I recently pitched to a (large) company in order to sell dry ice blast cleaning services. After many hours of demonstration, risk assessment, due diligence and method testing we finally sat around the negotiating table in the presence of the company MD, finance director and the contracts manager. RCS (well, our dry ice blasting division- Optimum Dry Ice Blasting) had pre prepared a pricing strategy based on cost savings to the client as a result of machinery downtime, reduced labour costs and therefore, increased production.
We faced the usual “we’ve already had two other quotes which are slightly more competitive….” and “if you reduce your costs to us then we will get you contracts from every big player in this industry” but then this chap (contracts manager btw) chucked in the ultimate insult “ive looked into the costs and we could buy the same machinery as you and do it ourselves”.
I understand he was only trying to do his job and, in front of the MD, look to have done his homework and save his company £££’s but, really!
This attitude carried on for the next half an hour and eventually it was decided that they would be purchasing the equipment and would have no need for our services. One full day wasted!
All companies look to save money and plenty of routine tasks can be learned/trained in house with relatively low investment. But sometimes certain professions are really best left to the experts.
Decisions such as this can also really damage a relatively new service sector such as DIB. The technology relies on a lot of factors (pressure, nozzle diameter, distance from surface etc etc) Get one part of the many factors wrong and you can either damage a piece of machinery, or spend 8 hours cleaning a 10 inch area! The machines are then labelled as the devils work, and DIB will never be used in that factory again!!
This may seem a little harsh, but believe me, the example above is very real and has been played out on numerous occasions!!
By Ian Reynolds