My wife came home with an interesting story form a lunch date the other day and it has become the inspiration for this SafeSourcing blog post.
My wife went to lunch at a restaurant she has never been to before with 7 of her friends the other day. One of her friends called in advance and asked to speak with the executive chef. She told him she was coming for lunch with 7 of her friends and wanted to have the chef prepare a sampling of their best appetizers for the group and would like the restaurant to comp the expense for the group. Are you kidding me that is incredibly ballsy? Here’s the kicker, the restaurant did it. In addition the chef came to the table and explained the selection and what would go well with it for lunch. He also bought each attendee a glass of wine. Most of you are smart enough to figure out the benefit to the restaurant. I can guarantee you we will go there for dinner.
Here’s the tie in.
I always suggest to retailers that there is more to be gained from reverse auctions and other e-procurement events than just price concessions. With that said, cost still tends to be the primary driver or motivation for most retailers. The question always comes back to me; like what? My answer is that you have to use your imagination. Take a look at your product. Ask yourself what more would you like?
1. A better price?
2. An extended warranty for free?
3. Free shipping?
4. An onsite account manager?
5. Premium club membership?
6. One free night for every three nights stayed in a hotel chain?
7. One car grade upgrade from your standard contract for free?
8. 100 free meals for every $10K spent at a specific restaurant chain?
9. Free installation services
10. A donation to your frequent shopper program gifts catalog.
This really becomes a brainstorming or whiteboard event. Once you come up with an idea relative to a certain product, just ask for it in your specification. You’ll never know if you don’t ask.
We look forward to and appreciate your comments.