) do for him/her. I can then quote what my fee will be. Not every person that I meet with can afford my services. I do not try to “close” every deal, just so I can make some money. It would not do my client any favors by cutting corners and hope to get good results for him/her. I would rather pass on a case than second guess myself (and have my client second guess myself) as to what else I could have done to get a better result.

  16. Michael Kuperman
    June 8, 2016 | 9:50 am

    Most people are shocked to learn that my services do not cost them or the client ANYTHING. There are no hidden fees or backend costs when working with an independent insurance agent.
    In today’s world of “discount double checks” and “save 15% in 15 minutes”, there’s an inherent notion, although misconceived, that all insurance coverage is the same and the best insurance is the cheapest insurance.
    When my clients come to me, usually the first inclination is to try to save money on their personal or business insurance. While this certainly is a goal, after our initial conversation where I address their concerns and learn about their lifestyle and livelihood, we are usually on the same page and agree that the first and most important thing is to make sure the insurance coverage is ample to protect their lifestyle and their livelihood.
    My comprehensive, client focused and service based approach to personal and business insurance, brings value that most people don’t get with their current insurance company. The bonus and icing on the cake is that 80% of the time after working with me, my clients have much better insurance coverage than they had before AND save hundreds and even thousands of dollars in doing so.

  17. Rebecca Zimmerman
    June 8, 2016 | 10:39 am

    My mediation services are governed by three principals — impartiality, self-determination and confidentiality. To implement these principals with integrity is my highest aspiration. Mediation can lead to a resolution of a dispute in a significantly more cost effective and timely manner than litigation and can release the stress of being involved in a difficult conflict.

  18. Rob Riggs
    June 8, 2016 | 10:53 am

    In the world of custom web development, the price, service and quality model covers the spectrum. I focus on bringing my clients value that produces a quality product for the needs of a small business, while only bundling services that provide a short-term ROI. That allows us to provide a balance of service and quality, while charging a fair price. Our process allows us to be efficient and still provide a high level of service and quality.

    We charge higher prices than the solo web developer working from a coffee shop, but we’re priced much lower than the Agency of Record that offer mid-size business everything they could ever want in a comprehensive marketing package. I’ve found this blend to best serve the clients I come into contact with each day: presenting a professional appearance to the world, providing only what a client needs for the short term, and being available when they need help.

  19. Marshall Tucker
    June 8, 2016 | 11:22 am

    In the coaching business as with so many others, you get what you pay for. There are numerous organizations out there who will certify people as life coaches in a weekend. Those coaches who have taken the time and effort to get a certificate from a reputable group tend to charge more, but with that comes a higher price point.

    For me, I always give each and every client my very best, so while I may not be the cheapest out there, I know that my clients are getting the best coaching I can possible deliver.

  20. Linda Kuryloski
    June 8, 2016 | 11:25 am

    As a Certified Financial Planner (trademark), I help people achieve their financial goals and dreams. Quality service must be offered to obtain trust from my clients. I believe the cost of my services are a true value; but at the end of the day it’s the RESULTS that count the most. I deliver superior consistent results.

  21. Taylor Sellers
    June 8, 2016 | 4:07 pm

    My firm’s business model provides for our clients to get all three. At $495 for legal fees, our rates for closings are lower than most law firms, which typically are over $650 for legal fees. Our service model is unique and attentive in that our agents and loan officers get to work with the same attorney every time, so they know who is closing their deal from the beginning. Our work product quality is a central focus for our firm. All of our attorneys and paralegals are trained in their respective positions and people overseeing our work productive throughout the process. Our goal is ensure a timely, enjoyable, and legally accurate closing for our clients.

  22. Karen Armstrong
    June 8, 2016 | 5:40 pm

    In order to continue to have people call me to list their homes I have to provide superior quality and excellent service. Quality is the standard used to measure my skills compared to other realtors in my field. I provide superior guidance and problem solving skills to earn an A+ in that category. My service is the follow through on all the aspects that come into play when selling a house and getting to the closing table. My commission rate is 6%, the industry standard. I do not discount that. If sellers see the value from my presentation they rarely ask me to reduce my commission.

  23. Bo Riddle
    June 8, 2016 | 7:42 pm

    For the vast majority of commercial real estate transactions, my commission or “price” is a market standard one. So the way to differentiate oneself is through quality of service. With a typical commercial lease running from 3-7 years, I am committed to building a long term relationship with clients that is based on integrity and responsiveness to their needs, which usually change over time. I want to be viewed as a resource that they can tap into during the term of their lease if they have question or concerns and also at the end of their lease term when they need to renew or relocate.

  24. Jennifer Raby
    June 9, 2016 | 7:29 am

    When I started training independently, it was important for me to be an accessible trainer. I’m not selling any secrets here, which is why my rates are extremely competitive, as low as $49/session when clients purchase a package deal. And since my quality IS my service, from the assessment to individualized workouts to “off-the-clock” accountability check-ins, my clients know that they’re not only getting a bargain, but the care they receive is not compromised in the least just because I have a very reasonable pricing structure.

  25. Lisa Robinson
    June 9, 2016 | 9:16 am

    Quality is the top priority for my CPA firm. The public accounting industry strives to ensure its members are highly qualified. However, I believe quality not only includes technical competence it also includes making the extra effort. In addition to solving my client’s problem I help them develop a plan to move forward.

    My goal is to provide my clients with the highest level of service. While there are CPA’s who may charge lower fees, there are very few who take a comprehensive approach to meeting the needs of business owners. Whether we are working on tax issues, financial analysis or accounting system implementation all clients receive the same quality experience.

  26. David Wise
    June 9, 2016 | 10:23 am

    Even before estimating a job, we ask the customer what level of quality they want: living room quality or garage quality. Naturally, living room quality is more expensive and some jobs do not need to be more than garage quality. Then we make sure we deliver what they expect and still match the surrounding areas.

  27. Dr. James Myers
    June 9, 2016 | 12:17 pm

    As a chiropractor the services I provide are worth based on the quality of that service and the outcomes that are achieved from those services. It is also based on the level of education that is provided to the patients so that they get the most out of their care even if they are not in the office. In chiropractic you can get Wal-Mart level service and care or you can have Neiman Marcus. I like to think I am like Neiman Marcus.

  28. Rachel Schwartz
    June 9, 2016 | 12:49 pm

    Most of my clients are small businesses so price is often a concern when they first start looking for a payroll provider. After I have the opportunity to educate the business owner on why our service and the protection that we provide is so important to keep their business compliant with the ever changing labor laws price become less of a concern. The services I provide will save money to the business owners bottom line.

  29. Brenda Malik
    June 12, 2016 | 5:59 pm

    I am a franchise owner so the company sets the pricing. In my business I can not compete on price alone because most times we’re not comparing apples to apples. I have to stress quality, training, service and follow up. I have to educate clients on what my pricing entails and what it they can expect from me. This they get in writing. They are also aware that I have to be knowledgeable about the many chemicals used to clean different environments and understand different floor applications to give the best presentation for the clients or staff that come into the office, showroom or medical offie. For me competing on price alone cheapens the quality of the work. I found this years ago and this is what I believe also; “The bitterness of bad quality lasts longer than the pleasure of low prices.” Aldo Gucci

  30. Archana (Arch-na) Patel
    June 15, 2016 | 10:49 pm

    As a coach, I have the same price structure for everyone per product. Quality is what I do to improve my blind spots, my habits, behaviors, intentions, and personal accountability and credibility. Service is based on the awareness of my client. I give every bit of information, knowledge, support, concept that my client can grasp so that he is inspired to take the next step.

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