Bypassing the Commodity Box
How can we keep our services from being seen as commodities?
The “commodity box” means that clients treat your services as a “commodity” – a “standard” service that can be sourced at the lowest price. Even when clients have a more sophisticated understanding of the nature of design services, price is usually a component in the decision.
When you’re in the Commodity Box, it feels like like there is nowhere to move, except to cut price. Unless you can figure out how to add value to your offer – something the clients wants at an emotional level – you’re stuck in there. Don’t buy into that.
Great course and well presented. Very interactive, which was great – learnt heaps. Thank you.
Very informative and great presenter. Held our attention over the two days.
Highly insightful, entertaining anecdotes. Rich with experience.
Course exceeded my expectations – well presented, engaging and full of useful information and tools.
I thoroughly enjoyed the course and have gained some new insights that I can immediately put into action tomorrow.
Very good. This has taught me essential skills I have been desperate to learn for a long time!
Loved the way it was applied very clearly to architects and our issues. Great presenter.
Extremely valuable information — if I implement a fraction of the systems, massive improvement is possible.
Great tools to help manage clients, team members & myself.
The seminar addressed many of the issues that I knew existed but never knew how to attack - so thank you.
Accepting that price will drive the hiring decision is joining the race to the bottom – and there will always be some other consultant more desperate, or inexperienced, than your firm. It’s a no-win game.
While we can’t lay out the answers in this short page, we can and do teach the principles of staying out of the commodity box in the PM Essentials program.
Components of a solution are:
- Value pricing techniques
- Creative use of risk assessment
- Leveraging of unique experience
- Building trusted advisor relationships
- If you can, move the decision-making process from objective to subjective evaluation
For more information on value pricing, the best source is Frank Stasiowski’s classic work The Value Pricing Imperative for Design Firms.
For more info on the commodity box, see Charles Nelson’s paper From Commodity Box to Trusted Advisor.