Are you buying stuff, or solving problems?

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We are a B2B (business-to-business) supplier of branded products, and shouldn’t be surprised when we hear “What’s your best price for this blue widget?”.  And it’s pretty common to hear “Huh??” when we ask “What are you using that blue widget for?”.

We’re all busy; way too busy.  And it’s so easy to go into autopilot when your business needs something, and just get what you got last time, for the best price possible.  Unfortunately, that “path of least resistance” can lead to a low-price purchase, but a really poor value, if the blue widgets aren’t doing much to improve your business.

There are lots of businesses that specialize in commodity pricing, and there’s a place for that.  But I personally value the ones that specialize in problem-solving, with an eye towards great value.  That’s why we annoyingly ask “What are you using that widget for?”.  We want to know if we can help identify the problem, and/or suggest a better solution.

We thrive on the premise that there’s more than one way to skin a cat (sorry cat lovers; don’t know where that saying comes from …).  We know our customers (marketing, human resources, events and office management people) have a million things to do each day, and time to deal with maybe five.  So we love to help by being the friends that take some of those things off your to-do list, and taking the time to thoughtfully (and cost-effectively) find solutions for your particular problem (or, as we prefer to see it, “opportunity”).

So … are you buying stuff, or solving problems?

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