I had just completed dinner in a Shanghai restaurant and was reading the local newspaper. On the front page was an article about swill oil. It turns out that swill oil is used oil that is to be recycled for fuel but often finds its way back in to the kitchen. It is filtered and re-bottled and sold as new oil for a 200% profit. The article further stated that as many as one in ten meals in China is cooked with swill oil. Oh, and did I mention that swill oil is loaded with carcinogens? My stomach started to feel strange. Then I turned the page and the next article was about recycled paper products. Specifically, paper plates, cups, and plastic forks. The article cited two of the largest restaurant chains in China as users of these products. Oh, did I mention that they are loaded with carcinogens?
My stomach is feeling worse just writing this Ray’s Rule. I am sure you have seen the reports on Chinese sheetrock. Not only does all the sheetrock have to be removed from the homes that have it, but most of the plumbing and wiring also has to be removed. This is not a slam on China. That these articles were in a Chinese newspaper was a big surprise to me. Many of their products are fine. The Yugo car was the cheapest car ever built and was also a disaster. What is my point? We need to make sure that we convey to our prospects the risk of buying cheap.
Do not be afraid of your price. Be proud of it and learn how to sell your product’s value. I try to always use a combination of the carrot and the stick. I highlight all the benefits of buying from me and I also highlight the potential dangers of buying the “cheap alternative.” Every buying decision is a risk/reward decision. It is seldom worth the risk of buying cheap for the small reward of saving a few bucks.
My next trip takes me from Hamburg to Madrid to Istanbul to Vienna to Brussels. This trip is mostly leadership training for senior executives. I am sure I will have some interesting experiences to share with you when I get back. I just hope they have nothing to do with food.