People often think that selling products is merely a transaction: an exchange of goods for money. In truth it is so much more than that. Anyone who “gets” the concept of commerce understands that quality suppliers such as Qualifirst are in the business of solving problems for customers.
The problem we solve is the lost sales that they would otherwise suffer due to not serving or making available the best products.
When the product and the experience are not satisfactory, people simply stop buying.
For an ice cream store, this means no customers lined up. For a restaurant, that translates into empty seats. Not selling all the chocolate bars in your inventory turns into a lower average transaction. Not selling enough expensive wine in a restaurant means fewer higher-priced meals sold, since buying good food and good wine often go hand-in-hand.
Experienced and wise restaurateurs will tell you it’s not the food cost that you have to watch, it’s the profit margin on the gourmet products sold. Too often a worried restaurant owner will skimp on food quality to save on costs. But you can’t save money and survive; you have to make money. And that’s done by providing enjoyable foods that people are happy to pay more for. That’s where the margin grows.
Selling ice cream in winter!
Can you imagine an ice cream store that is so popular, so satisfying, that people line up for it in the winter?
Bella Gelateria can, because their products sell all year round. They solved a seasonal problem by combining their passion for food with good business sense. And, of course, this included using Qualifirst products. Read the Huffington Post story here.
Hot chocolate in the summer!
A chocolate maker should not focus on making low-cost chocolate. It should instead focus on making chocolate so good that all the other stores in the area will buy it so that they can sell it too. It’s about making a chocolate so good that quality-focused national chains like Whole Foods will buy it.
Beta5 Is busy all year round even in summer, and I don’t think any other chocolate shop in Canada can say that. Read about them here.
You have to “get it” to get it.
Seth Godin is a marketing expert who is well-known for his no-nonsense approach to communicating a brand message to an audience. One of his best pieces, in my opinion, is about “getting it.”
You get it? No you don’t. Not yet. Because all you’ve gotten is a tweet. Read the book. The whole thing. Use the product. A few times. More than a few times. Immersed. It can change you.
It’s the same for us: You don’t “get” Qualifirst until you try it over and over again.
Do people truly get gourmet and our products? Many think they get it but they don’t. Not yet. A Coles Notes version, or a single taste experience does not convey the message.
- Until you start using a quality salt such as Maldon regularly you won’t get it.
- Until you start tasting Michel Cluizel chocolates regularly you won’t get it.
- Until you start using a single estate single varietal olive oil like Castelanoti you won’t get it.
- Until you start brewing Clipper tea on a regular basis you won’t get it.
- Until you have used quality Dijon mustard, genuine herbs-de-provence, or quality wine vinegar on a regular basis, you won’t get it.
We sell quality – the best of the best. But those are only words until someone gets it.
How many people would pay $7.49 for a bar of chocolate? Most would initially shy away from this. But those who have tried Michel Cluziel would never go back to basic chocolate no matter how inexpensive it becomes.
At our Toronto office, our Canada Post delivery person seems to be as far from a foodie as one can be. But for several months he has been sampling the Barnier bonbons that we offer at our reception desk. Recently he remarked to me how amazing they were. He didn’t realise it on the first sampling or the second or the third, but at some point it hit him, and now he can’t go back. Now he gets it.
Helping people discover great food is a step-by-step process, one product at a time. The first act of “getting it” is the hardest, but once a person “gets” gourmet, they become more open to trying other new better products. The gourmet experience moves the from an abstract concept to a personal reality. That’s how people “get” gourmet.
Olive Oil: getting the difference
For two years now we have been selling our Single Estate Spanish olive oil to one of Canada’s largest restaurant chains.
When it was time to renew the contract, premium olive oil had gone up in price by over 30% and we were expecting to lose the contract to a supplier of lower quality olive oil. To our surprise the chain still renewed the contract.
This proves that when a customer actually “gets” the difference quality makes, our products stop being compared to other products that are actually not the same. We have an expensive olive oil compared to all olive oils of any quality. We have a very value priced olive oil when compared to other single estate single origin olive oils.
Our mission for each of our team members is to first “get” our products and then communicate the “Reality of Quality” to other people. Once that happens our products are perceived for the fair value that they are.